Upon reflection, I might have been rather hard on the original film. Over time it's certainly grown on me, I consider it a solid and enjoyable movie. I was really looking forward to this sequel and while not all elements deliver it's still a worthy follow-up. It does get a tad too complex at times, providing some world building in areas that took away from the mystery of the original.
They provided a clever way to repeat the mechanisms that made the first so popular, but at the same time almost tainted the style of the original. It had some strong moments, focusing on the what if and doing so in a unique way. Some of the plot points were dropped at times, with other things just happening. These were some of the weaker points, but it still had many fine moments throughout. In Happy Death Day 2U, they double down on character development and continued to push their strong lead. You got a well rounded look at her as a matured individual, and her life in greater detail with this basically alternate look at the events of the original.
Jessica Rothe once again delivers as Tree, bringing a lot of heart and confidence to the role. She really embraces it and always goes all out. With the world building effort in this one you do get an expanded cast, with a deeper look at individuals that were most present in the first film. It was strange that they added in some new folks instead of using some of the extras that previously existed, but that was fine as it worked out.
I was surprised by how well they were able to keep all of the smaller individuals correct since they were retreading through time. They also use the setting as a strength as while the sets are similar, they continue to use them in distinct ways. There was a lot going on here narrative wise, I can definitely see some people having issues keeping track. This even gets stranger towards the ending as the Happy Death Day 2U after credits sequence was bizarre quite honestly.
Happy Death Day 2U is an alright follow-up, it builds upon the universe to hit or miss results. I thought the cast was fairly strong here, with the lead definitely being a glowing part of the film. The others were alright, I wish they would have spent more time with them so they would matter more. It seemed like this was all about offering something different, while still being exactly the same.
They could have taken this in a number of directions, it was an interesting choice and one that was different for sure. You're definitely going to be surprised with the various twists and the way the time line gets altered throughout. There's a lot going on. It wasn't quite as entertaining as the original, having a strong start and then going along to fine. I'd certainly like to see another entry in this series, no idea how it would go considering the new premise but there's potential here for sure.
Happy Death Day 2U Review at Theater with Standard Viewing