- Published: Friday, 25 August 2023 21:31
- Written by Lupe R Haas
VACATION FRIENDS wasn’t the greatest movie but the odd pairing of John Cena and Lil Rel Howery and the ridiculous shenanigans made it a fun watch from the comfort of your home. The sequel, unfortunately, doesn’t live up to the hijinks of the original even with the addition of Steve Buscemi.
Picking up a few months after the end of VACATION FRIENDS, newly married Marcus (Lil Rel Howery) and Emily (Yvonne Orji) invite the unhinged couple (John Cena, Meredith Hagner) who almost derailed their wedding in the first movie, to a Caribbean getaway. The all-expense paid trip is not all pleasure with Marcus bidding on a construction contract for the hotel owners. Kyla’s ex-con father crashes the vacation causing total chaos.
Director Clay Tarver returns to the director’s chair and serves as the sole writer. The 2021 movie credited 5 writers, so perhaps that explains why the outrageousness of the first film is missing.
The glaring issue is the premise of the sequel. Why invite the uninhibited couple who could ruin Marcus’ business meeting at the resort? As new parents, Ron and Kyla are somewhat settled down but they can’t help their natural instincts to embarrass their new besties. The hotel manager (Carlos Santos) from the first movie tags along as Ron and Kyla’s babysitter in the sequel, and it makes zero sense to bring him back, although I’m happy for the actor whom I’ve worked with in the past. Santos did have some funny moments of his own.
You’d expect the addition of Steve Buscemi as Kyla’s father to bring more LMAO moments, but the new and returning characters fail to match the energy of the first one. As Kyla’s father, the character is rather tame compared to his daughter. While it would be cliché to show the apple doesn’t fall from the tree characterization, the character is not developed well enough.
The events of the 2021 Hulu movie were bonkers, and the follow-up doesn’t up the ante. While VACATION FRIENDS 2 is less of a riot than the previous outing, the streaming movie has its funny moments for those wanting a light comedy for movie night.
VACATION FRIENDS 2 is now streaming on Hulu as is the first film, if you’re interested in a double feature.