Think Like A Man Too, the Vegas-set follow-up to 2012’s Think Like A Man, ditches the bizarre cult-of-personality trappings of the original, leaving only the blandest of ensemble relationship comedies. Gone are the talk-show interludes with Dear Leader Steve Harvey. Absent are any scenes of characters reading and discussing his magnum opus, Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, in order to learn the Juche ideal of modern relationships. (There is, however, a scene where a character wins $100,000 on a Steve-Harvey-branded slot machine.) Think Like A Man was a memorably bad movie; the most eccentric thing about this sequel is its title.
There’s still plenty of basketball-metaphor life advice, but it now comes from the mouth of narrator Cedric (Kevin Hart), who intersperses relationship truisms with only slightly less spurious factoids about the movie’s setting. (“People have been coming to Las Vegas for over 100 years” is technically true, in that someone must have visited one of the isolated desert community’s 800 or so residents in 1914.) Working under the mistaken assumption (never addressed) that he has been selected as the best man for the wedding of Michael (Terrence Jenkins) and Candace (Regina Hall), Cedric arrives in Vegas in a rented Lamborghini (never seen again) and books the most expensive suite in Caesar’s Palace to host the bachelor party. Meanwhile, Candace’s bridesmaids (including Meagan Good, Taraji P. Henson, and Gabrielle Union, all predictably wasted) plan their own night on the town, away from the disapproving stink-eye of the bride’s future mother-in-law (Jenifer Lewis). “High jinks” ensue, relationships are discussed, and timed-to-release-date jokes are made about Jersey Boys and Game Of Thrones.
There isn’t a lot that could be said about Think Like A Man Too that wouldn’t apply to countless other similar productions. The wall-to-wall soundtrack ranges from the hackneyed to the grating: “Luck Be A Lady,” “Big Spender,” “Sexy And I Know It,” “2 Legit 2 Quit.” There’s plenty of awkward product placement. There are congratulatory cameos from a boxer, a rapper, and a ’90s nostalgia touchstone. The characters have burgeoning careers in such rom-com growth industries as magazine publishing and wedding-dress design. The same stock aerial shots licensed for every bad movie set in Vegas are used to bridge scenes. There is a dress-buying montage. A popular song is lip-synched to in its entirety. At one point, while the bachelor party group is walking down a hallway in slow motion, one of the members makes a funny face.
Though barely funny, Think Like A Man Too serves a clear cultural purpose: providing viewers with their semi-annual reminder that we live in a profoundly broken society in which the only movies that can guarantee a budget and substantial distribution with a predominantly black cast are corny ensemble comedies set around weddings.