The Odd Couple (1968) was based on a play written by Neil Simon. This story would then also receive a TV show adaptation. But as for this sequel, the script was also written by Neil Simon but was completely original. Nothing had been written before as to what would happen if the two main odd balls would reunite. For this film, it just so happens that the daughter of Felix Unger (Jack Lemmon) and son of Oscar Madison (Walter Matthau) are getting married. When Oscar and Felix cross paths, the madness begins. The question is, will they reach the wedding in time? For being a sequel that came far after its original, the play out to this feature is not as bad as one might think. Heading the production was Howard Deutch. He's mainly known for directing TV shows now. Deutch also worked with Matthau and Lemmon in Grumpier Old Men (1995).
What does work here are the two stars and thankfully much of the supporting cast. Even for thirty years later Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are great at reprising their all time famous roles. Lemmon still plays Felix as about as stressed as ever, while Matthau plays Oscar just as relaxed and out of touch as well. Both still have the same likable chemistry and great wisecracks towards each other. The next actor to have some funny scenes is Richard Riehle the local sheriff. As Oscar and Felix try to reach their family's wedding, they continuously run into Riehle's character. Seeing his reaction every time after the first gets more comical. As for the couple getting married, Brucey (Jonathan Silverman) and Hannah (Lisa Waltz) are both okay in their roles but they really don't have a lot of shine time.
The parts that aren't effective in the story deal a lot with how the script was written. The plus side is that Neil Simon takes the scenario between the iconic duo and shows the audience what happens when these two are let out of their cages. Yet somehow there's a lack of witty dialog among the whole running time. Matthau and Lemmon are wonderful no doubt, but they can't work alone. Part of what made The Odd Couple (1968) funny was the funny supporting cast. Aside from Riehle, there's not many other actors to find hilarious. On top of that, there a couple of scenes that have the two leads dropping the "F" bomb. The original movie did not use that word at all and it was still hilarious. So what was the point of using it now? Lastly there's a brief subplot that comes up out of nowhere and is quickly settled, so again, why bring it up to begin with?
But aside from this there are appearances from other actors like Mary Beth Peil, Christine Baranski, Jean Smart, Rex Linn, Jay O. Sanders and even Earl Boen. For camerawork, the shots captured are decent for the picture. Credited as cinematographer was Jamie Anderson. Unlike the original where much of the settings took place in the apartment, now the whole adventure takes place outside and there's lots to see. Anderson was also the DP to movies like Piranha (1978), Unlawful Entry (1992) and Small Soldiers (1998) that same year. Lastly, bringing forth the music was composer Alan Silvestri. Being known for all kinds of scores Silvestri did a great job revisiting the famous main theme from the original and it is repeated quite often in full orchestra. A job well done.
While the script may suffer from unnecessary add ins and occasionally less energetic dialog, the rest of the viewing experience is still enjoyable. Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon remain the highlight of the feature, with great exchanges, acceptable cinematography and respectable music.