House Party 2 (1991)
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Kid'N'Play are going to college, well just mainly Kid, to leave the world and it's problems. While there Kid learns the lesson of responsibility....the hard way. Play gives the Kid's college money to a beautiful, yet crooked music promoter(Iman). And with Sidney(Tisha Campbell) wanting to see new people, Kid comes to Play with help and come up with a PAJAMA JAM PARTY.
Now this one's music is way better than the first one and is a little more funnier than one, but it just dosen't come close as being as great as the first. The hurt comes from two things. 1.)No Robin Harris to give us some more hilarious lines, because of he's death. 2.)Is the cartoon-like sound effects that make the movie just plain silly. Sometimes it works and a lot of times it don't.
Robin Harris. We all remember him as "Pop" from the original film, but what we do not realize about this humorous comedian is that he subsequently changed the image of the House Party series. In the original, he was this father trying to steer his son into a path of academia instead of rap and parties, in the sequel, he plays a spirit who annoyingly hounds Kid throughout the film with flashbacks from the original. Due to his death, he brings nothing new to the table, yet this entire sequel seems to be focused around those few short words that he used in the first film. I don't mean to be rude, but I never felt that the father was such a big element in the original. I thought that Kid trying to challenge authority to attempt to find himself was the underlying meaning of the original, while in this one it is Kid repressing his true self in hopes to make his dead father happy. Where did the lightness of the original go? I watched House Party 2 thinking that there is a limit that the writers could go without making Kid seem totally whipped by his father's words, but we never hit that limit. Where, anywhere in this film, was Kid trying to find his rap roots? I needed to see a young man still interested in becoming the lyricist that he once desired to be? Why did he have to grow up so fast? In fact, the rap side-story to this film seems to be the negative element. We have gone from loving the genre to completely disrespecting it in one film. Ah, the power of the sequel.
Martin Lawrence was again completely annoying to the point in which I completely tuned him out whenever he spoke. He brought nothing to the story and nothing to the main characters. Lawrence was nothing more than a familiar face for the audience to relate to. In fact, it is that dedication to familiar faces from the original that hurt this sequel. When the ultimate PAJAMA JAM finally does occur (one hour into this short film), we are hit with an barrage of repetitive scenes of aged rappers and comedians from the original who do nothing but repeat their lines, actions, and emotions from the first. While many may enjoy these familiar faces, I felt as if it were a cheap trick used to make me feel more comfortable about the film. If these minor characters had done more than just repeat their lines, than maybe I would have bought into the trick, but instead all I saw were cheap repetitive motions used by writers to fill time. I used the word "repetitive" several times in this paragraph because it demonstrated the annoying repetitive nature of this film and completed my point about using that element as a cheap trick. I hope it worked.
In most television series, especially the cheapened kind, we sometimes hear a laugh track or a sound machine used to create some "zany" or "wacky" sound that lightens the mood and creates the viable laugh point. In House Party 2, I do believe that the sound guy was extremely drunk or possibly working his first day in the booth. There were more sound effects in this film than in a Bobby McFerrin music video. Was this a child's movie or another urban comedy? Neither Kid nor Play could do anything in this film without a "zip zim" or a "whoosh" or a "ding dong" noise happening somewhere in the background. This was a fresh element to the sequel which direly needed to be taken away. There is a chase scene near the end of the film which felt like Pee-Wee Herman choreographed it with all the unsettling sounds that were happening. After the first twenty minutes of this, it because increasingly annoying to the point of insanity.
Overall, this sequel soils the original. The themes were sporadic (i.e. in one instance we are talking about the oppression of the African American, while in the other the directors seem to be building age-old stereotypes), the characters continued towards their bland downward spiral, those annoying, randomly placed racist police officers were back, and the dominating "father" element seemed too serious for the overall theme of this film. I hope this film wasn't an indication of the path of colleges in the future? House Party 3, don't fail me now!
Grade: ** out of *****
House Party 2 is the second installment in the House Party series.There have been four movies in the series, the fourth did not feature Kid or Play and was straight to video.Anyway House Party 2 is definitely not as good as the original which was very funny and entertaining.However this does have more drama and also has some very funny moments as well.The film is about Kid going off to college with his girlfriend while Play wants him to stay and get a record deal.Kid's father has now passed away(in reality the actor who played Kid's father died).Play uses Kid's scholarship check to pay the record producer, only to find out that she is a con artist.Now Kid has a week to pay his tuition or he gets kicked out.Trying to find ways to make money, they think of having a pyjama party to raise money.Meanwhile Kid and his girlfriend break up.The film has supporting roles from Queen Latifah and a cameo by Whoopi Goldberg.House Party 2 is not as good as the original but does not disappoint.If you liked the original, check this one out.
This needs Kid 'n Play to be better friends at the beginning. It's not only Play. Kid is also self-obsessed. Their charming friendship is tattered and that drains the movie of its heart early on. The humor is broad without being funny. The production is distressingly amateurish. It's a struggle but I still like the characters. Even the limited amateur charms of the original has faded.
Even some of the positive movies about young Blacks being made today have darker undercurrents--Akeela and the Bee and Precious, for example. Yes, House Party 2 is lighter than air, but it isn't 100% fluff either. There are some political and cultural statements thrown in for good measure. Certainly, this is a film that captures the youthful idealism of the college years. Look at Queen Latifah's character for example. Could you take her seriously saying these things today? No, because that's a phase that people grow out of when they are removed from the artificial environment of a university and have to spend their time dealing with the real world. But in college, it can seem like you are surrounded by people focused on what is politically correct and are always preaching to others, when really, they are just trying to define themselves at a time when they could go in a limitless number of directions.
Also, this movies has lots of great music, silly humor, and some fun partying. It's almost a family film, except for the language. Probably most appropriate for high school audiences who aren't offended by the cuss words.
A shining example: the well-delivered speech by Georg Stanford Brown about what was and wasn't fair about Kid's having to write a paper and to prove his scholastic ability.
It is about a young negro going to collage but his friend loses his scholarship cheque so he has two weeks to come up with a lot of money or be kicked out of collage. After trying a lot of other things (including making a deal with a negro who has "sold out" to the white man) they decide to have a huge party to raise the funds.
It really is nothing but a trashy movie that tries, and fails, to sympathise with the negro position in America. Rather it seems to more try to attract pity in a rather pathetic way. I guess there was a reason why it was on television at 2:00 in the morning, and unlike Pump Up the Volume, it wasn't dealing with some explicit topics.
Thank God they invited QL (Queen Latifah) to this party! some of her later geniues can be seen in this early performance, a bit raw like Hanna Shygulla in the late Fassbinders.
8 out of 8. Da rulez.
Da rulez. Indeed.