Happy Death Day 2U

Rated 2.0

Christopher Landon follows up his somewhat creative original with an overly ambitious sequel that starts off fantastically but gets lost in its second half. Jessica Rothe returns as Tree, the college student who got stuck in the Groundhog Day murder loop in the original. The sequel starts with Ryan (Phi Vu), the character who walked in on Tree and Carter (Israel Broussard) stuck in a brand new murder loop with a seemingly different baby mask killer. Landon and friends go crazy, establishing a reason for the whole murder loop thing (a quantum physics experiment) and setting up some scenarios that openly acknowledge the plot of Back to the Future 2, featuring doppelgangers and everything. So far so good—but then the plot goes Tree-centric again and becomes about her fixing other elements of her life, leaning hard on emotional stuff rather than the totally clever gimmicks the film presents in the first half. In fact, the movie basically ignores the doppelganger element and drops it completely, becoming just another murder mystery that feels like a bad Scream sequel. It’s too bad. At one point, I was looking at this movie as one of the greater sequel ideas I had ever witnessed. Landon squanders that idea and ultimately delivers a movie that feels like a copout.