It has been a long while since a summer comedy has lived up to the hype that producers would have audiences fall for when they make the promotion and marketing rounds. To be honest, the last time the actors and filmmakers were entirely honest about the “non-stop laughs” was the previous entry in this series. And it should come as no surprise that director team Phil (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie) Lord and Christopher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, How I Met Your Mother) Miller reuniting with stars Jonah (The Wolf of Wall Street, Super Bad) Hill and Channing (G. I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Dear John) Tatum strike gold for their second go around. They embrace what worked in the previous film and up the ante a bit (while playing to both of the leading men’s strengths at each and every turn). Hill lends his writing talents yet again, adding some hilarious one-liners and excellent ad-lib scenes that only he can pull off.
Joining the stars for the undercover college ridiculousness, Ice (Friday, Boyz n the Hood) Cube and Nick (We’re the Millers, Parks and Recreation) Offerman reprise their roles as the bosses of the dim-witted but well-intentioned police officers. Joining the cast are Amber (Greek, The Amazing Spider-Man) Stevens, Peter (Constantine, Armageddon) Stormare, Wyatt (Cowboys & Aliens, This is 40) Russell, Jillian (Workaholics, Eastbound & Down) Bell, and a humorous cameo in the vein of the original’s Johnny Depp appearance, with the not-nearly-as-legendary Richard Grieco. And because both Hill and Tatum have buddies in the business who obviously can’t turn down a fun cameo appearance, this film also has some great (albeit very brief) roles. So when Queen Latifah, Anna Faris, Dave Franco, Bill Hader, Patton Oswalt, Rob Riggle, and Seth Rogen show up, the laughs really do keep coming.
All in all, the movie becomes what the sequels to The Hangover promised to be and successfully captures the spirit of the original, continuing the bromance and unapologetically delivering juvenile jokes and over-the-top action sequences. If you enjoyed the first one, you will love the sequel. If you did not, then this is probably not the movie for you. But fans of mindless comedy will enjoy the risks that this movie takes, the utter shamelessness of its lead actors, and the great comedic timing of almost every single actor who shares the screen with both Hill and Tatum. Though the shock that the original “reboot” of the series was not only good, but great has still not quite set in, both reviewers and average moviegoers alike will all be in agreement about one thing: There need to be more of these. Every few years would be nice, but another TV series would be absolutely great.