Review of “Vacation Friends 2”: John Cena Prevents It From Being a Complete Letdown

“Vacation Friends 2” This comic sequel lacks much of the fun of its predecessor, despite the returning cast’s continued enthusiastic commitment.
Vacation Friends 2
  • The charm and humour of Vacation Friends were hard to top in the sequel.
  • The movie takes an odd turn when it tries to morph into an action comedy, but it eventually fails and feels out of place.
  • The actors, especially John Cena and Meredith Hagner, give their performances flair and vigour, but the movie suffers from juggling too many narratives and not fully utilising the ensemble’s humorous abilities.

When the first Vacation Friends movie debuted on Hulu two years ago, it was a welcome surprise. Without a doubt, it wasn’t the next comedy masterpiece, but underneath all the raunchiness, drug usage, and profanity, there was quite a deal of charm and heart. The excellent chemistry among the four stars, John Cena, Lil Rel Howery, Yvonne Orji, and Meredith Hagner, was also helpful. The movie ended up being a success for Hulu, and only days after its debut, the streaming service ordered a sequel under the name Honeymoon Friends.

After then, the sequel was almost unheard of until this past April, when Hulu and 20th Century Studios announced that the now-titled Vacation Friends 2 had already been shot and would be available to stream in August. For the sequel, which is directed by Clay Tarver once more, Cena, Howery, Orji, and Hagner all return to their previous roles.

A few months have passed since the events of the previous movie, and Marcus and Emily (Howery and Orji) are now blissfully married. They’ve asked their hard-partying friends Ron and Kyla (Cena and Hagner) to accompany them on an all-inclusive vacation to the Caribbean.

Marcus is taking a chance by making this choice because he wants to meet with the proprietors of the opulent resort in order to secure a contract to develop a resort in Chicago, which he first plans to withhold from Ron and Kyla. Naturally, their idyllic getaway immediately takes a turn when Kyla’s estranged father Reese (Steve Buscemi), a con artist who was just recently let out of San Quentin, shows there.

Beginning as more of the same, “Vacation Friends 2” Later takes a bizarre diversion

Vacation Friends 2

A comedy sequel’s opening two acts of Vacation Friends 2 are essentially what you would anticipate. Ron strives to connect with and win the favour of the shady father-in-law he never met as the jokes from the previous movie are repeated, the characters remain the same, and it tries to spice things up.

It’s lighthearted and slightly funny, but it never manages to match the number of chuckles that the previous movie managed to generate. While there is some entertainment value here, much of it ends up seeming like more of the same, but not near as good as the original Vacation Friends, which didn’t feel like a one-and-done narrative.

Up until the picture attempts to transition into an action comedy in the style of something like this year’s Shotgun Wedding, which causes the plot to take one of the strangest third-act turns you’ll see all year. Sadly, here is when the sequel starts to stumble, adding an unnecessarily convoluted storyline that seems entirely unnecessary in a comedy that most viewers would just watch in the background while having a few drinks.

Additionally, the movie tries to manage too many narratives at once. Along with Reese’s introduction, the movie also spends a lot of time following Marcus as he struggles to get Yeon’s (Ronny Chieng), the vice president of the resort chain,’s favour. The hotel concierge Maurillo (Carlos Santos), who became friends with the couples in the previous movie and accompanied them as the babysitter for Ron and Kyla, is also back. Additionally, there is a poorly developed subplot involving Emily’s uncertainty about having a child with Ron.

It’s a lot for a movie named Vacation Friends’ sequel. There’s almost so much going on here that, for the most part, it forgets to bring in all the comedy that made the original movie so popular, even though you’ll always want to up the stakes when filming a sequel. Despite the fact that the original movie’s schtick was able to keep audiences entertained for 100 minutes, it starts to grow extremely old very quickly here, especially when the action portion of the movie is far too over the top.

The ‘Vacation Friends 2’ Stars Make It Redeemable

Vacation Friends 2

The cast is the main draw, much like the previous movie. With his scene-stealing performances in Trainwreck, Sisters, and Blockers to his position as Peacemaker in The Suicide Squad and the self-titled Max series, which demonstrated his ability to balance the gross with much darker material, Cena in particular has always had a penchant for humour.

Along with his on-screen wife Hagner, Cena is once more the star of the cast in Vacation Friends 2, and both actors are just as enthusiastic and upbeat as they were in the first. Although Cena and Hagner’s characters frequently make bad choices, you can’t help but enjoy them because of their personality. As endearing as the proper Marcus and Emily are Howery and Orji. Regrettably, Orji’s humorous abilities feel underused this time. She does have some screen time, notably during a scene that takes place inside a casino, but the movie seems to be more focused on the plots involving Cena, Howery, and Buscemi.

In terms of Buscemi, he is portraying exactly the type of character you would anticipate from him in this kind of comedy. He is still able to convey the quirky and humorous sensibility that he has successfully brought to prior parts, despite the sliminess of his character. For a comedy sequel that bypassed theatres and went directly to Hulu, Vacation Friends 2 could’ve been much worse. Nevertheless, it does offer some light amusement. As the picture starts to struggle from having to cover too many concepts in under two hours, the actors is what keeps it together. While the sequel attempts to regain the charm of its predecessor, which was a funny and rewarding watch, it never quite succeeds. You would do better to watch it again.

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