Marlon Wayans’ A Haunted House 2 is obsessed with race, but it’s not what you think.
The star/co-writer of the critically drubbed franchise piles on the racial humor in the second installment. It’s about acknowledging stereotypes and then swatting them away with humor.
Only Wayans and co. forgot the funny in the sequel, available on Blu-ray Aug. 12.
The best racial humor shreds stereotypes with a cocktail of laughter and insight. These gags simply bring ugly memes up but rarely finish off the punch line.
Wayans once more stars as Malcolm, a man trying to put the nightmares from the first film, like losing his wife to a ghost, behind him. He’s found a new squeeze (My Name Is Earl’s Jaime Pressly) and is the stepfather to her son. It doesn’t take long before Malcolm learns his ghostly battles are far from over.
The sequel is part horror spoof (mostly of The Conjuring), part endurance test. Wayans cranks it up to 11 from the opening moments and barely takes a breath for the next 90 minutes. He shrieks more than every previous Scream Queen actress–combined.
Wayans manages to cheap shot the GOP along the way.
“When are the Republicans gonna slip and call Obama the ‘N-word?” says Malcolm during one of many stream of conscious rants.
The haphazard movie making squanders both Pressly, a fierce comic presence, as well as a performer who generates laughs just by showing up–typically. Cedric the Entertainer appears mid-film, stabs a priest for no real reason and starts ranting about the state of the Kardashian clan.
Yeah, that joke will age beautifully.
A Haunted House 2 frequently shows Wayans drenched in sweat, whether it’s from an amorous workout with a doll or trying to convince his new blended family there’s a demon in their house. If only that perspiration came from creating a comedy with more than one functioning laugh.
That comes with a riff on The Exorcist. A woman’s head spins around during sex so she can look Malcolm in the eye.
“That was awesome,” he cries.
The second best joke? Your guess is as good as mine.
The Blu-ray features deleted and extended scenes plus a commentary track featuring Wayans, co-writer Rick Alvarez director Michael Tiddes.