Vacation Friends 2 Review – Cena and Howery can’t save lackluster writing

August 25, 2023 (Last updated: last month)
Ricky Valero 0
Hulu, Movie Reviews, Movies, Streaming Service
Vacation Friends 2 Review - Cena and Howery can't save lackluster writing


Although Lil Rel Howery and John Cena deliver their great chemistry, they can’t save a lackluster script that fails to capture the magic of the original.

This review of the Hulu film Vacation Friends 2 does not contain spoilers.

Marcus, Emily, Ron, and Kyla are back for another round of the vacation blues in the sequel to the 2021 film Vacation Friends. The Hulu original film had everyone laughing, leading to director Clay Tarver teaming up with Lil Rel Howery, John Cena, Yvonne Orji, and Meredith Hagner for the sequel.

Vacation Friends 2 review and plot summary

After winning an all-expense paid trip to a Caribbean resort, Marcus and Emily invite their besties, Ron and Kyla, to join them. Things quickly go south when Kyla’s dad is released from prison turning everything upside down.

Marcus, Emily, Ron, and Kyla are heading to the Caribbean together, but on the plane ride, we find out that Marcus and Emily aren’t flying back at the same time as the rest of them. Marcus has an interview to build a five-star hotel and wants the troublemakers gone so they don’t ruin his chances of securing the job. Of course, when they arrive at the resort, Ron finds some alcohol, and they party it up, passing out by the pool.

The following morning, Marcus gets a call from his team that the meeting has been pushed up to the forthcoming Tuesday. He begins to freak out because Mr. Goe, a representative of the Kim Wae Group, heads to the poolside to talk to him. Goe informs him that Mr. Yeon, the lead on the Chicago project, is eager to meet Marcus ahead of their meeting with Ms. Kim and invites the four of them to a party later that night.

The off-the-wall unpredictability and humor that you never saw coming made the first film so good. However, within the sequel, a layer of predictability overstayed its welcome quite a bit. The jokes didn’t connect, nor did the stunts, and the introduction to Kyla’s dad, Reese, was unnecessary to attempt to add any obstacles in front of Marcus. I’m typically a fan of Steve Buscemi, but he felt out of place in this film and it didn’t help that the writing of Reese was not great either.

Hands down the best part of the film is the chemistry between John Cena and Lil Rel Howery. Cena has found the perfect niche for his acting with his off-the-wall hilarious comedy chops. With Howery already being one of the funniest comedic actors, he and Cena play perfectly off each other. I would love to see these two team up in a buddy cop comedy and get out of the world of this “franchise.”

Is Vacation Friends 2 good or bad?

Vacation Friends 2 fails to not only live up to the original but also brings nothing new to the table. It lacked everything that made the original so fresh and threw it to the waste. That said, the hilarious chemistry between John Cena and Lil Rel Howery will provide enough entertainment to keep most viewers engaged throughout the film. 

Is Vacation Friends 2 worth watching?

The general audience will enjoy this as it is a no-nonsense film that provides just enough laughs. However, anyone looking for that magic the first film created will walk away disappointed. Vacation Friends 2 adds itself to the list of films that don’t need a sequel.

What did you think of Vacation Friends 2? Comment below.

You can watch this film with a subscription to Hulu.

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