Release Date: Friday April 18, 2014
Running Time: 87 Minutes
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content, nudity, pervasive language, drug use, and some violent images (basically all of the things)
Cast: Marlon Wayans, Jaime Pressly, Gabriel Iglesias, Cedric The Entertainer
Last month, I had the opportunity to sit down and interview Marlon Wayans in anticipation of the release of his latest film “A Haunted House 2”, which hits theaters nationwide this weekend. I was, admittedly, a little apprehensive to sit down with Wayans and interview him about a movie I knew very little about but, as it turns out, Marlon is a really pleasant and down to Earth guy which made the interview really enjoyable. Although most of the discussion revolved around the new movie and his vision behind it, I did have a chance to learn a little bit about his film career and the childhood that’s led him to it.
I appreciated that he had a very realistic perception of where his movies fit into our cultural landscape. That is to say, these are not the best films of all time and he knows it. He does not view himself as a visionary, but as a jester. He wants nothing more than to make a silly movie that makes people laugh. At one point in the interview, Wayans said something that made me respect him both as an individual and as a comedian. Instead of trying to be the best at everything, Wayans just wants to be the best version of himself. Isn’t that what it’s all about, anyway?! Also, not unlike myself: Wayans loves a good selfie. It didn’t take a lot of convincing to get a picture with him during out conversation. Take a look:
It is in the same regard of not taking one’s self too seriously that “A Haunted House 2” is at least partially successful. The first fifteen minutes featured genuine laughs from well-timed slapstick and outrageous overreactions to insane circumstances. It’s been awhile since I’ve spent a good 15 solid minutes laughing and I appreciated the movie for that reason.
Most of the remainder of the film featured slightly less successful recycled versions of previous gags. Many of the jokes relied more on shock value than cleverness and weren’t as well received as they were the first time around. The middle part of the movie became redundant the laughs were increasingly fewer and further between. Gabriel Iglesias, playing Wayans’ neighbor, did have a funny bit that managed to not get old, and the final act is somewhat redeemed by Cedric the Entertainer reprising his role from the first movie and adding some much needed freshness into the climactic ending.
On my scale from one to ten where one is the worst, five is the best, and ten is the worst again: I give “A Haunted House 2” a 2.4374 with an emoticon based sub ranking of “HAHAHAHA…ha…huh?!…ew.…ha…meh…ha.”