House Party 2 (1991): Doug McHenry’s Preachy Sequel

The first House Party contained comic highlights and mishaps about a watchful father, vicious dogs, inept cops, and neighborhood bullies, all obstacles to Kid’s attending Play’s late night jam.

But the less imaginative sequel, House Party 2 turns socially-conscious in its preaching for education among black teenagers.

In Doug McHenry’s uninspired follow-up, Kid is heading off to college–if he can just hold onto the money raised by the church for him. When Play loses his tuition money, Kid realizes the only way to raise the funds is to throw a house party.

Burdened with a flimsy story and educational message, the picture becomes bigger, louder, and messier. Whereas the Hudlins were careful to anchor the story in a recognizable world, McHenry offers an unrealistic college life.

The Hudlins managed to be sexy without dehumanizing women. The new movie asks Queen Latifah to make speeches about women’s autonomy and then treats her (and the other women) as bimbos.

Though the Kid ‘n Play team is funny, it’s Martin Lawrence who steals the picture as their friend Bilal.

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