Some movies deliver enough ROI to merit sequels despite modest results.
That’s also how we got “Buddy Games: Spring Awakening.”
The indie film continues the story that started in the 2019 comedy. The ensemble comedy drew enough eyeballs in both theaters and on video platforms to spark a second installment.
The sequel, once again starring and directed by Josh Duhamel, finds the man-boys mourning the loss of their chum Durfy (Dax Shepard). Along the way, they stumble onto a spring break party that copied their bawdy Buddy Games template.
Can these not-so-old timers beat Gen Z at their own game?
The film can be seen in select theaters now before its VOD release early next month.
Duhamel, who also wrote the first film, hands that task over to Gabe McKinley and Rachael Thoele. The actor says the franchise stems from the games his real-life friends played over the years.
The “Shotgun Wedding” star added the franchise offers a good-natured antidote to the current woke culture, even if he doesn’t use the “W” word by name.
It is meant to be outrageous, even if you’re laughing in private at it, it’s really funny. We poke fun at ourselves and we’re poking fun at some of the stuff that’s happening out there in the world now—but we do it in a way that’s not mean-spirited.
The trailer finds one of the Buddies (Dan Bakkedahl of “Life in Pieces” fame) cringing at a Spring Breaker’s pronoun-a-palooza.
So far, two major critics have skewered the comedy without reservation. The liberal review site RogerEbert.com pummeled both the film and its comic attack on the woke mindset.
The jokes about the woke cult are so screamingly unfunny that it feels as if Bill Maher’s writers were brought in to punch down the script—lots of quips about pronouns, “-isms” and things being “triggering” or “mindful,” people somehow being offended by the term “summer” and jokes dumber than those.
The right-leaning New York Post’s critic similarly thrashed “Spring Awakening,” calling it the year’s worst movie (to date).
Two other published critiques were more flattering.
“Spring Awakening” may prove to be critic proof. The first film earned an anemic 16 percent “rotten” rating with a far better 67 percent score from site users.
The sequel sports a solid 82 percent “fresh” audience rating at the moment, although that will change as more reviews flood in.
Audiences may suffer through the sequel’s flaws but still hunger for a comedy that doesn’t play by the rules. If so, it suggests a studio-backed comedy could revive the “Hangover”-style of big-screen comedy … assuming the suits can survive the inevitable woke backlash.
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