Let’s face it, Mean Girls needed a sequel like I need another belly button. The first movie was sharp, funny, had a great cast and easily became one of the best teen movies of the 2000s. So I really didn’t expect to like this sequel at all. But as I will watch anything and everything, I bravely put the disc into the player and was surprised at how I was fitfully amused throughout the first half of the movie. Sadly, that was followed by a dire second half that managed to undo all of the good work.
Meaghan Martin plays Jo, a tough but pretty young girl who has moved around a lot thanks to her dad’s job. As she settles into her latest school she finds herself at the mercy of Mandi Weatherly (Maiara Walsh) and her two main sidekicks. She also finds herself offered a large sum of money to become friends with Abby Hanover (Jennifer Stone), a young woman who spends most of her time being bullied and insulted by Mandi and her clique. Jo and Abby forge a strong bond and, together, upset the status quo of the school but these changes don’t happen without repercussions.
Directed by Melanie Mayron, with a few people sharing the writing suties, Mean Girls 2 almost succeeds thanks to a first half that mixes some good pranks with some fun one-liners (many of them coming from Tim Meadows returning to be great once more as Principal Duvall). Which is why it’s such a shame that those involved decided the latter half of the movie should become more like the modern St. Trinians films than the first Mean Girls film. When the movie started to build up to a big “grudge match” of American football I felt myself deflating.
The cast are all okay, I suppose, though I must say that for a film that spends so much time showing people influenced by, and reacting to, someone they deem as totally hot I would have preferred a lead who was . . . . . . . . . . . totally hot (no offence intended to the lovely Miss Martin who is far from ugly and unappealing). Martin, Stone and Walsh get the most screentime but Meadows raises the most laughs and there are decent turns from Linden Ashby, Amber Wallace, Nicole Gale Anderson, Claire Holt and Diego Boneta.
The movie ends up being just average, which in itself is a pleasant surprise considering how low my expectations were.
Director: Melanie Mayron
Stars: Meaghan Martin, Maiara Walsh, Jennifer Stone
Runtime: 96 min