Picks and Pans Review: House Party 2

updated 11/11/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/11/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

Christopher Reid, Christopher Martin

The good news: Reid, as Kid, still has the towering Eraserhead hairdo he wore in the first House Party. The bad news: Reid's hair is the only thing that rises to the level of the exuberant 1990 film about working-and middle-class black teenagers.

This time Kid is a college freshman threatened with expulsion after his best pal and fellow rapper Play (Christopher Martin) uses Kid's scholarship check to finance his own demo tape. The two youths, in the "Hey, let's put on a show" tradition, opt to raise Kid's tuition money by throwing a big on-campus pajama party. Hip-hop music, much of it catchy, and pandemonium, much of it perfunctory, ensue.

HP2's pro-education message is commendable, and Reid and Martin (who, as Kid 'N Play, are real-life rap stars) are winning performers—Reid in particular. But HP2, directed and produced by the team of Dong Vic-Henry and George Jackson (Reginald Hudlin wrote and directed the original, while his brother Warrington produced), suffers from sequelitis: In too closely reprising characters and scenes from the first movie, it becomes the cinematic equivalent of microwaved leftovers. (R)

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