On occasion, a sequel is better than the original film. That's the case with ''House Party 2.'' The first film (1990) was amusing; the second is more so.
Yes, it's crude. Yes, it is vulgar, but taken on that level, it is good fun.
As was the case with the original, the sequel stars Kid 'N Play, a recording duo also known as Christopher Reid and Christopher Martin who, in the first film, staged a house party.
In the second, they stage a bigger party, this one in the dining hall of the faculty lounge at Harris College, which is where Kid hopes to enroll. Unfortunately, he leaves his enrollment check in the hands of his buddy, Play, who uses it to further his career as a recording artist.
Actually, Play is being taken by a girl and guy con duo, and before long, Kid is without money for school, a keen source of distress to him because he had promised his father -- played by the late Robin Harris in the first film -- he would go on to college.
We see Harris in flashbacks from the first film. We also see Whoopi Goldberg as a figure in one of Kid's dreams. We also see Iman as the con lady, Tisha Campbell as Kid's girlfriend, rap star Kamron as Kid's college roommate, Georg Stanford Brown as a college professor and B. Fine, Bowlegged Lou and Paul Anthony of Full Force, who do The Three Stooges. Then there is Martin Lawrence, who as Bilal, friend to Kid and Play, just about takes the movie from them and everyone else.
George Jackson and Doug McHenry produced and directed ''House Party 2,'' and they've done a good job of it. The film has its share of running gags and lines that work.
You do have to pay attention. Some of the jokes fly by before you get any of the lines, but that's the way Jackson and McHenry chose to do their film, fast and light.
''House Party 2'' plays a little like the early Richard Lester movies (''Hard Day's Night''). It also includes some on-the-spot dancing which the directors throw in whenever they choose, and it works. In fact, the entire movie works, emphasizing the importance of higher education without coming down too hard.
''House Party 2'' opens here today.
''House Party 2''
** Kid 'N Play stage another party, this one in a faculty lounge at Harris College
CAST: Christopher Reid, Christopher Martin, William Shallert, Tisha Campbell, Georg Stanford Brown, Iman, Martin Lawrence, Helen Martin, Kamron
DIRECTORS: Doug McHenry, George Jackson
RATING: R (language, sex, nudity)
( RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes