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The Kissing Booth 2 Review: Bails the Franchise out

by Arkaprovo Das
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The Kissing Booth 2

After garnering mammoth popularity amongst Netflix’s young adult audience with its first film, ‘The Kissing Booth’ franchise is back with its second movie, ‘The Kissing Booth 2’. Though Joey KingJacob Elordi, and Joel Courtney return as the central characters of the movie, there are a couple of new characters introduced in Kissing Booth 2, and some old characters get more of the spotlight, in what seems to be a desperate attempt to add some much-needed depth to the story. Despite all its efforts, it seems unlikely that the movie is going to be a critics’ darling but has high chances of following in the footsteps of its prequels and emerge as another crowd-puller.

The Kissing Booth 2: An Overview

The Kissing Booth 2 starts off just 27 days after ‘Elle’s (played by Joey King) heart flew off to Boston’. A train of montages brings the audience up-to-date with what has happened meanwhile. Elle and Lee (played by Joel Courtney) are gearing up for their senior year while Noah (played by Jacob Ellordi), not the hod-head, serial womanizer anymore, is grappling with his college life in Boston, some 3000 miles away from Elle.

Right from the start, confusion takes hold of the characters of the film, each with their own dilemmas. But the drama train really begins to rumble on when two new characters enter the scene. One is Marco (played by Taylor Zakhar Perez), the new transfer student at Elle’s school, and the other is Chloe (played by Maisie Richardson-Sellers), Noah’s college buddy. As long-distance starts taking its toll on Elle and Noah’s relationship, and things start getting complicated between Marco and Elle, the movie finds itself heading towards the tried and tested high school drama plot. 

The Kissing Booth 2 Review: Sweet But Drudges On For Far Too Long

Characters: More depth, More Maturity

If there was one thing that the first film of the franchise desperately needed, it was maturity. In Kissing Booth 2, the characters get a dose of that much-needed maturity. Noah has transitioned from the annoying, control freak that he was into a much more humane college guy. Elle, though she is more confused than before, is not someone’s plaything anymore. She has learned to make her own choices and has mustered up the courage to go for something she wants. Lee has also ‘aged.’ His body is not the only thing that got buffed up through the summer. He has to handle a lot of things that require him to grow up and that he does. Overall, all the characters join hands to bring some much-required depth to the movie, makes the premises of the movie more dramatic and enjoyable.

Plot: Predictable But Watchable

The plot does not have any extravagant twists or moments that we will remember for a lifetime. But what it does have are moments where the audience can instantly relate to the characters’ joy, sorrow, and confusion. This helps the film build a relationship with the viewers. The plot is not too different from that of any regular high school romantic drama. You can predict what comes next on ‘most’ occasions. But still, its moments of comic relief, moments of unadulterated passion goes a long way in earning it a few brownie points. The masterstroke by Vince Marcello was letting Elle free. In the first film, the character seemed like a caged bird, but in the second, she spread colorful wings, flew off to explore, and brought back laurels for the film.

That said, the plot is overstuffed, and things happen too fast for anyone’s liking. There was an ardent need to give the movie more space to breathe rather than crowding a boatload of dramatic events in it. The Kissing Booth 2 failed hopelessly in this regard. The first hour of the film is a concoction of so many events that a whole season of a television series can be made out of it. 

Running Time: Way too much

Viewers of different tastes, different backgrounds would like or dislike different aspects of the film, that is only natural. But one thing I feel everyone will unanimously agree to is that the film is way too stretched. The 132-minutes running time could have been easily trimmed to something around 90 minutes. There are certain points in that 132-minute marathon running time where things look forced, and the movie seems to go nowhere. Minus these parts, the movie would have garnered a lot more praise than it is getting now.

Final Verdict

Kissing Booth 2 is a mixed bag. If you aren’t looking for a very serious drama film to watch this weekend, then I would say it is worth taking a chance with the movie. Moreover, if you need to nurse the heartbreak from Kizie and Manny’s story, this is a great choice. There will be moments of laughter, fits of outrage, and moments of tears. You will take a trip back in time to your high school days, and that’s always fun, isn’t it?

What’s Next?

Before we go to what’s next, let’s see what’s before. Though ‘The Kissing Booth 2’ does not relate much to its prequel, if you want to enjoy Elle’s and Lee’s chemistry to the fullest, I would recommend you watch ‘The Kissing Booth’ first. Once you do that, you can better appreciate how Joey King and Jacob Ellordi have had to transform their characters over the summer.

Now moving on to the what’s next part, if Kissing Booth 2 made you crave for one more serving of high school rom-com, you can watch or rewatch these on Netflix: 

  • To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
  • The Perfect Date
  • The Half of It
  • Sierra Burgess is a Loser
  • To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You

To get out of the high school world, but very much in the rom-com genre:

  • Someone Great
  • Isn’t It Romantic
  • Always Be My Maybe
  • Set It Up

Else, if you prefer books to movies, you can read ‘The Kissing Booth 2: Going the Distance’ by Beth Reekles, the book the movie is based on.

We will be back soon with more reviews, listicles, and comparisons. Till then, happy watching. Oh, before you go, have you subscribed to our newsletter yet? If not, please do that to keep yourself updated about the latest movie, series, and book releases.

 

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