The Odd Couple 2 review

That Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau claim The Odd Couple 2 is better than the original means they're either playing the publicity game or they've gone senile since they first appeared as mismatched flatmates Felix and Oscar.

If it's the latter, then they're not the only ones who've lost it. The producers who bankrolled this sorry sequel must have been crazy to ever think there'd be an audience for it. Felix and Oscar were great characters who could easily have withstood a couple more hours on screen. But that was three decades ago and the multiplex generation who form the bulk of today's ticket buyers have probably never heard of them. Couple that with an appalling script and you have one of the dumbest sequels in the history of Dumb Sequeldom.

The man responsible for the duff screenplay is original scriptwriter Neil Simon, but like Lemmon and Matthau, his wits seem to have deserted him here. How else could you explain a lame-brain plot in which both are thrown together en route to a wedding in some Californian town? It's not the idea that's bad, more the way in which a promising start (Matthau sarcastically quipping with his new poker buddies; Lemmon having an allergy attack on a plane) rapidly degenerates into the worst kind of ludicrous, cringeworthy farce.

Cars explode, people drop dead, our OAP heroes keep winding up at the same hicksville police station on phoney charges, and are even hijacked at gunpoint by the angry boyfriends of two rock chicks they've hit on in a bar. By the time they finally reach the wedding, any resemblance to the Felix and Oscar we knew and loved has vanished. Moviegoers with any sense will have done the same, because all you have here is more Grumpy Old Men.

Somehow we knew this would be bad, especially coming so late after the original. But we didn't expect it to be quite so terrible. Rent or buy the first one to see why it ranks as a comedy classic and avoid this crass follow-up like the plague.

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