For years, Lindsay Lohan has been calling for a Mean Girls sequel; however, I doubt this is what the actress had in mind. For those of you who’s been unaware, a direct-to-DVD sequel was released seven years after the first film. That means there’s no Cady Heron, Regina George, and her followers Gretchen “Fetch” Wieners and Karen Smith. The only person that pops up is Principal Duvall. Since Tina Fey has absolutely nothing to do with this sequel, that also means that the sly wit, strong character development, and great acting also aren’t present. Mean Girls 2 is pretty much the first film, but dumber, lazier, and laughably bad. Why did I watch this meaningless cash-grab? Well, hot Cheetos doesn’t pay for themselves. Let’s start off with our protagonist Jo, who plays the stereotypical “I’m not like every girl” character. You know, the sort of chick that would rather fix your tailpipe than play with Barbie dolls. And just in case you’re too dumb to understand that Jo is not like most girls, the film makes sure to beat that message over your head thanks to sexist male characters. For example, when Jo first meets her shop teacher, he automatically assumes that she needs directions to home economics. You know, because she’s a girl and her duties are to cook, clean, and slave over a hot stove. Worry not, Jo corrects the teacher by calling out the sexist comment and enrolling in shop class. After all, she’s not like every girl. This is one of the core problems of Mean Girls 2. It never feels that the writers trust that the audience is smart enough to understand certain stereotypes or messages that the movie is delivering, so any subtlety is removed from the film. Characters say what they’re thinking and act out the one-dimensional trait that the film defines them as.
Cady was also the “not like every girl” stereotype; however, that was due to the fact that she was a girl from Africa that was homeschooled. Cady felt like a genuine outcast because she wasn’t used to the school environment; Plus, that wasn’t Cady’s only notable thing as a human being. Lindsay Lohan’s character had layers that showcased that she was a decent person until her slow transformation into a Regina George clone. Not only is Jo a bland and inauthentic character, but she’s not a good protagonist. One of the main plot points of the film is that Jo is being paid by Abby Hanover’s parents to be her friend. Thus, she is playing with an innocent girl’s emotions (because Abby doesn’t know) for her selfish needs. How can I root for someone who’s manipulating a person’s emotions for cash? Believe it or not, Jo is not the worst character in the film. It’s the new version of The Plastics. They’re the exact definition of the “mean girl” stereotype. Again, the film has no subtlety behind it, so Mandi – the Regina George of the film – is pretty much a high school douchebag. That’s it. There’s no layers around her character whatsoever. I hate to keep comparing the first film to this, but Regina George wasn’t a cunt to Cady 24/7. George was definitely a mean girl, but we saw different sides of her character, and there isn’t even one scene where she uses bullying tactics on Cady.
Don’t get me wrong, she was manipulative and self-centered, but Regina was a charming thief with her evil intentions never out in full display. Mandi is none of that, thus you don’t get any of the character development that was vital to making Regina George such a memorable antagonist. Same thing with the Gretchen and Karen of the film. They have one trait, and the film does nothing more than that. Mean Girls 2 feels like it was meant for the Disney Channel; however, the PG-13 rating meant that the network opted to not showcase the film. The plot is extremely pedestrian as you can see everything coming a mile away. Despite this essentially being the same as the first film, the storytelling and themes feel like they were lost in translation. After a childish back-and-forth between Mandi and Jo, she takes over Mandi’s spot as queen bee. However, the “development” is sloppy and barely existent unlike the first film. We only know that Jo is turning into Mandi because Diego points it out. Oh, and if you’re wondering, Tim Meadows doesn’t do anything of note in this film. He’s just there to justify the Mean Girls 2 title. The sequel doesn’t get a pass because it’s a straight-to-DVD movie. Trick ‘r Treat is pretty damn good. Hell, Hostel Part III is another good film. Mean Girls 2 shouldn’t exist. It doesn’t add anything to the Mean Girls canon and it’s a waste of time. This is no disrespect to the filmmakers and actors of the movie; however, I’m not going to hold back on what’s likely the final film in the Mean Girls saga.