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Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit


‘…music is the one thing this sequel gets right…’

The wheels don’t entirely come off the Sister Act franchise in this rushed sequel, but the vehicle certainly isn’t carefully driven; even in fast buck Hollywood, producing a sequel that’s in theatres within a year of the first film seems like a particularly craven move, and it comes at the cost of coherence. A script about the life of music teacher Iris Stevenson was swiftly retooled as a Sister Act sequel, which can’t have been a great deal for the subject. I’d have been well excited if I thought a biopic was being made about me, but I’m not sure I’d be thrilled when I found out that my project was getting a make-over as the next Sister Act movie…

‘We don’t have the BALLS for that’ says one of the cavorting nuns from Deloris Van Cartier’s flock, but Bill Duke’s film not only has balls, it frequently actually is balls, at least in terms of credibility. Sister Act 2 dumps the gangster plot that drove the first film and comes up with some shonky logic that’s hard to explain. We open with Deloris playing a massive stage show in Las Vegas, starring in a huge spectacular that Lady Gaga might have found OTT. The Reverend Mother (Maggie Smith, suspiciously rarely in the same frame as most of the cast) asks Deloris to go back undercover to teach in San Francisco, and Deloris accepts. This is hard to accept, since Deloris doesn’t have any reason that she has to disguise her identity at all; surely she could just go back and teach as herself.

But movies gotta movie, and Sister Act 2 goes through the traditional gears as Deloris wins over some tough high-school kids and reveals their music talent, the kids including up and coming star Lauren Hill. Yes, this movie is literally about the mis-education of Lauren Hill; music is the one thing this sequel gets right, including Goldberg mashing up James Brown’s Get Up Offa That Thing and Dancing In the Streets, O Happy Day and a rousing end-credits performance of Aint’ No Mountain High Enough. It’s just the rest of the movie that falls short; I’d like to speak to the algo in charge that felt what this film needed was some James Coburn slapstick comedy, but that’s why we get as we develop a fairly miserable sub-plot about closing down the church.

Of course, the church isn’t closed; those responsible change their minds when they hear how sweetly Deloris’s choir sing, which raises some questions about what criteria their decisions are based on. And although Deloris mentions’ Run DMC and Big Daddy Kane as her favourite artists, there’s not much urban or modern in this film; it’s a knock-off of the first film that coasts on the star performance while most other elements come up short. Never mind, Sister Act 3: Kicking The Habit is due next year 2024. O Happy Day indeed.

Have you, like me, been left confused by the undercover status afforded Deloris in the Sister Act films? If you have, feel free to add your voice to those in the comments section below. All names and addresses will be considered confidential and will not be passed directly to authorities.


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  1. i enjoyed both films. You always go into a sequel expecting less. Very few sequels – and we know who they are – have topped the original. But this was such darned good fun it was hard to resist. Thumbs up!

    • The sequel still carries the goodwill from the first movie, even if it’s not so inspired second time around…

  2. I know I’ve seen this, and yet when you described the “plot” (such as it is), I have no zero memory. You’ve inspired me to revisit the first one, but not so much this one.

    Pretty sure that is the correct answer 😉

    • It IS the correct answer! The first one works, despite some wayward plotting. This one, well, the musical bits are great, but it’s not the full rounded experience the first one offers…

  3. Wow, within a year eh? I guess they were really(!!!!) trying to capitalize on the first films popularity. I’m kind of surprised they haven’t just rebooted the whole thing and punched out 5 or 6 of these in the last 3 years…

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