If you were one of the millions who laughed along to the runaway success of Table for Six, you’ve probably been just as eager as I was for its highly-anticipated sequel. Sunny Chan’s original comedy was a revelation, using a single dinner party setting to showcase the stellar cast’s chemistry as they navigated relationship drama. It even spawned a stage adaptation!
But as much as I loved reuniting with the chaotic crew, Table for Six 2 has giant shoes to fill. Without giving too much away, the basic premise throws our main couples into wedding planning pandemonium, expanding the scope but losing some intimacy. Still, with most of my favorite characters causing a ruckus as they ambivalently prep their nuptials, I’m hopeful the magic remains. While Dayo Wong is sorely missed, the sequel contains enough built-in chaos to distract us, at least for its 133 minute run. Now let’s dive in and see if this follow-up can serve up the same winning recipe!
More Weddings, More Problems
If the first film thrived on dinner party tension, Table for Six 2 doubles down by throwing multiple weddings into the mix. We catch up with half-brothers Bernard and Lung,still joined at the hip with their respective long-term girlfriends. After staging a fake spontaneous wedding proposal to impress the media (oh, boys), the brothers somehow find themselves on an accelerated march down the aisle.
As you can imagine, chaos reigns. Bernard and Monica’s Ocean Park carnival ceremony battles bad omens left and right. We see everything from stray sharks to surprise pregnancies, all while Bernard struggles to reconcile his troubled childhood. Meanwhile, Lung and Josephine plow through with their hotel banquet despite a missing ring, unreliable family members, and about a hundred other mishaps.
That’s already plenty of mess for one movie, but there’s also a third wheel storyline thrown in: Meow locks eyes with pop idol Mark Gor, leaving me curious if an unexpected new romance might bloom.
With breakneck speed, botched weddings, and boatloads of surprises, Table for Six 2 makes its predecessor seem downright tranquil. But even through the absurd ups and downs, the genuine affection between these kooky couples still shines through.
Familiar Faces and Fresh Talent
It warms my heart to see so many familiar faces reuniting for the sequel. Louis Cheung and Charm Man Chan effortlessly step back into their roles as chaotic half-brothers Bernard and Lung. Despite expanded budgets and locations, they keep things grounded with their easy, brotherly chemistry. Of course, their better halves nearly steal the show – both Stephy Tang and Ivana Wong shine as Monica and Josephine, layering heart and laughs into every scene.
I’d be remiss without mentioning Dayo Wong’s absence. While the brilliant comedian is sorely missed, the film pivots cleverly by introducing rising star Jeffrey Ngai as Monica’s long lost half-brother Mark Gor. Ngai positively dazzles with charm, holding his own against the antics of his elder costars. And pop idol Lin Min-chen continues her scene-stealing turn as social media maven Meow.
The returning cast truly make the film sing, overcoming an overstuffed script with sheer personality power. And the newcomers mesh perfectly to keep the momentum going. Even when the chaos reaches absurd levels, this ensemble always keeps me invested. After two films together, they exude the warmth and rapport of an actual family.
Big Venues, Messy Messages
While the intimate original explored family dynamics within a single setting, the sprawling sequel tackles more complex themes on an ambitious scale. We delve deeper into notions of commitment, both to relationships and personal growth. But the expanded scope comes at a cost – with lavish weddings hopping across Hong Kong, the careful character work gets a bit lost.
At its core, Table for Six 2 wrestles with ambivalence – particularly Bernard and Lung’s hesitation around marriage, despite being with their partners for ages. The script lightly pokes at their phobias, from childhood baggage to simple allergic reactions to wedded bliss. Unfortunately, with a million zany plot threads competing for attention, we only gloss the surface of these compelling emotional barriers.
The men’s female counterparts shine brighter in exploring themes of obligation, independence and trust against the backdrop of matrimony. But again, there’s simply too much ground to cover to do any topic true justice. In choosing quantity over quality, Table for Six 2 scales up the chaos but waters down the substance of what captivated audiences initially. Still, moments emerge between the clamor that recapture the poignant insight and witty charm that defined the first film.
Flashes of Brilliance Amid the Bloat
It’s clear no expense was spared amping up the scale and spectacle for the sequel. We globe-trot across lavish venues and set pieces, from a sweeping carnival wedding to a luxurious hotel banquet hall. And the chemistry between leads remains irresistibly lively, even when the script trips over itself.
Especially impressive is Stephy Tang’s emotional transformation – her moving backstory provides some of the most poignant moments. Scene by scene, she continues her bold artistic reinvention with incredible sensitivity and depth.
But for all the flashy wrapping, Table for Six 2 often feels hollow at its core, like a perfectly decorated wedding cake with no substance inside. In straining to top the first film’s intimate magic, the sequel tries to serve too much at once, leaving little room for nuanced storytelling. Still, the sterling cast and glitzy production often provide just enough sweetness and spice to satisfy loyal fans. I only wish the richer ingredients of the original hadn’t fallen by the wayside amidst the madcap sprawl.
A Mixed Bag with Heart
At the end of the day, Table for Six 2 falls somewhere between warmed-over leftovers and a fresh new dish. It never quite captures the original’s magic – the script is overstuffed, frenetic pace inhibits deeper themes, and Wong’s absence stings. But glitzy new settings and absurdist situations still entertain, even if the sequel ends up feeling a bit hollow.
The returning ensemble provide enough emotional continuity and comedic chops to mostly overcome the messy script. And some newcomers leave strong impressions, especially Ngai’s burst of exuberant charm. So while it doesn’t fully satiate my craving, Table for Six 2 still delivers modest enjoyment for devoted fans.
I’d suggest watching with modest expectations – don’t expect the meticulous flavors that made the first film such a gem. But for a passing bit of frothy fun with old friends, the sequel temporarily hits the spot. Just maybe save room for better things – because nothing here will truly stick to your ribs or leave a lasting flavor behind like that lightning in a bottle original.
Table for Six 2
Overstuffed but amusing, Table for Six 2 can't fully recapture the original's intimacy and wit. Still, an effervescent ensemble and lavish production provide superficial fun for undemanding fans.
- Most of original cast returns with great chemistry
- Production values are ambitious and lavish
- Some emotional and comedic highlights from Stephy Tang and Jeffrey Ngai
- Entertaining at times despite messy script
- Overstuffed plot lacks focus and depth
- Dayo Wong's absence keenly felt
- Fails to capture intimacy and wit of original
- Themes around relationships and commitment underexplored