All the way back in 2020, there was this comedy movie called The Binge wherein a not-too-distant future society outlawed all drugs and alcohol except for one night a year. It was kind of like The Purge, only decent parody movies kind of ended with Hot Shots! Part Deux, so its tie-ins to anything real were tenuous at best.
Still, with a cast including Righteous Gemstones alum Skyler Gisondo, Stranger Things/Booksmart funnyman Eduardo Franco and Saved By the Bell reboot star Dexter Darden, it was...well, it was OK as high school stoner comedies go. The new Christmas-adjacent Hulu original sequel dubbed The Binge 2: It’s a Wonderful Binge, however, cannot claim the same. It mostly just feels bad, even if the first film’s writer, Jordan VanDina, is still on board, as its director and writer, no less.
We jump forward a couple years (Gisondo, wisely, jumps ship altogether, likely to be in better movies) to learn Hags (Darden) and Andrew (Franco) are living their sad little lives in their drug-free town, only The Binge has now been moved to Christmas for some reason. Hags doesn’t want to get fucked up this time, though, because he’s gonna ask his girlfriend to get married just as soon as her dad (Tim Meadows) gives his permission. Andrew wants to hang at home with his two dads, his mom and her lover (played by the incomparably weird Steve Little, who represents one of the few decent parts of the movie), but when he realizes his family doesn’t seem to care about him, he decides to George Bailey himself right off a bridge. He survives the fall and meets Angel (not an angel; Danny Trejo), whose can-do attitude and angel dust stash really put things into perspective for our hero. A bunch of other dumb shit happens, and everyone learns the true meaning of Christmas. And drugs.
Despite numerous small appearances from comedy champions like Meadows, Kaitlin Olson, Paul Scheer and Nick Swardson, The Binge 2 feels more like a contractual obligation than a film anyone wanted to make. Like, if Hulu had learned of some weird accounting error that forced it to shoot one last binge movie for tax purposes, that would make more sense than anyone wanting to do this thing. The drug jokes land flat, the actors are barely trying, the Christmas of it all feels tacked-on at best. Maybe there’s some redemptive quality for stoners hidden in there, maybe there’s a couple laughs when Meadows or Little deliver a line. The rest of it is just sad and weird and Franco is straight up too good for this, as is just about everyone else. Don’t bother. Please don’t bother.
+Generally very funny people are somehow in this thing
-They don’t get to be very funny
The Binge 2: It’s a Wonderful Binge
Directed by VanDina
With Franco, Darden, Olson, Trejo, Scheer, Meadows and Little
Hulu, TV-MA, 98 min.