This is a very interesting idea with an all star, but older cast that really sings a song directly to its core audience. I applaud this whole idea, as this is one of the few franchises that targets a clearly older demo, and gives them something of real quality that is uniquely theirs. I love it when Hollywood makes movies for all kinds of people. They make far enough for 18 year olds.
This is the storyline that takes place in India, where a bunch of real seniors from England have found a new life at this wonderful old hotel to begin the newest, and maybe final chapter of their lives. This wonderful place and idea is the brainchild of a young Indian idealist, who has big plans to expand this whole idea throughout India, and beyond.
These older folks do find a new life, and are in essence born again in a far off distant land way different than what they have known before. This story is so unique, it can't help score big points with me. Although this does not speak directly to me, I can see how it can to those in their seemingly golden years. The writing is spectacular, and the performances are as terrific as the first.
This installment takes place a few months after the first one left off. And the story lines are rolling forward nicely. This sequel in fairness may not be quite as charming as the first, and does have a slightly different feel to it. This has a tendency to be a little more direct in addressing in realities that could be affecting these aging characters, in a setting that isn't reality at all. But for me, this was really strong on story, and lets out character grow with us. You can't make the same movie as the first, that ship has sailed. Most times franchises don't get that. You can't make the same move again and expect a great reception.
Being honest, this is a bit too long. Some of the scenes, especially towards the end as too drawn out and could have been made in a more tidy fashion. This is not a true comedy, but it is funny and fun at times, and this would have been better served at about 15 minutes less, but it's not a deal breaker.
The main cast again with Judi Dench, Dev Patel, Maggie Smith, and Bill Nighy is strong. But they also welcome Richard Gere here and he is a nice addition, and looks amazingly comfortable here. This is splendidly written, well directed and brilliantly acted by seasoned actors who get it. This is a gem franchise that is set up for more ahead.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Different from the first, and that is its strength. Very entertaining, real, and fun.