Setting aside the searing themes of pics like “Pretty Village, Pretty Flame,” scripter-director Srdjan Dragojevic returns to his pure comic roots with the hilariously hyper “We Are Not Angels 2.” Sequel to the 1992 Yugoslav B.O. smash is a raucous look at a swinging dad who freaks out when his 15-year-old daughter becomes catnip to the opposite sex. Non-stop guffaws and a no-holds-barred performance by lead Nikola Kojo is keeping local B.O. at boffo levels, but international play will be hampered by preconceived ideas of Serbian comedies. Remake potential is high.
Original installment had promiscuous ladies’ man Nikola (Kojo) won over to matrimony by pregnant fling Marina (Milena Pavlovic). Now, 15 years later, no one’s surprised the couple aren’t together. Nikola is still permanently stuck in adolescent mode, virtually wearing out the condom dispenser next to his bed.
Though hardly a hands-on dad, Nikola has a good relationship with his tomboy daughter, Sophia (Mirka Vasiljevic), whom he manages to see between his sexual escapades. By mutual consent, he’s to look after Sophia while Marina is on vacation; but just before Marina leaves, she arranges a makeover for her daughter that transforms the sweats-sporting adolescent into a nubile, midriff-bearing hottie.
Nikola’s shocked by the new look, mostly because she’s now exactly the type of girl he’s been screwing. He sets out to protect her from the onslaught of horny boys lining up outside their door. An especially amusing fantasy sequence has Nikola barricading the house as legions of underwear-clad zombies lay siege to Sophia’s virginity.
None of these themes is new, but Dragojevic revels in satirizing the vulgarity of his characters and their situation. As in the original pic, he has an effeminate Angel (Uros Duric) and a manic Devil (Srdjan Todorovic) looking over Nikola. Both comment on the action and guide characters toward either sinful behavior or purity, as the two antagonists amuse themselves with musical numbers and arguments about film genres.
In every way superior to the earlier “We Are Not Angels,” pic takes enormous pleasure in sending up Serbian stereotypes, and maintains an almost Fellini-esque appreciation for the over-the-top and absurd. Dragojevic never crosses the line into cutesy, keeping a constant edge of wicked humor throughout the tight running time.
Kojo walks off with comic honors as Nikola, an infinitely lovable bad boy who’s now older and saggier; but the rest of the cast, many encoring their roles, keeps pace with his manic style. Kudos as well to Marko Glusac’s breakneck editing, and the art and costume designers’ gloriously garish conceptions.