Though it’s rarely easy to outdo an original with a sequel, The Kissing Booth 2 star Joey King believes the new Netflix film does exactly that. The follow-up to the most rewatched Netflix Original movie from 2018 picks up right where its predecessor left off, following the lives of Elle (King) and Lee (Joel Courtney) as they navigate their senior year of high school, jealousy, and of course, the events of their annual kissing booth. In the first movie, we saw Elle fall for and subsequently begin dating Lee’s hunky older brother, Noah (Jacob Elordi). Here, the couple must dodge the plague of a long-distance relationship, and well as resist the urge to fall in love with their other classmates.
When The Kissing Booth 2 was released on July 24, both it and its predecessor immediately skyrocketed onto Netflix’s new top-10 feature, where the streaming giant regularly lists its most popular viewing options. Had this widget been around in 2018 for the first Kissing Booth, its everlasting mainstream popularity hints that it would’ve made the cut as well. There is still debate on which film is superior, but the star of the sequel clearly prefers The Kissing Booth 2.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, King believes that the second film is a significant improvement from the first. She explained, “This sequel, if I may say so myself, I think is better than the first movie… We wanted to give fans something to remember, something that is even bigger and better than the movie that they fell in love with initially, something that exceeded all expectations and still remained true to the absolute fun, loving, ridiculously silly nature of the first movie.” Continuing, she noted, “I kind of think that we might have hit it out of the part or whatever.“
While the two Kissing Booth movies have no doubt become popular as indicated above, the reviews for the film say something different. Both films have gotten lackluster scores on Rotten Tomatoes, with the original receiving 17% and the sequel currently sitting at 27%. And though King mentioned that she and her castmates wished to deliver something memorable, the film has been overwhelmingly received as a serviceable product only to those who loved the first Kissing Booth and longed for more as soon as its credits rolled. Anyone else might be better served to keep scrolling, perhaps to To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, a film that follows a similar approach, yet achieved much better results (and also has a highly anticipated third movie on the way).
Regardless of the difference in opinion between fans and critics, Netflix has found itself another hit. In fact, the streaming service was so confident in The Kissing Booth 2 that they secretly filmed The Kissing Booth 3 without fans knowing. Filming another sequel before even seeing fans’ reactions to the second film was a bold move on Netflix’s part, but it seems to have turned out in their favor. King is of course going to support the film that she stars in, but her comments seem to ring true to what Netflix attempted to do with The Kissing Booth 2.
Next: Kissing Booth 2 v To All the Boys 2: Which Netflix Romcom Sequel Is Better
Source: The Hollywood Reporter