Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit

Most sequels go the way of Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo or Speed 2: Cruise Control. Some, when you get that delicious alignment of talent, inspiration, and a dose of gonzo, take the Gremlins 2: The New Batch path. Sister Act 2 – a strange, beautiful, hilarious movie – belongs in the latter category.

It was a different world when the Sister Act franchise arrived in cinemas in the early 90′s. We had no idea that Whoopi Goldberg would one day helm The View, while Harry Potter‘s Minerva McGonagal was just a twinkle in Maggie Smith’s eye. Deloris (Whoopi)’s singing career is soaring in Vegas, is recruited by Smith for a classic “one last ride” rejoin the nuns in rescuing a declining San Francisco public school from closure. Fish-out-of-water hijinks ensue, while a lurid batch of musical numbers – including arrangements of Marvin Gaye and Supremes tunes – are exemplary of the ambitious, entrepreneurial cinema of the era. Oh, and it also launched the careers of Lauryn Hill and Jennifer Love Hewitt! Director Bill Duke (who’d helmed episodes of Miami Vice and a number of hard-boiled crime flicks, in between acting turns in Car Wash and Predator) notched a historical touchstone by being the first African American to helm a blockbuster sequel – and doing so with bravura style.

Dir. Bill Duke, 1993, 35mm, 107 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!