To call "Would I Lie to You 2" a sequel wouldn't prepare you to how good it is, this is not a continuation but an improvement. The first film needed time to set the tone and the characters, to show the starting point of Eddie (Richard Anconina) and it sure didn't call for laughs. But in the second, there's no time to waste for exposition, everyone, and everything is settled, and the story takes off rapidly and efficiently. Time is money, right?
We meet Eddie, followed by Ivan (Bruno Solo) and Dov, Gad El Maleh replaced Vincent Elbaz in the role, he was THE rising star in 2001 and the only one who could replace the handsome Elbaz without distracting from the story. The business isn't doing well, and it's time to think big, to deal with the big players, the retail industry. Dov is reluctant but as a clear-sighted businessman, Eddie understands it's time to get out of the comfort zone and deal with a retailer, Denis Vierhouten, played by Daniel Prevost, an unequaled comedic actor when it comes to bad guys. and he sure is memorable in this one.
Meanwhile, Serge Benamou (Jose Garcia) is woken by his mother, an important phone call from his cousin Patrick Abitbol (Gilvert Melki). Gladys Cohen plays serge's mother, she was Dov's mother in the first, but her scene-stealing performance owned her a second apparition and she was given even more smile-inducing material in this one. After the film, she would become the ultimate Jewish loving mother of French cinema. Serge must take care of Patrick's girlfriend in his absence, he can use the Royce and take her wherever he wants (touching her is highly frowned upon), this is the kind of offer a Serge can't refuse. And what do you know the Rolls Royce allows him to make a good impression on the beautiful Shoshana (Elisa Tovati).
As for the little favor, well I won't spoil the way the evening ends but only reveal on one of my favorite exchanges in the film when Patrick cancels Serge's debt, probably lost in translation. Serge enthusiastically asks if he really starts from scratch, which can be literally translated as 'starting from zero', to which Patrick says 'no, we stay at zero'. Every important scene in "Would I Lie to You 2" ends with similar punch lines, another one involves a nasty prank call, with Serge again as the usual punching ball. The tone is really set after twenty minutes; these guys have their own problems but never at the expenses of friendship and having a good time.
But big problems start flowing when Serge tries to keep his wealthy profile to impress Shoshana, when Patrick goes to a trip to a L.A, he uses his car and house. but realizing that he blocked his account, he must resort to some illegal schemes with a small time crook named Willy, of course, it's only a matter of time before it backfires. Meanwhile the unfaithful Dov, kicked off the marital house, goes to L.A. with Patrick and lets Ivan keep an eye of Karine (Aure Atika). We see the problem coming, but this is nothing compared to what Eddie goes through. By dealing with a big player, he realizes that their scheming are in the same scale.
Eddie's contract is canceled because of defective goods, he loses all the money he invested, the forensic examination sides with Vierhounten right, it is obvious that the legal expert and Eddie's banker are parts of the schemes, so it's the downfall for Eddie who might welcome his third child, a son, in an empty house. The film is basically divided in three acts, the first one show everyone dealing with their private business alone, the second comes to a point where everything is jeopardized even their lives, but it's in the third act that the film unfolds its genius.
Indeed, "Would I Lie to You 2" is all about seeing things big, so it needed a bigger plot, literally, the greatest con-vengeance ever concocted since "The Sting". Eddie proves again his capability to strike back, but for that he needs to be credible in the first move, which means Patrick must start the game, he'll have to convince Denis to invest in some Tunisian low-price manufacturer. Dov will play the manager but they need a fourth player and this is Serge's finest hour opportunity, he's not given any part but the biggest of all, and the way he plays it again proves that sometimes in life, the more balls you show, the bigger the outcomes is.
Like the first one, "Would I Lie to You 2" doesn't question the notion of lying when it comes to opportunities, there's a moment where Eddie asks Serge why he didn't tell the truth to Shoshana, his answer shows that there's no cynicism or malice in these guys. They're just average men who're never as good and when they combine their forces, this time against their most redoubtable adversary, and the ending is even more emotionally rewarding because they've made a spectacular recovery, one they owed to the most underestimate of the group. In the end, they have more respect for each other, more self-esteem, like in a good coming-of-age story.
This is not just a wonderful sequel but a wonderful buddy comedy. Even the actors never have been as successful as when they played together In my review of Gad El Maleh's "Coco", I said that his humor relied too much on the play on words due to Mediterranean accents, in "Would I Le to You 2", there's only one based on that and it is hilarious, but the film also uses misunderstanding, visual gags, comedy of contrasts, with a good dose of satire, friendship, and naturally, business. Who said there was no friendship is business? Maybe the same schmuck who said money couldn't buy love.