Monday, January 18, 2021

Movie Review: psych 2: Lassie Come Home

: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun to spend more time with Shawn, Gus, and the rest of the gang
Cons: Mostly minor, but fans won’t mind
The Bottom Line:
Hospital mys’try
psych gang together again
Great fun for their fans

“This Lassie Thing is the Perfect Reason to Not Think About Anything Real at All.”

I was a fan of psych during its original run, so I always had psych 2: Lassie Come Home on my radar.  Since I am finally getting over my aversion to streaming, it took me a little longer to watch it than I might have originally, but I’m glad I finally got to watch it.

The action mostly takes place back in Santa Barbara, the location where the series was set.  The town’s current chief of police, Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson), has been shot multiple times, and then suffered a stroke while in surgery.  While someone has been arrested for the shooting, his old partner, Juliet O’Hara (Maggie Lawson), doesn’t believe the confession and is conducting a secret, off the books, investigation.

But that’s not the only secret being kept.  You see, Lassiter thinks he is seeing stuff at the posh medical facility where he is recovering.  And that’s where Shawn Spencer (James Roday Rodriguez) and Burton Guster (Dule Hill) come in.  They are sneaking down to Santa Barbara from their new home in San Francisco as well to help him figure out what is going on.  Does it have anything to do with his shooting?

Let’s be honest here, fans never turned in to psych to watch a well plotted, complex mystery.  The mystery was always the excuse for Shawn and Gus’s antics.  And for that reason alone, fans will be happy to watch this movie again.  It perfectly recaptures the relationships we loved, and not just Shawn and Gus.  I will say that Shawn and Gus can get a bit tiring at times, but most of the time I was laughing at their antics.

Now, this isn’t to say that the mystery is irrelevant.  It does draw us in and reach a logical conclusion.  A couple of the twists are a bit abrupt, but it does all hang together.

Another thing this show was famous for was pop culture references.  Once again, they have worked them in perfectly.  Some are in your face meta (which is fun) and some are more subtle, but they are always fun.  The show used to focus on the 1980’s, but they had plenty of more recent ones here.

I made a point of mentioning earlier that the action takes place back in Santa Barbara.  Most of the characters are still living in San Francisco.  I will freely admit to rolling my eyes at how everyone acted like it was a couple hour drive instead of the multiple hour road trip required to drive between them.

This is the second reunion movie that has been done since the series ended.  Timothy Omundson had real life health problems just before the first one started filming.  It was great to see him back in action here, and I appreciate how they wrote his real life health issues into the mystery.

And the gang is all here.  They even work in Buzz McNab and Woody Strode as well as Karen Vick and Henry Spencer.  It truly is fantastic to see everyone again.

The chemistry from the entire cast is still amazing.  You can believe that the character’s relationships have continued off screen, and the cast appears to be having fun working together again.  There’s an impressive roster of guest stars as well, and they fit right in to the chaos that is psych.

Having said that, it would have been nice to have a few more reminders of where the characters are in their lives.  The movie assumes we remember how the series ended and what happened in the last movie.  I was always struggling to remember those details.  Yes, it’s on me, but it was a minor issue overall.

If you are a fan and trying to track the movie down, it is available on Peacock, NBC's streaming service.  I was able to watch the movie for free.  There were three minutes of commercials at the beginning, and then the movie uninterrupted.

Minor issues aside, it was fun to revisit the psych gang.  If you were a fan of the series, you’ll be glad you watched psych 2: Lassie Come Home.

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