‘Mean Girls 2’: recycling Plastic

Remember your first new car. Let’s call her Blue. She was there when you kissed Aaron Samuel and also when you committed social suicide and joined the Mathletes. She was cute and funny and taught you things about growing up, peer pressure, self-respect and female empowerment. She’s also the most quotable car in existence. Grool, right?

Seven years later, you’re friends wonder why Blue’s still running. Her bright pink paint has faded to a rusted salmon. Her high school passengers have grown up and graduated, moving on to college and the professional world.

But Blue still exists in the same used car lot called high school. Her companions are the “muscle cars who think they own the world and check every passing vehicle; smart cars who don’t fit in; the I’m-so-cutesy-I-might-shake-off-my-tube-top cars; the high-performance, high maintenance sports cars,” and her new new-girl driver, Jo Mitchell (Meaghan Martin).

Of course, car analogies aside, the “Blue” I’m referring to is the “Mean Girls” (2004) franchise — built on the insecure feelings of high schoolers and Tina Fey’s hilariously quotable one-liners. Queen Fey wrote a “fetching” cult classic, which still resonates with the girls who grew up with the movie. But while nostalgia may bring us back to North Shore High, “Mean Girls 2” (2011) is just a recycled piece of plastic with few redeeming features.

The plot, which was written by Cliff Ruby, Elana Lesser and Allison Schroeder, parallels that of the original. Jo and her NASCAR mechanic dad, Rod (Linden Ashby), move to Evanston, Ill., for her senior year of high school. There, Jo befriends the wealthy, social outcast Abby Hanover (Jennifer Stone), and becomes enemies of popular Plastics Mandi Weatherly (Maiara Walsh), Hope Plotkin (Nicole Gale Anderson), and Chastity Meyer (Claire Holt).

Buffy and Willow While Martin and Stone are likable heroines (they have a Buffy and Willow vibe going on), the movie is filled with awful pranks, nonsensical plot holes and forgettable lines. Mandi inadvertently sets off a new school-wide fashion trend with a failed prank on Jo. Jo dyes Hope’s face green and outs Chastity’s hookup spots in retaliation. It’s a petty riff of a lovable franchise that you wonder why the made-for-TV movie was approved in the first place.

After all, everyone knows that one of the worst investments that you can make is on a car. And while cars might be fun ride when they’re shiny and new, “Mean Girls 2” is a cheap and rusted piece of plastic with trouble starting.

“Mean Girls 2” was directed by Melanie Mayron, and written by Allison Schroeder, Cliff Ruby and Elana Lesser. The film won a 2011 Razzie Award for “Worst Ensemble.”