By Ken Tucker
September 06, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT

A Very Brady Sequel

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The most impressive thing about A Very Brady Sequel is the shrewd care that has once again been taken to evoke the look and tone of the endlessly repeated, ultimate ’70s family sitcom. The Brady Bunch sequel cooks up a hasty plot — Tim Matheson (Drop Dead Fred) tries to steal a priceless relic owned by the Bradys, who think it’s a cute knickknack. Matheson is stunned by the naivete of Ma and Pa Brady (Shelley Long capturing Florence Henderson’s cheerful primness; Gary Cole magnificently achieving Robert Reed’s blissful smugness) as well as by the Brady kids.

Foremost among the kids are Christine Taylor’s innocently sexy Marcia and Christopher Daniel Barnes’ innocently horny Greg. (Warning: Sequel, which plays up incest and the pleasures of psychedelic mushrooms, may be too…heady for kids.) No, the acting — startlingly good for a cheeseball comedy — isn’t the weak stuff in Sequel. Rather, it’s a decline in solid laugh lines from its predecessor, and a misleading ad campaign that lets you think they are going to spend a lot of time in Hawaii, like the TV Bradys did in their legendary three-part Hawaiian episode.

But Zsa Zsa Gabor and Rosie O’Donnell put in a conjoined cameo that is guffaw-worthy. And one subplot involves both Magnum, P.I. and Gilligan’s Island with gratifying complexity. A Very Brady trilogy is suddenly not undesirable. B-

A Very Brady Sequel

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