HOUSE PARTY 2 lacks the vibrant color, rich use of music and acute observation of black suburbia that distinguished the original film, directed and produced by Reginald and Warrington Hudlin. It nonetheless attempts more depth and scope than its predecessor, while still providing a funky good time. The slim story concerns the disappearance--courtesy of Play (Christopher Martin)--of $10,000 raised by Kid's (Christopher Reid) church congregation to put him through school. Though largely non-musical, HOUSE PARTY 2 busts loose in a climactic outlaw pajama party to replace the missing funds. Apart from some clever editing and sound effects--doors slamming THUD! on Kid's scholastic hopes, records scratching to underline coitus interruptus, and the like--the film looks rather tackily pieced together, with its grainy photography and indifferent lighting. Storywise, however, it's the stronger of the two films, as the college background lends itself to a wealth of engaging characters and entertaining references to black culture and history. Surprisingly devoid of athletic pursuits, there's an emphasis on book-cracking and a freshness of observation that reaches far beyond the rah-rah college musicals of the 40s, Spike Lee's agenda-filled SCHOOL DAZE, or television's designer-dressed "A Different World."