Movie Review: ‘The Hangover Part 2′
Been There, Done That
Hey, anyone know where I can apply to write the screenplay for The Hangover 3? It’s got to be the best gig around town, because all I have to do is take The Hangover script, cross out some stuff, and insert different locations and names. That’s what they did here. Sign me up for a quick buck.
I can’t recall a more blatant retread of a movie than The Hangover 2. Its storyline is so flagrantly lazy that it flips the bird to concepts like creativity and originality. That being said, I’m ashamed to admit that I laughed, and I laughed often. My carefully constructed facade of rational intellect was betrayed by my inner jackass. How embarrassing.
This time around the Wolf Pack heads out to Thailand for Stu’s wedding. After sharing a few cocktails on the beach, the trio (who have been joined by Stu’s future brother-in-law) awaken in a dingy, dirty hotel room smack dab in the middle of Bangkok, sans brother-in-law. There’s a severed finger to contend with, as well as an ornery monkey rocking a Rolling Stones jean vest. As the minutes count down to the wedding ceremony, the guys try to piece together what happened as they frantically search for their missing friend.
The film is decidedly darker and more sinister than its predecessor, and the gritty streets of Bangkok serve the tone well. The city is well known for having a seedy underbelly, and director Todd Phillips uses that to his full advantage. There’s more wang on display than you’re likely to find on a nude beach, what with Ken Jeong (playing Mr. Chow) repeatedly displaying his diminutive goods, and she-male strippers thrown into the mix for sheer shock value.
The cast is serviceable. Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Jeong reprise their roles from the original. Paul Giamatti makes a brief, but satisfying appearance as a shady crime boss. Galifianakis’s self professed “stay at home son” character amps up the crazy; this time he is threatened by the addition of Stu’s future brother-in-law to the group. At first his psycho behavior is amusing, but it quickly grows tiring. That’s kind of how the whole movie feels.
Without the unpredictability of a fresh premise, the film seems a bit tedious. There is just no way to recapture the novelty of the original, and it seems the filmmakers didn’t even bother trying. Everything is a tad more dirty, a bit more raunchy, and a little more over the top. That does not necessarily add up to a superior film. Sure, you’ll laugh, but you’ll feel a little tawdry for doing so.
If you are a rabid fan of The Hangover, this film should suffice just fine. Just prepare for a lingering case of Déjà Vu.
Rating 3 “she-boners” out of 5
The Hangover Part 2 is rated R. Directed by Todd Phillips. Starring Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Ken Jeong, Paul Giamatti, and Mason Lee.