The Hangover Part II, 2011.
Directed by Todd Phillips.
Starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, Jeffrey Tambor, Jamie Chung, Mason Lee, Paul Giamatti, Mike Tyson and Nick Cassavetes.
Phil, Alan and Doug jet to Thailand for Stu's wedding where his plan for a subdued pre-wedding brunch goes seriously awry.
A new location. A few new characters. Same old jokes.
I wasn’t one of the millions that rushed to cinemas to watch The Hangover as it looked a little too cheap and cheerful for me. I expected the same old same old in terms of story and thought the gags would be poor. However, on eventually watching it I was pleasantly surprised, enjoyed and admired it and have watched it several times since. This time around I decided to get to the cinema and see the follow up – The Hangover Part II.
The jist of the story isn’t too different from the original – someone is getting married, Stu (Ed Helms), Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zack Galifianakis), Doug (Justin Bartha) and; new to the Wolf pack, Teddy (Mason Lee) decide on a beer to celebrate this special occasion. Next they all wake up with no recollection of the night before and someone is missing! This time Stu is getting married, it’s set in Thailand and Teddy, Stu’s fiancés little brother, is the one missing. Having gone to bed early, Doug is the only one not to wake up in Bangkok with no memory of the night before. Cue a mad dash around Bangkok looking for the 16 year old prodigal genius and colliding with Russian gangsters, a smoking monkey and a lady boy with a nice cock. There’s also the hilarious emergence of super camp international gangster Chow (Ken Jeong).
As their search leads them down the dirty back streets of Bangkok and the previous nights antics are relived as well as the consequences of their actions coming back to bite them on the arse the race against time hots up. One liners, gags, random madness and anarchy follow them on their travels and they all learn a little more than they really wanted to. Especially Stu. Alan once again is a comedy gem with every line of dialogue, every little shuffle of his porky body and even his t-shirt having me in stitches.
Bangkok oozes its dirty and enigmatic energy into the film also and is such a great city to shoot a film in. Rich with cinematic backdrops, interesting places and people the film lends a certain seedy element from its gracious host. Elephants walking down the middle of a main road, streets lined with neon girly bars and the most beautiful view from the rooftop restaurant of Lebau at State Tower. With so much colour and life filling the streets of Bangkok it makes for great viewing alone.
The setting is totally different and more exotic, some new characters are introduced and the twists and turns are a little different. But… on the whole it followed the same formula as the first. Almost identically. Stu is disfigured. Tick. A stolen animal. Tick. A standoff and exchange with a mobster type. Tick. They think all is lost and call the girls, but then someone has an idea. Tick. And then they find Teddy in the last place they would think to look. Where they started. Tick. Someone finds a camera full of photos at the end and they vow to look at them once and then delete them forever. Tick. And as with the first the majority of the comedy comes from Alan’s idiotic comments, childlike mentality and generally stumbling around. Although this time out it was the main and sometimes only source of comedy. It all felt a little too familiar. And this time it isn’t new, different and bucking the trend.
It all did feel the same, but different. The Hangover Part II is The Hangover’s identical, but Asian, twin. And that was a shame. It had the potential to be very funny and at times was, but the sheer amount of similarities or plot points stolen from the first film cheapened Part II. If not for Alan the film would have been poor.
The Hangover Part II is average with a few good gags. And that is a pity.
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