Film Review: The Hangover Part II
(Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead!)
I’ll admit that I didn’t exactly go into the film with an open-mind. In fact, before the movie started I went into an impassioned diatribe about how stupid the film looked and how it would likely be the exact same film as the first one, except in a different location. Well, as it turns out, I pretty much hit the nail on the head. Which isn’t to say this is a horrible film, but Christ, couldn’t they at least tried to have been original?
This time, the Wolfpack heads to Thailand for the wedding of Stu (Ed Helms, a.k.a. Andy from The Office). The events of the first film have led Stu to take a rather cautious approach to the wedding. He vows off any sort of party in favor of a bachelor brunch and does his best to keep Allen (Zach Galifanakis) away from his wedding.
To everyone’s surprise, Stu’s plan goes awry. Allen gives the gang (plus Stu’s future brother in law Teddy) ruffied marshmallows and the next morning, Phil (Bradley Cooper) Stu, and Allen wake up in a hotel room with no memories of the events of the previous night. They spend the rest of the movie trying to find Teddy and to piece together what the hell happened.
The main draw of the original film was the chemistry between the three main characters. That chemistry is still there, although it’s not nearly as fresh. Phil seems even more detached than usual, and Allen has devolved into a border-line psychopath, with severe autism to boot. That’s not to say there aren’t funny lines and hilarious moments. But the whole thing just seems divorced from reality. There’s a moment when the gang dumps a dead body in an ice-box, but it’s back to business-as-usual a minute later. Another instance sees one of them having sex with some type of transgendered boy-lady. Also, Stu spends the entire film with a Mike Tyson-esque tatoo on his face, yet no one (not even his bride) seems that concerned about it.
I’m not saying that a comedy film has to be dead-on realistic, but shouldn’t it at least strive for realism? I felt one of the main draws of the first movie was that it seemed like something that could possibly happen in Las Vegas. The characters seemed like real friends having an unbelievably unlucky couple days. The Hangover: Part II just feels formulaic; like the writers had a checklist of highlights from the first movie and were making sure to hit all the high-spots for the sequel.
The Hangover: Part II is virtually a carbon copy of the first movie, but it is entertaining. If you can stomach the fact that the producers are getting rich off this unoriginal sequel, go see it. Or, just queue up the first one on Netflix and watch that. Either way, you’ll probably laugh.