Director: Todd Phillips
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Mason Lee, Ken Jeong, Paul Giamatti, Jamie Chung, Sasha Barrese
What is different? What originality is presented in 'The Hangover Part II'? Nothing. What is funny? What raunchy laughs are baited by 'The Hangover Part II'? Lots. Plenty. Enough to satisfy fans of the first film. This sequel is a prime example of playing it safe (and whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, I shall remain neutral). The formula is EXACTLY the same...and when I say EXACTLY the same, I mean right down to the plot-shocking events (each of which I could match up perfectly with the corresponding events from the first film). Nonetheless, 'The Hangover Part II' is very funny. The formula is the same. But the jokes (primarily the dialogue), while told in the same raunchy obscene sense of humor, are new.
Plot Synopsis (Possible Spoilers Below):
It has been 2 years since the events that went down in Las Vegas. Stu (Helms) has found his soul-mate in a Thai-American woman, who has convinced him to have their wedding in her home country. For the rest of the boys, this means it's time to have another bachelor party. For Stu, it's time to have a safe pre-wedding brunch at IHOP. Despite Phil (Cooper) and Doug's (Bartha) discontent with the lack of partying, they still accompany Stu to Thailand, but not before they convince Stu to let Alan (Galifianakis) tag along for the ride. A few days before the wedding is set to take place, Phil, Stu, Alan, and Doug join Stu's fiancee Lauren (Chung) and her family for pre-wedding formalities. Against his will, Stu is talked into having one beer (not only by his buddies, but by his fiancee as well) down on the beach. Joining them is Lauren's 16-year old studious brother Teddy (Lee). In the world of 'The Hangover', you can easily guess what that one beer turns into. Before the audience or the characters know what has happened, they have mysteriously woken up in a run-down hotel room in Bangkok...and Teddy has mysteriously disappeared. No Teddy...no wedding. So...here we go again. (End Synopsis)
The opening scene of the film is more than enough to make us feel right at home. Getting familiar with the characters all over again is simplified by Phil's signature line (or at least that's what it's bound to become if more sequels are released), "We f**ked up." And I can't lie. The moment those 3 words were uttered, I was sucked in and ready for more drug-ridden and alcohol-poisoned raucous fun. Judging by the outburst of laughter that followed the self-proclaimed responsibility for Phil's (and the others of course) own incompetence, the rest of the audience was just as ready for more as I was. Then again, we wouldn't be in the theater if we weren't.
I have to be perfectly honest...and don't think it's simply because I live here, but Vegas was a hell of a lot more fun than Bangkok. Maybe that's because the first 'Hangover' took us by surprise. Before its release, people expected it to be nothing more than your average What-Happens-In-Vegas-Stays-In-Vegas comedy, whereas Part II is simply an invite to join Phil, Stu, and Alan for more outrageous travels. And that's fine. I can't predict the future 100%, so I honestly don't know what would happen if the filmmakers decided to take the franchise in a different direction (or I should say...something that doesn't copy the predecessor situation-for-situation). So for now, I'll just say that playing it safe will keep plenty of people locked in for more...but for how long?
Now even though the situations are more of the same, the raunchiness is taken to the next level. 'The Hangover Part II' makes a not-so-subtle climb up the bloody gory nudity-ridden ladder. Male nudity is a rarity in films nowadays...even in comedies. In fact, until 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' came out, it was almost frowned upon to show a penis on screen. However, 'The Hangover Part II' proudly embraces the male anatomy (yes...WAY more than the first film did), whether those forbidden body parts belong to a man or a transexual. In regards to the transexuality, it is perhaps the most disturbing scene in the film. I'll leave it up to you to decide whether or not they took things too far. If you were shocked by the full-frontal nudity displayed by Mr. Chow (Jeong) in the first film, then brace yourself and get ready to take a closer look (or you could simply shut your eyes).
All in all, I definitely enjoyed 'The Hangover Part II'. Many critics and a select few audience members were turned off by either the repetitive nature of the sequel and/or the levels the film goes to in order to get a laugh. I myself have to say that I enjoyed it for what it was. We love these characters. We love the things they say. We love the situations they get themselves into (even if we don't envy them). We love their ability to make us laugh. If the filmmakers were going for familiarity, then they succeeded on every level. If the filmmakers were going for something new, then...well, forget I even said that...because it couldn't be any more obvious that they failed miserably.
Final Consensus: Though familiar and closed-minded, 'The Hangover Part II' is nonetheless another inventive cavalcade of laughs, even if the antics of the characters take another few steps down the morality staircase and a few steps up the R-Rated staircase.
Post Count : 21
Age : 26
Location : Las Vegas, NV
Interests : I love acting, improv, and movies. I like to write my movie reviews whenever I go see a new film. I also enjoy reading and playing video games, and occasionally playing basketball.
Registration date : 2011-03-16
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