Film Reviews

THE HANGOVER PART II

By • May 27th, 2011 •

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A huge disappointment. Not funny.

What the hell happened? Did director Todd Phillips and his co-writers (Craig Mazin and Scot Armstrong) forget the R-rated template? Part ll drags and is a disgrace to the memory of megahit THE HANGOVER.

As if no one knows what is coming or what is expected of THE HANGOVER PART II, the movie starts on a snail’s pace. It’s been 2 years since Stu (Ed Helms) married a prostitute in Las Vegas. He’s now divorced and getting ready for his wedding in Thailand to Lauren (Jamie Chung).

We know what happened in Las Vegas, so why keep going on about it? Hasn’t life gone forward since Las Vegas?

Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Doug (Justin Bartha) are going with Stu to Thailand but Alan (Zach Galifianakis) must beg for an invitation.

Stu is forced to invite Alan. “The wolf pack” is back together bringing along Lauren’s 16-year-old brother Teddy (Mason Lee), a musical protégée and future surgeon. Worshiped by Lauren’s father, Teddy’s hands are his future. Guess what happens?

Lauren’s wealthy father is hosting the extravagant affair in the family’s lavish country estate in Thailand, but he openly hates Stu. He humiliates him at the rehearsal dinner. Why would Lauren stand for this behavior by her father? Is her father a racist?

Phil, now a dad, wants to arrange a bachelor party for Stu in Thailand. After all, it’s the capital of ladyboys, drugs, and underage hookers. Notwithstanding Bangkok’s underbelly, as Phillips’ films it, it is just an over-crowded trash heap. There are no underage hookers pulling Westerners off the street. There are ladyboy sex shows.

Stu does not want another wild night with “the wolf pack” but agrees to a drink on the beach with Phil, Alan, and Teddy (Mason Lee). Guess what happens? And, as per the first outing of “the wolf pack”, Doug (Justin Bartha) is left out of the wild night. Our boys, once again, wake up in a seedy hotel room without a clue what happened the night before. Call it the “amnesia defense”.

Instead of a found baby, there is a chain-smoking capuchin monkey in a vintage Rolling Stones denim jacket.

Phil wakes up with his sexiness intact while Alan has a shaved head, Stu has a Mike Tyson tribal tattoo on his face, and Teddy is missing – except for his ring finger with his High School ring. Ha, Ha! There goes his glorious careers and his father’s love.

Of course, the guys are involved in a circus of incidents tied together by rice paper. Cooper is the man in charge and swaggers around. Once again, the character the screenwriters gleefully abuse is Stu. Helms is stiff until he gets his freak on, while Galifianakis, the HANGOVER’s breakout star, takes center stage. But his Alan is not as creepy this time and it hurts the movie.

Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) is back, Mel Gibson’s hoped-for one scene is not, and Mike Tyson ruins his brilliant cameo in THE HANGOVER.

PART ll is just not funny and will not live up to the hype or hopes of those who loved THE HANGOVER. There is a prevailing sense of it being tiresome and a lead-filled comedy. Why rehash the entire set up? We didn’t need it. And did we really need the stupid faux-heist (or whatever it was the guys got mixed up in).

Do we have to like these guys to voyeuristically enjoy their one night of unsanctioned debauchery? Or, more significantly, why not just make the movie the series of obscene photographs that were shown with the end credits? That was the movie we wanted to see.

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