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The Hangover Part II (2011)

June 1, 2011

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Zack Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Ken Jeong
Director: Todd Phillips (Due Date, The Hangover, Old School)

Quick Thoughts: I feel like I’ve seen this movie. Wait… I think it was called The Hangover and it came out in 2009. Sorry Todd Phillips, but no one roofied my Mountain Dew at the theater and I actually remember already seeing this same story. That’s essentially what The Hangover Part II is: a remake of a film that came out two years ago featuring the exact same actors. Sure, the setting is different–we’re in Bangkok this time–but the antics are only slight variations of what worked the first time around. Unfortunately, what made the original so good was how surprisingly funny the script was and the solid comedic performances from a breakthrough cast. Well, the element of surprise is gone for the sequel, giving the film a very bland flavor and a sense of “been there, done that.” Honestly, this film is such a rehash of the original that ninety minutes into it, I was shocked they hadn’t found a way to work Mike Tyson into the script yet… and then he “shocks” us by making an appearance at Stu’s wedding. Yawn.

Zack Galifianakis is still pretty funny as the sociopath Alan and Ken Jeong’s character is inexplicably written into a bigger role, but Bradley Cooper is stale and Ed Helms is basically reduced to jumping around like an idiot, although the film’s best sequence does involve Helms’ encounter with Thai hookers. I have to give credit to Jeong for his willingness to showcase what is possibly the smallest adult penis on the planet. That takes balls, and judging from his tiny package there’s not much physical evidence that he has any. Mason Lee plays Stu’s future brother-in-law Teddy, a 16 year academic prodigy that immediately becomes Alan’s enemy and a potential source of constant laughs, but he becomes this film’s Doug when he’s lost after the blackout and The Wolfpack spends the majority of the movie trying to locate him, wasting the film’s biggest opportunity for fresh humor.

If The Hangover was a laugh riot, its sequel is a mere chuckle fest. The first act drags quite a bit and the last two acts aren’t particular funny either. By a long shot, the funniest part of the movie is the end credits, when we again get to see the night in question play out through the various pictures taken. Phillips and co. struck pay dirt with The Hangover, but its sequel brings nothing new to the table.

Viewings: 1
Replay Value: Not much.
Sequel Potential: In 5 days, the film already surpassed the $100 million mark, but won’t benefit from the same great word-of-mouth that the original had so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it fall short of that film’s total gross. Regardless, it’s going to do well enough to warrant another sequel, which will probably be even more ridiculous and unoriginal than this one was.
Oscar Potential: None
Nudity: Tons… both female and male.
Grade: 4.5/10 (Netflix It/Worth Watching)
RottenTomatoes Scores: Critics: 35% Audience: 94%
IMDB Rating: 7.1/10
Recommendation: There’s nothing here that we haven’t seen before. Guys looking for a good “bro” comedy are probably still better off going to see Bridesmaids, a film that has gotten the same unavoidable awesome word-of-mouth that the original Hangover received. Don’t take my word for it though, most people I’ve talked to loved this movie and the general public has rated it very favorably, so if you’re in the mood for a completely unimaginative and mindless comedy, this is probably right up your alley.

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