The Hangover Part II, as you probably already know from the trailer, is the reincarnation of the first, very high-grossing film. Director Todd Phillips takes the plot and deposits it in full into the heart of Bangkok, Thailand for another dangerous night with the demon inside. And that truly becomes the moral of the story. As long as you have a penchant for prostitutes (of all types and genders), you’re not too boring for your soon-to-be father-in-law.
The Wolf Pack returns with Stu (Ed Helms) as the groom this time around, alongside Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Phil (Bradley Cooper). The token missing man this time around is Stu’s fiance’s 16-year-old brother, Teddy (Mason Lee). Alan decides that he’ll drug them all again for another crazy, memory-less night. But they lose Teddy and the story progresses exactly like the first.
The laughs are sparse and more often just a cringe, with Galifianakis as the source of most of the humor. His character is the one part of the first film that actually benefits the second. Helms provides some laughs with his over-the-top panicking and facial tattoo. The tattoo, however, loses much of its punch as it is the cornerstone of the film’s marketing. It’s enough to get you through the movie, but not enough to keep you from hoping something else happens that will alter the plot in some way. The humor is full-on raunch and reaches it’s pinnacle as the night is recapped via photos over the ending credits. There is one particularly shocking photo that reenacts a very famous photo from the Vietnam War. Too much? I think so, but I’ll likely be in the minority.
In place of the baby from The Hangover, there is a random monkey with a penchant for smoking and drug dealing. His interactions with Stu are particularly funny, but he serves mostly as a visual foil. Among the less funny are the smaller parts, notably Paul Giamatti as a crime lord and a much publicized cameo by Nick Cassavetes as the tattoo artist. Both are out of place in their roles, although it wasn’t necessary to make them work with the plot regardless. But at least Ken Jeong returns as Chow to bring some zaniness to more dull moments.
Full disclosure, I am a female, and I am not the film’s target audience. But I think most viewers of any gender will find more laughs in Bridesmaids, also out in theaters. If you thoroughly enjoyed The Hangover and would enjoy seeing it again, then this film is for you. There are already hints that The Hangover Part III will diverge in plot, so hopefully that will keep this franchise from fizzling.
I would imagine though, that those who would be most angry at this film would be the tourism bureaus of Thailand, who surely must be cursing the portrayal. But for us, it’s more likely to be a couple of laughs and nothing new to see here.
Cat’s rating: 2/4