The Hangover Part II: In 2009, The Hangover was one of my films of the year.
From minute one, the jokes just kept coming and I laughed like never before or since at the cinema. I was, therefore, looking forward to this sequel more than any of this summer’s big films.
Ultimately, however, the first movie’s success is the reason that it sequel fails. First time around, the jokes were fresh and left-field. But now they have become stale. Just moving the Hangover to Thailand was never going to be enough so while Bangkok does provide one uproarious moment it fails to provide the spark that Las Vegas did.
It is interesting that, between them, the team behind these movies (Todd Phillips, Scott Moore and Jon Lucas) has been responsible for a clutch of duff comedies (Due Date, Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past, Four Christmases) making me wonder when the original Hangover was just a fluke. Certainly, the writing of the sequel is no better than a bog standard Hollywood movie. And the real crime is that Zach Galifianakis, who made The Hangover‘s first outing click so perfectly, is so annoyingly off-key here.
The movie’s premise is that Stu (Ed Helms) is getting married in Thailand and has invited Phil (Bradley Cooper), Doug (Justin Bartha) and, reluctantly, Alan (Galifianakis). Two nights before the wedding the guys go down to the beach with the bride’s 16-year-old brother to share one bottle of beer. In the next scene Stu, Phil and Alan awake in the wreckage of a room in a seedy Bangkok hotel. Alan’s head has been shaved and Stu has a Mike Tyson-like tattoo on his face. Meanwhile, Teddy and Doug are missing.
They then try to piece together the night before so they can reunite the team and be back in time for Stu’s wedding. As before, they don’t realise the mayhem they have caused and ‘adventures’ ensue. Once again, Ken Jeong turns up as a crazy criminal (but not quite as crazy when we met him the first time) and there is a cameo for Paul Giamatti.
Of the main characters, Cooper is just bland and Helms is starting to look like a one-trick pony as the geek whose inner devil is only released by ingesting drink or drugs (exactly the same character he played in Cedar Rapids).
I laughed a paltry three times. And those in the busy Saturday lunchtime screening at Cineworld didn’t seem over-impressed either. So, yet another summer blockbuster bites the dust.
It really hurts me to write that I cannot give it any more than 5/10 because I was expecting so much more.
Check out: everyfilmin2011.blogspot.com
Running time: 102 minutes
Released: May 26th 2011
Director: Todd Phillips
Producers: Daniel Goldberg and Todd Phillips
Screenplay: Craig Mazin, Scot Armstrong and Todd Phillips
Music: Christophe Beck
Phil: Bradley Cooper
Stu: Ed Helms
Alan: Zach Galifianakis
Doug: Justin Bartha
Mr Chow: Ken Jeong
Kingsley: Paul Giamatti
Himself: Mike Tyson
Sid Garner: Jeffrey Tambor