Review: The Hangover 2


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Genre: Comedy
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis
Released: May 26th, 2011

THE GENERAL IDEA

Two years after their escapade in Las Vegas, Stu (Ed Helms), Phil (Bradley Cooper), Doug (Justin Bartha), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) are traveling to Thailand to celebrate Stu’s wedding to his fiancée, Lauren (Jamie Chung). Much to Alan’s dismay, they are joined by Lauren’s younger brother, Teddy (Mason Lee), a prodigy and pre-medical student at Stanford University. At the wedding reception, Lauren’s father shows his disapproval of Stu by comparing him to rice porridge in his toast. At the end of the night, Stu hesitantly joins Phil, Doug, Alan and Teddy for a beer. Sitting at a campfire and roasting marshmallows, the group toast to Stu and Lauren’s future happiness.
The following morning, Phil, Stu and Alan, along with gangster Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong – whom Alan befriended after Las Vegas) and a chainsmoking capuchin monkey, awaken in a dirty hotel room in Bangkok. Stu has a face tattoo, and Alan’s head is completely shaven. However, they cannot find Teddy, only discovering his severed finger.

THE GOOD

The Wolfpack is Back and this movie is “bigger” in scope than the original. The premise of a “wild night in Vegas” is somewhat pre-established in North American pop culture, but a wild night in “Bangkok” differentiates it and establishes a bit of mystery.

This movie ditches the idea that every sequel needs to abandon what was appreciated about the preceding movie and instead gives us a sequel of “more”. The comedic exploits of Helms, Cooper, and Galifianakis are as fun as ever in this film. Galifianakis brings a lot more of his brand of humor to this movie. He is what he is, and love him or hate him he adds his brand of “funny” to this movie to, mostly, appreciable success.

THE BAD

They seemingly fast tracked through the premise of Stu’s wedding in order to fast forward to the ‘wake up’ scene in which they try to piece together the details of the previous nights’ escapades. While it is true that the “meat” of the movie is the events that occur after their night of partying, it doesn’t help establish the importance of Stu’s relationship with his bride to be and lessens the audience’s’ investment of the importance of getting to this wedding on time.

It’s difficult to find something unique about this movie. The action, humor, timing, and some of the jokes are all retreads of themes and idea that were popular in the original. If you’ve seen the original then you’ll have a hard time finding unique “laugh out loud” moments to enjoy as the adventure closely follows the chain of events of the first movie with few differences that also lack shock value of the original since they are retreading previously used jokes.

Ken Jeong. His character received just a bit too much exposure in this movie with his character being elevated to borderline “main” character status. He seemed to be very unrestrained in this movie as if the director just asked him to get “balls out” and he did. A lot. And it was very distracting.

OVERALL

I walked into this movie hoping to be polarized in the same way that the preceding movie surprised the hell out of me with its humor and shock value. This movie didn’t have that effect. Instead I wound up watching this movie almost “expecting” things to happen at certain moments and they almost always did happen exactly when I expected. It’s not that the movie isn’t funny it’s just that the movie is very familiar and will really be more appreciated by those who watch this without seeing the original.

I give The Hangover 2 a 6 out of 10

About Anthony Whyte

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