Review: The Hangover Part II

1 06 2011



That was my initial reaction to seeing The Hangover: Part II, the highly anticipated sequel to one of the better comedy flicks in recent memory. Whatever. Thanks to the vast success of the first Hangover movie, the sequel was pretty much immediately announced by noted raunchy filmmaker, Todd Phillips. Soon the trailers and posters and other hype machines began coming around. The Wolfpack was returning to the big screen, and soon enough every bro and ho was updating their Facebook status with eager anticipation of the new movie.

I give most of the blame for this ridiculous over-hype machine to the young people of Generation Y, AKA the Bros Icing Bros Generation (we deserve it. We’re the worst). The common motif with the Bros Icing Bros Generation is to embrace only a choice few pieces of entertainment and run with the damn things for as long as they exist, no matter how obviously stupid they eventually boil down to. The short list of prime Bros Icing Bros entertainment is relatively short, but it more than answers everything you need to know about how truly committed people can be once the general population decides something deserves to be called the best thing since sliced bread.

  • Twilight
  • The Hangover
  • Glee
  • Jersey Shore

That’s just the few things that I can come up with off the top of my head, but the pattern is already well-defined. Granted, the first Hangover movie was very funny, but most of that praise came from the fact that it took some relatively unknown actors, threw them into an inappropriate movie, and then kept on giving the audience new lewd shit to gasp and laugh about. It was fresh, but the freshness pretty much died as soon as the sequel was announced. It was only a matter of time before that became clear to a lot of snooty film critics.

I could go into detail about the actual plot of The Hangover Part II, but I instead will give you the plot to the first movie, with a few minor changes.

Phil, Stu, and Alan are all in Nevada Thailand to take part in Doug’s Stu’s wedding. After a seemingly innocuous drink as friends, the three suddenly are seen passed out in a seedy hotel room in Las Vegas Bangkok. Stu has a missing tooth Mike Tyson facial tattoo. There’s an inexplicable baby monkey in the hotel room with them, and Alan falls in love with it. Also in the room with them is a tiger Mr. Chow. We see Mr. Chow’s penis. To complicate things further, Doug Teddy is missing, and he’s also missing a finger, which is found in the hotel room. The gang soon uses clues to retrace their steps from the previous night, find Doug Teddy, and get back to the wedding in time.

That’s the plot, essentially a carbon copy from the first movie. The similarities don’t stop there, either. Phil gets injured again and has to go to the hospital. Stu has sex with another stripper, only this time the stripper in question has both boy parts and girl parts. Stu also sings another random, stupid song about their adventures at a slow point in the middle of the movie. The group goes about their merry way, engaging in dangerous interaction with criminals along the way, only to find out that their missing pal was in the hotel the whole time. The day is saved, the wedding proceeds, and the movie finishes with the gang looking at photos from their wild and crazy night.

While this was enough to get Todd Phillips and the rest of the cast and crew rolling in lots of money, it has left a sick taste in the mouth of many viewers and critics. While the movie was funny enough to justify the matinée price that I paid, I still found myself forcing my brain to believe that a lot of unoriginal jokes were funnier than they actually were. I eventually came to the realization that this movie was pretty much the first film with a different setting, different wacky situations, and a lot more queasy subject matter, mainly the transgender prostitute.

The biggest problem with The Hangover Part II is not just the fact that it’s an unoriginal copy of the first movie, albeit with some upgrades in the disgusting factor, but that I still think it could have been something better. The cameos of this film were just plain awful. The tattoo artist that gives Stu his Mike Tyson design was supposed to be Mel Gibson, but then he was forced out by the cast, who refused to work with him. Then it was supposed to be Liam Neeson, but he wasn’t able to do it either. The role was eventually given to Nick Cassavetes. Wait, you don’t know who that is? Don’t worry, I don’t either. The other cameos were by Paul Giamatti, who had zero funny lines given to him, and Mike Tyson, who was still great, even though it’s no argument that he was much better in the first movie. It seems like there was plenty of potential for The Hangover Part II to be the best comedy of the summer, but a combination of missed opportunities and lazy writing by Todd Phillips led to this movie instead, which was clearly rushed out as quickly as possible so that everyone could get their share of big money.

So yes, The Hangover Part II delivered some decent laughs (most of them coming from Galifianakis’s brilliance as Alan) and in the end wasn’t a total waste of time and money, but it has forever tainted the legacy of the first film by being wholly unoriginal and ultimately just a lazy attempt at getting a load of cash, which it did succeed at doing. But in the end, The Hangover Part II was just a missed opportunity at something more, a fairly big disappointment. Perhaps it’s just another example of how you can never trust Hollywood to try and give you a good final product as much as you can trust it to strive for as much money as humanly possible.

2 out of 5 transgender strippers

Closing thoughts: I sincerely hope that Todd Phillips and company doesn’t stoop even lower and make a third Hangover movie. That would be a crying shame.

Also, super props to the monkey in The Hangover Part II being the same monkey who plays Annie’s Boobs on Community.

[UPDATE]: Shit, WB has hired Hangover 3 writers already. This is not good.





One response

1 06 2011

What’s missing is a huge part of what made the first film so good: the element of surprise and the actual joy of having all these crazy situations happen. This is a dark and morbid cash-in and nothing more, except with some chuckles. Good review, check out mine when you can!

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