Three buddies wake up from a bachelor party in Las Vegas, with no memory of the previous night and the bachelor missing. They make their way around the city in order to find their friend before his wedding.
Stu is getting married. Along with Doug, Phil, and his soon-to-be brother-in-law Teddy, he regretfully invites Alan to Thailand for the wedding. After a quiet night on the beach with a beer and toasting marshmallows by the camp fire, Stu, Alan and Phil wake up in a seedy apartment in Bangkok. Doug is back at the resort, but Teddy is missing, there's a monkey with a severed finger, Alan's head is shaved, Stu has a tattoo on his face, and they can't remember any of it. The wolf-pack retrace their steps through strip clubs, tattoo parlors and cocaine-dealing monkeys on the streets of Bangkok as they try and find Teddy before the wedding. Written by
Remember that one movie that came out in 2009 called The Hangover? Of course you do. It was only one of the most talked about films of the summer, surprising everyone as one of the funniest comedies in a long time. Two years later it was only fitting that a sequel be made so that we could relive the original Hangover fervor and kick off summer 2011 with a bang. Well, the basic rule of thumb for a sequel is that it either a) needs to be a continuation of the story from the first film or b) tell a new story with the same characters. The Hangover Part II decided to invent their own option c) which is to tell the exact same story all over again, but just changing a few details.
And that is what The Hangover Part II is. This time Stu, Alan, and Phil are in Bangkok, Thailand for Stu's wedding. The wolfpack reunites for another awesome bachelor party, this time brining along Stu's sixteen year old brother-in-law, Teddy. Stu promises only one beer and then he is calling it a night, but of course that isn't what happened or this wouldn't be The Hangover Part II. Nope. Once again a crazy night ensues and the boys wake up the next morning with absolutely no recollection of what happened the night before. They only have small clues to go off of, but they have no choice but to use these clues in order to find Teddy, who has gone missing. From here things play out much like they did in the first film with the same elements as the original. Instead of a tiger we have a monkey. Instead of a baby we have a monk. Instead of a regular Las Vegas hooker we have, well... I won't spoil that.
I, like so many others, loved The Hangover. I was happily surprised by how funny and just how well made it was for a film that looked like it would be another silly comedy movie. Of course it was that but it had something great about the raunchiness of the jokes and the cleverness of the mystery story that unfolds. The Hangover Part II doesn't quite have that and it only seems to try as hard as possible to outmatch its predecessor. It is this excessive one-upping of the first film that also drags down the films story. For one, it is just the same story all over again, but I can get past that because it worked in the first film. I won't say it wasn't annoying seeing so much of the same things happen all over again, but I'll get over it.
I was disappointed though because I loved the mystery aspect of the first film. The process of finding out where Doug was in the first film coupled with the incredibly entertaining humor was done just right. The Hangover Part II just tries so hard to go even further over-the-top that the mystery aspect here falls flat. It isn't nearly as interesting, thus the thing that made The Hangover more than just another comedy is lost in The Hangover Part II. The film does everything in its ability to be raunchier and more over-the-top than the first film, affecting all aspects. The obviousness of this effort actually ends up being distracting and it just reminds me why sequels too often suck, especially comedy sequels.
But The Hangover Part II doesn't suck. It definitely hasn't lost all of the magic that was there in the first film. Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, and Ed Helms obviously love these characters and you can see it come through in their performances. The hilarious trifecta are just as great in this film as they were in the first, and I never thought for a second that they were losing touch with their characters in the film's attempts to one-up the original. And honestly, this film really is funny. I laughed hysterically at plenty of moments throughout the film and there is never a dull moment. Each moment just gets raunchier and and more insane, keeping you laughing from start to finish. The comedy in this film isn't as clever as the first film, and it really sort of boils down to fart, poop, and dick jokes, but I love the characters of this film too much to not be entertained by that.
I won't say that I wasn't thoroughly entertained for the 102 minutes this film ran. I still think Zach Galifianakis is one of the funniest human beings currently on this planet and I think Todd Phillips still knows how to make a funny movie. But The Hangover Part II certainly doesn't live up to the hype and it doesn't even come close to the first film. As much as I laughed during this film I really just can't think of it as much more than just another comedy.
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