It wasn’t long before this was bound to happen. I had no interest in seeing this sequel. I really didn’t. It was considered to be one of the bigger summer releases all due to the fact that frat boys across the country sat through the first one and began quoting it incessantly and needlessly. Making jokes about how their 3 friends were a wolf pack and how their exploits are as funny and just as good as the three in the first film. By the time I had gotten around to seeing the first film it was already ruined. The clever humor was lost on me. Oh sure I sat there and said, yeah this could be funny. This could be funny if every single ass on the internet and on campus weren’t quoting it. But then it became a marketing phenom. T-shirts with “baby Carlos” on it and other quotes from the movie became popular. When the sequel opened and the reviews were almost as bad as some of the best reviews for Dark of the Moon I was pleased. But when aforementioned bros were wearing tees from the first film to see the second film I threw up at my station in my mouth and gagged. And here is my thoughts and summation on what might be the worst sequel of the year.
Like I mentioned 2009’s The Hangover was a pleasant surprise garnering a nice 79% on Rotten Tomatoes (including a 70% score from me). It was a film that glorified drinking but more or less displayed the consequences of your actions. Ultimately the film though still glorifies the aspect of drinking with the fact that all ending results are hilarious. It also played to the age old phrase “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” which seems to be an unspoken bond between all men on their bachelor parties because most films want you to believe that all of them happen in…Vegas.
The sequel tries to be witty and clever by teasing us with the idea of there even being able to have a sequel. I know. But then the trailer drops and it’s the same exact layout as the first one. The film doesn’t try to change it up. Sure it takes place during Stu’s party this time and that Doug, the guy they lost, doesn’t partake in the shenanigans and this time it’s in Bangkok where for some reason when people disappear all the characters just mutter the phrase “he’s Bangkok’s now” which doesn’t really impress me from a script writing standpoint or even a plot stand point. They don’t explain why everyone says that! It’s so annoying hearing at least five people say it without telling our American buddies why!
At the time of this publishing the film has garnered a mediocre 35% rating on the same site. And this is why. It’s almost a shot for shot remake of the original. I know that might sound cool and everything and clever, but it doesn’t work. Director Todd Phillips (The Hangover, Due Date, Old School) seemingly has a flare for movies like this. All about the gross out comedy. The film starts with them calling up saying “oh shit we fucked up…again” cause they have to point out about the fucking up again part. I would think that after last time the wives and everyone else would be more like um no, you are not having a party before the wedding, you know what happened last time.
For those of you who forget let me tell you what happens, they steal a cop car, lose Doug, steal 80G from a gay Asian, Stu marries a stripper, and they all took roofies. Did they learn a valuable lesson? The answer is a raging no so they let this happen again. See this time Doug is at the wedding because he wasn’t around last time. So we got Alan, Stu and Phil wandering around Bangkok looking for Stu’s soon to be brother in law.
Essentially they tear apart the bars in the area, scream fuck the police, Stu gets a Mike Tyson tattoo, Alan drugs them…again, they get the wrong brother in law…again, Stu does something really stupid…again, someone gets shot…again, the gay Asian jumps at them…again and of course Stu figures it all out…again.
I just saved you twelve dollars and two painful, yet at times funny hours. The film is mainly a frat boy party hour. You see once again the glorification of drinking and doing drugs are at play here. You can go get super shit faced and have a good time the next day if by good time you mean what these guys go through. I’m not looking for originality in a comedy, more like I’m looking for clever writing and good jokes, but that would be too much and I would be better off getting that from Monty Python instead of Phillips and his crew.
This is nothing to say knock on the two funniest guys in the movie, Zach Galifinakas and Ken Jeong. These two know how to be funny and play funny roles. The sad thing is that Ed Helms plays the usual annoying prude and Bradley Cooper is the handsome ass. There is little to no depth in the characters at all. You also get the feeling that the characters don’t learn their lesson at all either, it’s like you can’t even grasp if this is meant to take place in our reality or a separate one where the consequences don’t matter. Seeing as they get away with a large amount of drunkenness and other idiotic shit that seemingly the world accepts and just moves on.
Analyzing a comedy is tough, the shot composition, the soundtrack, all that stuff is tough to pick out but you can definitely tell this was a way bigger budget than the predecessor but it lacks a lot of heart unlike the previous installment. The shots of the city and the surrounding islands were lovely but I never got the total immersion in the city that I thought I would get, I didn’t get that as much when they were in Vegas either. It’s tough to do that when you don’t shoot on the set. As for the camera shots, there was little to anything to legitimately complain about but the soundtrack was obnoxious. Going from Jenny Lewis (indie rock) to a cover of Duran Duran (rock) to Kanye West’s arrogantly and vain tribute to himself (hip hop) and eventually covering every genre possible shows how little (or how they over thought)
I understand how writing a screenplay already is tough but writing a comedy is a lot more challenging but it seems like the writers relied too much on the original’s non original style of humor and just tried to run with a remake in a new location and pull the wool from our eyes. No doubt there will be a third film green lit but at the same time it’s insulting to just redo the previous films and get our hard earned money for it.
There is little to nothing exciting and hilarious about the Hangover this time around. It’s one hangover you wish you could just skip and deal with Michael Bay screaming fire in your ears. I really wished I sat through Dark of the Moon a second time instead of this. My laughs were few and far between and the characters angered me more than fill me with joy and laughter. I have to hand The Hangover Part II a weak and paltry 3.5/10