Synopsis: In the follow-up to the record-breaking hit comedy The Hangover, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) travel to exotic Thailand for Stu’s wedding. After the unforgettable bachelor party in Las Vegas, Stu is taking no chances and has opted for a safe, subdued pre-wedding brunch. However, things don’t always go as planned. What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in Bangkok can’t even be imagined.
Release Date: May 26, 2011 MPAA Rating: PG-13
The eagerly awaited sequel to The Hangover has arrived, and it unfortunately feels far too similar to the first. The “wolf pack” now finds themselves in Thailand, on the eve of Stu’s wedding to Lauren (Jamie Chung)–yes, it is true, his first marriage to the stripper in Vegas did not work out (shocker!). After a brief bachelor party at an IHOP before their trip it has been agreed upon by the group that there will be no bachelor party in Thailand; they will have one beer and that is all. With Bangkok only a boat ride away from the island tropical paradise locale of the wedding it is only inevitable that the boys soon wake up in a filthy, disgusting, and completely trashed hotel room without any recollection of what happened the night before. So much for the one beer pact. Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Bradley Cooper) and Phil (Zach Galifianakis) must once again go through the motions of trying to remember just what happened the night before, and instead of their friend Doug being the missing man it is Lauren’s teenage prodigy brother who has fallen victim to their schenanegans.
For those familiar with the first Hangover film the entire story of the sequel will undoubtedly be familiar. The key elements are the same, just changed around for the new locale. Instead of the baby there is a speechless monk, the tiger is now a smoking monkey, Stu’s missing tooth replaced with a face tattoo, and the similarities go on and on. The Hangover II is essentially the original Hangover with a few minor changes thrown in for good measure. But the changes do not beget a fresh originality to the story and in such it becomes tiresome. Even the added bonus of more screen time for the unforgettable character Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) does nothing to shake things up. Stu, Phil, and Alan maintain their exceptional chemistry amongst one another and there is no denying they are having a great time together on this ride. The film may keep your interest, make you laugh, and play well in a city such as Bangkok but it does nothing to excel the concept of the original film into a sequel. One could easily watch the first again and be more than satisfied. If this is your first time seeing the wolf pack in action you may be a little more fulfilled at film’s end. In the films defense, there are some great comedic moments that occur–if only they had been part of a greater story. It is sad to say but the best part of the film is in the reveal over the credits of the photographs chronicling just what happened in Bangkok, and that only lasts a couple minutes.
With a film such as The Hangover II plot and story, structure, and originality may not be at the top of the list of reasons to go and watch it in theatres. This is a movie all about the laughs, and whether your stomach will hurt from laughing incredibly hard by film’s end. Well, The Hangover II does have plenty of one-liners, shocking reveals, and inside jokes that relate to the original to keep nearly anyone laughing through most of the film. Alan (Zach Galifianakis) remains the main component in achieving outrageous laughter. Stu continues to shock the audience with his dentist-gone-bad behavior. While Alan will always be the man without a conscience, who revels in the chaos of the evening. The comedy has a succinct ebb and flow this time around. It is not all out funny, as a great deal of what happens is more grim and the humor simply does not resonate in certain scenes. The film still has some awfully good laughs to be had, and a few scenes that will shock you to the point of outrageous uncomfortable laughter. The Hangover II is not exactly meant to flow steadily along, delivering jokes on point and such; the humor comes in the key reveals. There is not all that much revealing going on though, and so the laughs are more sporadic. As many must be thinking, in relation to the first, “how will they top it,” truth be told they don’t; that does not mean it isn’t funny, it’s just not more so than the original.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Todd Phillips
- Producer(s): Craig MazinScot ArmstrongTodd Phillips
- Screenwriter(s): Bradley Cooper (Phil)Ed Helms (Stu)Zach Galifianakis (Alan)
- Story: Justin Bartha (Doug)
- Cast: Ken Jeong (Mr. Chow)Paul Giamatti (Kingsley)Mike Tyson (Himself) Jeffrey Tambor (Sid Garner)Mason Lee (Teddy)Jamie Chung (Lauren)Sasha Barrese (Tracy)Gillian Vigman (Stephanie)Debra Neil-FisherLawrence SherBill Brzeski
- Cinematographer: Christophe Beck
- Production Designer(s):
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- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
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- Country Of Origin: USA