The Hangover Part II – Bangkok Ridiculous
Do you remember the disappointment of the first time you saw a squeal and realized it was the exact same movie as the first with one or two miner changes? For me, it was Teen Wolf Too. I walked out of the theater thinking, “that was the same damn movie, just with Justine Bateman’s less successful brother instead of Michael J. Fox.”
Well you can avoid that disappointment this time by either not seeing The Hangover Part Two, or by going into it not expecting to see anything new. Of course the writers and producers had the graciousness to not pretend that they are creating something new this time. Everyone involved, including the audience, knows what’s coming and the movie doesn’t cruelly get your expectations up.
This phenomenon may be due to the advent of Microsoft Word. Before the days of the find and replace command writers probably could convince themselves that they really were writing a new movie. Now, well they have to face the truth. To write the hangover sequel plot, the formula was just too easy.
Step 1; open up the old script.
Step 2; use the find and replace command to change “Las Vegas” to “Bangkok”, “missing tooth” to “face tattoo”, and “baby” to “monkey” (That’s the twist; the monkey replaces the baby, not the tiger.)
Step 3; hit print and pass out copies to the crew.
A more honest title would have been Another Hangover. Calling it The Hangover Part Two implies that there’s going to be a continuation of the previous story, not a total rehash.
That’s not to say the movie is bad, the first film was great, and the producers had a choice; go with a winning formula or take a risk with something new, which rarely works for some reason.
The problem is what made the first story of a bachelor party gone array work so well was that while it was presented to us as a mystery, (what happened to our friend last night) it was really a voyage of discovery, (can you believe what happened to us last night). So, this time we already know the voyage before the movie starts.
There were a couple of winks and nods to this fact in the film, like when the gang immediately looks for their lost companion on the hotel rooftop and particularly the much expected final scene when the guys discover a camera and we are treated to a series of hilarious still shots as the credits roll.
While the story is the same the film does try to refresh some of the jokes and there are plenty of genuine laugh out loud moments. Many of these moments come from what is commonly referred to as “gross out humor”. This form of humor is often criticized for its low brow approach, but I don’t agree with this criticism.
First off, it makes you laugh which is what humor is supposed to do. Second, there’s a very subtle brilliance in this humor, its ability to make people uncomfortable. Some will laugh at the crude joke, some will be totally offended and shocked, and the rest of us will laugh at them. This type of thing only works if you are watching with a large audience, baring that, watching with your parents will do.
Despite the loss of the wondrous surprise feeling you get from the first one, the cast maintains its chemistry for this second outing. Zach Galifianakis is as goofy as ever, and Ed Helms still has the whiny repressed nerd routine down. Bradley Cooper plays it strait and spends most of his time doing his visual balancing act of trying to look good while simultaneously looking totally burnt out.
While not as good as the first, I recommend trying to see this one in the theater with a large crowd. Let’s face it, there’s going to be a Hangover 3, and it’s going to suck, so enjoy this one while you can.
Genre ……………. Comedy
Director…………… Todd Phillips
Writer …………… Craig Mazin, Scot Armstrong
Comedy Rating…. 3 Stars
Film Rating………. 2.5 Stars