Todd Phillips’ The Hangover Part II is basically more of the same, and by that I mean more lunacy, more hilarity and more Wolfpack! And yes friends, that’s funny in any language. As a huge fan of the unexpectedly hilarious first Hangover, this sequel had such high expectations going in. While comes pretty close to being as great it does fall short due to the fact it is such a rampant rehash of the first film with little new to offer. Then again, did anyone expect anything different from the trailers and the premise? Didn’t think so.
When last we left our inebriated heroes they successfully got Doug to the altar and everything was right with the world. Now, two years later, we find that Stu’s quickie marriage didn’t last but fret not you romantics, Stu has himself a new flame/fiancée. Further, he wants his best friends to be in the wedding. But as fate would have it they are unknowingly drugged and dragged through a night they can’t remember, are in danger of missing the wedding…and are one man down (Stu’s future brother in law Teddy). The finger pointing begins and as Alan masterminded the boys’ last crazy night of questionable legality, this time it’s actually not his fault. With little facts but an actual finger, The Wolfpack is on an all too similar trek, this time through every seedy dive bar, tattoo shop and even a monastery in Bangkok to find Teddy.
Familiar? Sure is! *queues music* Everybody…”Second verse, same as the first but a lot more crazy and a little bit worse“. Yup, that’s The Hangover Part II in a nutshell; an almost shot for shot retread of the first film. But is that a bad thing? Nah, not at all because with a film as unexpedely awesome as the first Hangover, why even try to improve on it? Same again bartender! It’s a formula everyone loves and so we get the the same thing this time its raunchier and more over the top.
In a film like this, I can’t tell you how great it is that everyone, and I do mean everyone (including Jeffrey Tambor) is back for this sequel. Even Phillips regular Bryan Callen is here (playing a different character) helping make the offensive escapades in this foreign sojourn feel familiar. The Hangover is really a three man team and while you shouldn’t expect any different (see poster at right) I’m a bit bummed that again we find poor Justin Bartha’s Doug (the missing 25% of the Wolfpack) left out of all the fun. But he’s probably the better for it as he can say he has all 10 fingers, no gunshot wounds, no tattoos and gets to keep his hair.
Galifinakis is definitely the mascot of this series and makes for some of the funniest lines in the movie. Cooper’s jokes are his signature brand of condescension and Helms, the closest thing to a straight man, tries to keep a level head through all the madness. The guys play the same roles to the letter and the good news is that the nods to the first film and the great chemistry between Galifinakis, Helms and Cooper again proves to be a winning combination…especially in all of this sequel’s shocking and insane glory.
This highly anticipated sequel does get thin at times but Phillips makes up for with sheer audacity. There’s new levels of squirm inducing hilarity and The Hangover part II nearly redefines the idea of going too far as man, oh, man…somethings just can’t be unseen. Despite the shock and awfully crude, there’s nothing really new to the wonderful and hysterical formula set up by the first film. But come on, people are’t here for character development. They want to laugh and that said, you’ll know exactly what to expect and like me I suspect you’ll laugh at every cringe worthy minute of it.
Finally, remember how the photos in the credits were the best part of the first Hangover? Well the team really outdoes themselves with a series of unrated (read: obscenely unrated) pictures that make up for all the slow and less than funny parts of the movie.
Now one thing before we part ways quicker than a heroin dealing monkey running from the fuzz. The rating below does in no way mean I didn’t like this, not the case at all. I just had real trouble giving this film higher marks based on our ranking system. So just because the numbers are low doesn’t mean the jokes weren’t up to par. From the looks of the graphic it puts this in the ranks of films that disappointed us (like Predators and The Expendables), but take our word for it – The Hangover Part II is HYSTERICAL!