Starring: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifanakis, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha.
Running time: 102 minutes.
Directed By: Todd Phillips.
Written By: Craig Mazin, Scot Armstrong & Todd Phillips.
Have you ever seen The Hangover? I will be really surprised if anyone is thinking no! If you have seen the first just take the entire story, remove it from Las Vegas, take it across the world, and drop it in Bangkok. Then start the story again and replace any pivotal moments from the first with a new animal, incapable human or disfigurement.
The second one is based around Stu's wedding. He is about to marry a gorgeous Thai woman (not a Thai bride and way too pretty for him), and is making Phil and Doug come with him to the wedding, especially since his father-in-law to be hates him. Initially Alan is uninvited but after much persuasion from Doug and Phil, Stu allows it. Once we are in Thailand each character begins to show their typical characterisations: Phil is the party animal, Stu is Mr. Sensible and Alan is stupid as can be.
Stu is adamant no bachelor party will take place but agrees to one quiet beer on the beach with Phil, Alan, Doug and his fiancée's little genius brother Teddy. Zoom forward twelve hours later and the original 'wolf pack' wake up in a shady hotel in Bangkok. From there we are back in the Las Vegas hotel room with Stu waking up with a tattoo (not missing a tooth) and a monkey in the bathroom (not a lion) and one of the group missing, Teddy (not Doug cause he's boring and stayed at the resort). From here we see the group trying to remember what happened the night before and trace back their tracks through the stuff in their pockets and find themselves at a police station, a hospital, a tattooist and a monastery. Does this all sound familiar? Well if it does when you think of the first one and piece together how they found Doug, you may know where Teddy is from the beginning. Honestly this film just takes the entire thread of the first film and changes a few details along the way. It takes away all element of surprise.
There are still some good laughs in this film. Many will be disappointed but many will still be laughing. The jokes in this one are a lot cruder and darker. It also shows well the dirty shady areas of a place like Bangkok compared to Las Vegas. The jokes though mainly come from Alan (Galifanakas) and mainly at the expense of Stu (Helms). Once again like the first one I found Phil (Cooper) nowhere near as funny as the others and seems to be the one that less funny stuff happens to. Alan's stupidity is really the driving force of the comedy and there are a few very funny bits including the whole scene of have 'a demon' in Stu. Probably the funniest part of it all. The problem with the Alan character though is that they seem to have made him even more stupid and over the top. They've done to Alan what the American Pie franchise done to Stifler. He just got more silly and it became worse rather than better.
The Hangover II is an easy watch, and you will probably be laughing at the anticipation of it as opposed to the comedy of it. We also get Chow (Ken Jeong), back from the first one. He appears much more in this one and at times is completely over the top and it can be a little cringe worthy. Even more cringe worthy though would be the cameo from Mike Tyson. Something that was completely unneeded. He can't act or sing for that matter. There is also a fatter Paul Giamatti. His talents are wasted here and he may watch this and see how bad he looks.
I have to say I am a little disappointed with this sequel but I was expecting that. If the writers had of taken it in a different direction it could have really worked, but by producing a carbon copy of the original they have ruined it. In parts it is funny and it is an easy watch so it won't be the worst film you have ever seen but it is not a patch on the original. You may as well give it a watch as it is a bit of fun but let's just hope, with The Hangover Part III in the pipeline, that they at least take us in a different direction and not just show Alan getting married in Amsterdam, with a snake instead of a monkey, Stu having had a nose job and Alan's Dad going missing. Oh wait I could be onto something here!
2.5 / 5
Next film to review: MISERY