Hangover 2, The (2011)

May 28, 2011 By Mike B
Movie Review

What Worked?

The Hangover Part 2 is a copy and paste job with slight editing, on different colored paper, but it still manages to deliver enough funny moments to stay afloat. Todd Phillips returns to the director’s chair for the follow up to one of the most successful comedies ever, bringing us another serving of the Wolf Pack, this time in the dangerous grounds of Bangkok.

Yes, there are a lot of similar shots and transitions used in the sequel that were lifted from the original, but the setting is different and it does work in giving off a nostalgic feel for those who enjoyed the first go-around. Phillips uses pop music to good effect, and takes us to very interesting parts of Bangkok. We’re brought to the abode of Monks, a grimey tattoo parlor, a strip club drenched in neon lights, and so on. The pace of the film is the same, so is the plot, but there are surprises along the way that may catch some off guard because we’re anticipating what’s going to happen next. Shots are fired, penis shots are thrown in, and monkeys are smoking. The script is a bit darker, and more daring than the first, as the Wolf Pack party harder than before.

The Wolf Pack is back and they’re in good form. Zach Galifianakis is still an odd man-child, desperately wanting to hangout, Bradley Cooper as Phil is still the alpha dog looking for a good time, and Ed Helms as Stu is still a panicky nerd looking to play it safe; unless of course he’s under the influence. For fans of the original, this is like seeing some old friends and picking up right where you left off with them.  It’s a comfortable feeling, and once the film starts you feel at home. Alan getting jealous of Stu’s future brother-in-law was classic Galifianakis.

The Hangover Part 2 isn’t a complete mess, as it does draw genuine laughs. When you first watched the Hangover, and if you enjoyed it, you probably wanted more of the same–a second round of that hard-hitting shot you never had before. The Hangover was a good party; however, the Hangover Part 2 played it safe and only gave us a decent buzz.

Potential Drawbacks:

The first 20-30 minutes or so the film was on track to being something equal to the original, but after the references to the original pile up, the film gets heavy and drags. The film closely follows the footsteps of the original, and doesn’t do anything game-changing enough.

The middle part of the film is where the laughs die down, as the jokes aren’t as sharp or clever, and the film relies on shocking, gross-out humor for a comedic reaction. Some even say that the ending pictures are funnier than the entire film.

The characters are fine, but they aren’t given anything entirely new to do. They either reference jokes from the last film or repeat fresh jokes from this film until they’re dull. There aren’t many memorable lines in this film either. The film just relies to much on the original, and doesn’t become a film of it’s own.


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