Director: Todd Phillips
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, and Ken Jeong
In 2009, The Hangover became the highest grossing R rated comedy ever. So it is no suprise that Hollywood has produced the sequel. The original film featured four friends heading to Sin City for a bachelor party. They get roofied, the night becomes a blur, and they wake up in the morning missing the groom. High jinks and crude humor ensue until the end of the movie. Their friend is found and of course they get back just in time for the wedding. This was so succesful that the film makers decided not to stray far from the formula. In fact, The Hangover Part II is so similar to the original that if it was not set in a different city you would easily think it was the same film.
This time around
Ed Helms (The Office)
is the one getting married (his stripper wife/girlfriend from the first movie and her baby are out of the picture). The boys travel to Thailand for the ceremony and of course they have bachelor party plans in the works. They get drugged again (exactly how I will not spoil) and wake up the next morning unable to recall the night before. This time they are the missing the groomsman's 16 year old, soon to be brother-in-law. The guys must race around Bangcock to find the kid and get to the wedding on time. Along the way they face a variety of obscene situations: gun fire, a smoking monkey, sexual assault, physical assault, amputation, and Mr. Chow.
Comedy is without a doubt the hardest genre of film to make. A bad action movie at least has special effects to distract the audience. Most comedies fail miserably, but The Hangover series manages to bring the laughs in the tradition of
. It is not that the movie is actually funny; we laugh because we are uncomfortable witnessing the outrageous situations. The chemistry between the cast is still there this time around.
Bradley Cooper (The A-Team)
is not only amazing to look at but the guy has swagger.
Zack Galifianakis (Due Date)
is just crazy and you can not take your eyes off of his awkwardness.
is the perfect straight man dealing with over the top situations.
Justin Bartha (National Treasure)
again does not get much screen time and does not really add anything to the sequel.
Ken Jeong (Role Models)
almost steals the movie as Mr. Chow and thanks to him you will never look at a mushroom the same.
Bottom line this is not a great movie. There is zero originality and it is a complete photo copy of the original film with just a different back drop. But it is summer and this is not the season for serious drama. So if you want to see funny guys in really awkward situations this is your film. The opening weekend was a huge success so be prepared to be hungover for a third time. Rumor has it that The Wolfpack might be headed to Amsterdam. I will hope that some fresh ideas go with them across the Atlantic.
score 5 out of 10