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Hangover 2

A 2011 movie directed by Todd Phillips.

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Why is This Happening AGAIN?

  • May 29, 2011
Star Rating:

One of the great failures of The Hangover Part II is that no one even attempted to make it original. Instead, director Todd Phillips settles for the path of least resistance and rehashes the exact same plot of the first movie. How is it possible that again the Wolfpack travels to a wedding away from home, and again they get drugged, and again they wake up in a strange place with no memory of the previous night’s events, and again lose an important person, and again must piece together the clues, and again find themselves embroiled in someone else’s criminal activity? This is one of those plots that I can buy into only once. Anything more than that, and you have the same monotonous repetition that drives a teen slasher franchise. God forbid they should make The Hangover Part III. In 3D, no doubt.
The other great failure is that it isn’t very funny. It’s immature, crude, obnoxious, and at times, offensive. I’m afraid I have to recuse myself here since I pretty much felt the same way about the first movie, and this is in spite of its widespread critical acclaim, its box office return of over $480 million, and its Golden Globe win for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy. I did, however, end up recommending it, simply because I found the plot and some of the characters engaging. And so again, we come back to the subject of originality; no matter how tasteless I find a comedy, I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt if at least it tries something new. The Hangover was not my cup of tea as far as its sense of humor was concerned, but the story kept me going.

I cannot say the same thing for Part II. Since the events of the first film, dentist Stu Price (Ed Helms) has dumped his controlling, mean-spirited girlfriend (played in the first film by Rachael Harris) and gotten engaged to the sweet, lovely Lauren (Jamie Chung). The wedding, it’s decided, will be held in Thailand, the home of Lauren’s parents. Immediately invited to attend are Stu’s friends Phil Wenneck (Bradley Cooper) and Justin Bartha (Doug Billings); it takes a lot more convincing for Stu to ask Alan Garner (Zach Galifianakis), who, you may recall, kick started the events of the first movie by slipping a roofie into everyone’s drink. Once they all arrive in Thailand, Alan, for reasons known only to him, feels threatened by the inclusion of Lauren’s sixteen-year-old brother, Teddy (Mason Lee, son of Ang), who’s already pre-med and can play the cello.
A few nights before the wedding, Stu agrees to one more drink with Alan and Phil, which was only supposed to last for twenty minutes or so. In an act of goodwill, they bring Teddy along. Naturally, things don’t go as planned; the next morning, the three men awaken in a filthy hotel room in Bangkok hung over and with no memory of how they got there. Alan’s head has been shaved. Stu’s face is adorned with Mike Tyson’s trademark tattoo. A capuchin monkey wearing a tiny Rolling Stones vest swings from the pipes on the ceiling. A severed finger is found on ice. And worst of all, Teddy is nowhere to be found. As the Wolfpack frantically retraces their steps, they will be reunited with Asian mobster Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong), get saddled with a wheelchair-bound Buddhist monk, cross paths with a very specific category of Thai strippers, and be threatened by an American crime boss (Paul Giamatti).

I’ve put up with it for a few films, but I feel I must now break my silence and admit that I just don’t get Zach Galifianakis. Why does he always have to play the clueless man-child? Why does his dialogue have to consist almost entirely of inappropriate comments and deadpan non-sequiturs? Many of his characters are defined by passive aggressiveness and social ineptitude; both are not only painfully unoriginal, they also become tiresome in a very, very short period of time. As Alan – and as Ethan Tremblay from Due Date, Therman Murch from Dinner for Schmucks, and even Jerry in Youth in Revolt – he makes himself so thoroughly unlikeable that it’s impossible to stay invested with him all the way through to the end. He’s just plain odd.
Apart from him, the film suffers from a serious lack of imagination. There’s more to this than the recycled plot. Why, for example, does Lauren’s father have to be an overprotective snob who, true to the Asian stereotype, pressures his son into academic achievements? Why is the monkey yet another case of forcing an exotic animal to exhibit human quirks, such as smoking cigarettes? There’s nothing innately funny about cigarette smoking, and somehow, it’s even less funny when it’s being done by an animal. Why does an appearance by Ken Jeong inevitably start with a shot of full frontal nudity and a sophomoric gag about his penis? Just wait until you hear how a comparison to a shiitake mushroom is worked in. The Hangover Part II is a lot of things, but entertaining is not one of them.


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May 29, 2011
You gave it a +3 rating but two stars and a negative review? I'm confused. I certainly won't defend this as a good film, but I did think it was interesting how it tried to deal with the unlikelihood of this all happening again - ie, Stu deciding toward the end it was "a demon inside him" or something like that, and then using that knowledge to stand up to his father-in-law. Not sure that scene made any sense at all, (can we get your m-f-ing blessin'?) but it was an interesting attempt.
May 29, 2011
I personally don't like Lunch's plus/minus number system, so I compensate with star rankings. Here's how I do it:

0 - 0.5 stars = +1
1 - 1.5 stars = +2
2 - 2.5 stars = +3
3 - 3.5 stars = +4
4 stars = +5

I hope that clears it up for you.
May 29, 2011
I liked the first movie but somehow this one would be better as a rental. Sounds like I was right. We'll see maybe if I get bored enough and pay only $ 6.00 for the ticket, maybe I'll go. Thanks!
May 29, 2011
The second movie is essentially the same as the first movie -- exempting the change of location, of course. I don't think there's anything in the sequel you haven't already gotten from the original.
More The Hangover Part II reviews
review by . February 19, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
If you have seen the first film there is probably no reason to see this one. But like Harold and Kumar, Hollywood will force meaningless sequels on the general public if the first film was a hit. This time Stu is getting married (again?) to a Thai lady and Stu and Doug are invited but Alan is not (again?). Stu and Doug go to Stu and persuade him to invite the even more obnoxious Alan (again). Of course the three will go out and have a drink and then wake up a day later with no clue what happened …
review by . May 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Did Murray Head teach you idiots anything?
The original Hangover movie was the new standard setter in comedies.  Much like how in the mid-ninties everyone wanted to do Farrelly Brother gross out movies and then American Pie raunchfests, now we have Hangover movies and sadly we have Hot Tub Time Machine as a result.  While I didn't love the first Hangover movie, I did like the concept of putting together the results of a crazy night against a ticking clock and it's reliance on actual jokes and not just littering the story …
review by . June 02, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
  I remember bragging to my friends back in 2009 that I was going to see the “little-known” comedy called The Hangover on its opening night, mostly because I had already heard some of the amazing buzz coming off the film’s advanced screening and thinking it could very well be the next huge hit. Apparently I have a great foresight for modern comedy classics (it’s totally like me to have a useless skill like that), as The Hangover (Part 1) was a colossal hit. It established …
review by . May 26, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
There is something tragically sad when Hollywood feels the need to take a good thing and destroy it.  Granted the failure of Part II was not an epic fail, but it was close enough to have been a complete disappointment.       The Hangover Part II is one of those films that you go into hoping for something to be delightfully surprised by, and granted there were a few jokes that were quite shocking, but the overall effect of the film did not survive the curse of unnecessary …
review by . May 27, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Time to get off the sauce, fellas.
THE HANGOVER PART II   Written by Craig Mazin, Scot Armstrong and Todd Phillips   Directed by Todd Phillips   Starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis      Alan: I wish monkeys could Skype. Maybe one day.      I must begin by stating that I was not a big fan of The Hangover, the 2009 comedy sensation that would go on to become one of the biggest R-rated successes in history and put director, Todd Phillips, on the …
review by . June 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   I'm not really getting Todd Phillips's intention besides getting more money. I can also dig a whole different ways to make money. I can dig remakes, I can dig retakes, I can dig sequels, I can dig prequels but I can't dig easy copies of movies you made before. Todd just did that. The ingredients to this comedy are the same.      Instead of Las Vegas you get Bangkok, instead of a bachelor party we get a... bachelor party, instead of missing Stu you get …
review by . June 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
15 - 102mins - Comedy - 26th May 2011   Hot off the heels of The Hangover, a massive summer success in 2008, The Hangover Part II reunites the wolfpack and the adventure begins all over again in another country and city.      This time around the setting is Thailand and Stu (Ed Helms) is the lucky groom to be. With the wedding taking place in Thailand to help Stu get along with his new relatives, the rest of the gang- Phil (Bradley Cooper), Doug (Justin Bartha) and Alan …
review by . May 30, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Much like its predecessor, “Hangover Part II” is a thoughtful reflection on the duality of human nature, and the darkness that lies within the best of people, and the prettiest of places.  On location in a beautiful paradise and just hours before a joyful event celebrating love, honor, respect and commitment between two people, three friends wake up to find themselves in a virtual hell, with no memory of the string of events that led them there.  What’s surprising is …
About the reviewer
Chris Pandolfi ()
Ranked #2
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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