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Hangover 2

A 2011 movie directed by Todd Phillips.

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More of the Same for This Hangover

  • May 26, 2011
  • by
It has been two years since writer-director producer Todd Phillips unleashed the mother of all benders on audiences with The Hangover. The film about four buddies on a lost weekend in Vegas was a comedic tour de force that left audiences laughing from start to finish and went on to be the highest grossing R-rated film in history. Naturally when a film does this kind of business, thoughts turned to a sequel and Phillips has returned with the original cast and crew to follow up this comedy classic.

Plot of the film mild-mannered dentist Stu (Ed Helms), who is getting married in Thailand to the girl of his dreams. Undaunted by the fact that his fiancé's father despises everything about him, Stu convinces his best friends Phil (Bradley Cooper), and Doug (Justin Bartha), to take the 16 hour flight to attend the ceremony. When news reaches them that a crestfallen Alan (Zach Galifianikis), is waiting for his invitation to the ceremony, Stu is reluctant because he does not want a repeat of what happened in Vegas.

But despite their misgivings, the friends decide to include Alan in the ceremony and embark to the airport for the long flight to Thailand. They're joined at the airport by Stu's future brother-in-law Teddy (Mason Lee), a child prodigy who was already attending Stanford at 16 and has designs on a future medical career. As Stu's fiance explains later in the film, Teddy is their father's "most prized possession."

Alan takes an instant disliking to Teddy and sees him as an outsider in their "wolf pack" and doesn't miss an opportunity to try to exclude Teddy. Upon their arrival in beautiful Thailand, the friends get through a somewhat awkward dinner with the future in-laws and relax on the beach for a bonfire and bachelor party. Phil makes sure to be extra careful to avoid any of the issues they had in Vegas and selects bottled beer that was given to them by the hotel staff and makes sure that every one of them only gets an unopened bottle to drink.

Despite these precautions, Stu, Phil, and Alan wake up the next morning in a seedy hotel with absolutely no memory of how they got there and what happened the night before. Stu now sports a fresh facial tattoo while Alan has a completely shaved head. Matters are further complicated when the group realizes that Teddy is missing and that what appears to be his severed finger is found to be floating in a bucket of water.

As if things were not bad enough, matters take an even extreme turn for the worse when a monkey and Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong), show up and add even bigger complications to the already complex situation. The group learns that Doug is safely back at the resort and waiting for their arrival at breakfast after having left the bonfire early, leaving Stu, Alan and Phil to piece together the forgotten events of the night and locate Teddy before the wedding. Along the way they run into criminals, the sleazy side of Bangkok, upset monks, and much more as they race against time to solve the mystery and locate Teddy.

What follows is a comedic adventure complete with jaw-dropping sequences that leaves the audience shocked at just how far they push the envelope. The cast works well with one another and there are some truly funny moments in the film. The biggest issue with the movie is that it must walk a fine line between using the established formula of friends trying to remember and deal with the consequences of their lost evening while not repeating itself.

This is a very tricky proposition as the film essentially follows the same plot line of the original film: a group of friends are trying to remember the previous night and locate a missing member prior to a wedding. There are also similar jokes such as Stu dealing with a tattoo instead of a missing tooth and Alan's constant nonsensical bantering and plethora of useless information.

Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel director Todd Phillips instead focuses on the relationship of the cast and allows the unique and exotic setting to be the new character and foil for the comedy. Many times in the film it is established that Teddy must be located before "Bangkok gets him" and as such the city offers endless opportunities for the cast.

The film does drag at the three quarters mark but recovers nicely, leading to a predictable finale. While the film was not as thoroughly funny as the original, in terms of humor and storytelling, but there are still plenty of laughs and eye-popping scenes that make it an enjoyable comedy. There are rumors that Phillips has plans for third film in the series to complete the trilogy. If this is indeed the case I would welcome a third film with the understanding that more care be put into the plot to avoid rehashing previous jokes and situations.

3.5 stars out of 5

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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 25, 2011
They keep asking this question throughout the first half of the movie, and I found myself asking the same thing through the second half. In 2009 Todd Phillips had the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time, so asked himself why change a winning formula, and for those looking for more of the same, the answer is he didn't.      What was great about the first one was that, you had no idea what was coming. Each moment they tried to up the ante. Phillips had a hand in writing …
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 . May 29, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
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
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #111
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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