Welcome Guest | Register | Login

'The Hangover 2' borrows generously from the original, but it’s still entertaining and funny

"Bookmark



The Hangover 2 returns with more of the same, plus a chain smoking monkey The Hangover 2 returns with more of the same, plus a chain smoking monkey. Photo: Warner Bros.

Anyone who’s seen a trailer or TV spot for The Hangover 2 should already know that this film is basically a carbon copy of the original. This is hardly the first occurrence of such a thing (Home Alone 2 anyone?), but it does mean some of the initial magic will be absent.

Of course, once an individual gets past the sheer laziness of Todd Phillip’s cash grab attempt at capitalizing on the first film’s popularity, there is some fun to be had here. The Hangover 2 is perfectly sufficient entertainment.

The film starts off several years later, yet “the wolfpack” is still very much in tact. Stu’s (Ed Helms) relationship with a prostitute in Vegas (Heather Graham) never really worked out, but now he’s engaged to a very sweet girl named Lauren (Jamie Chung) and is going to get married in Thailand. He has remained good friends with Phil (Bradley Cooper), who is still brash as ever. Let’s not forget the perpetually weird Alan (Zach Galifianakis), who yes, still lives with his parents and expects his mother to make him lunch.

As the ceremony approaches, Stu decides to invite Phil, and in a very hesitant move, Alan, who seems to bring trouble wherever he goes. The arrival to Thailand goes relatively smooth, but when the trio (as well as the bride’s teenage brother Teddy) decide to have “one” drink by the beach, it’s clear that somehow serious partying will ensue.

Cut to the next morning, where the trio wakes up completely blindsided in a seedy Bangkok hotel. Although Phil is intact, Allen somehow shaved his head and Stu is pantless with a face tattoo. They also come upon a severed finger that may belong to Lauren’s younger brother Teddy. Oh, and there’s a monkey too. At this point, the threesome collect themselves and start to put the pieces of the night together in an effort to find Teddy, who is now missing.

 

 

The Hangover 2 glides on the strong chemistry of the cast. The first film also benefitted from this, but in the sequel the performances are the saving grace. This is because, as mentioned, the film literally repeats entire sections of the first movie, and the novelty is entirely gone. Inevitable boredom sets in, but both Galifianakis and his little chain smoking monkey (the butt of at least two oral sex jokes) literally steal the show. Galifianakis is a gifted comic, spot on with delivery and the cause of the majority of laughter here. Ken Jeong, reprising his Mr. Chow role, also does well with his brief screen time, offering more of the same. But again, if it’s ultimately funny, who cares?

And what of the shocking situations these characters find themselves in? Well, without giving it all away, there is a bit with Stu and a prostitute that should make jaws drop, as well as a great deal of male frontal nudity. The film overall is darker and slightly more nihilistic than the first, coming off more dirty and vile than outrageously funny. Todd Phillips keeps the pace flowing nicely throughout The Hangover 2 and supplies the film with a kick ass soundtrack (two nods to classic Billy Joel).

Still, funny bits aside, there are no outright hilarious moments to be found and it doesn’t hold a candle to the first movie. Is it terrible? Absolutely not. Just lower your expectations and you’ll likely come out satisfied.

Contact Jim Teti at jteti@philly2philly.com

Register NOW with Philly2Philly!  

Follow us on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Philly2Phillycom/170351386469

Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/Philly2Philly

You can also find us on Yahoo and Bing

Photos courtesy of Warner Bros.