They effed up again, but really bad this time. Bad bad.
In this sequel to The Hangover, the buddies from the earlier film’s bachelor party reunite for a wedding trip to Thailand where one of them, Stu Price (Ed Helms), is planning to tie the knot. Stu is determined that his own pre-wedding party should be a restrained and dignified affair, but between the habits of his friends and the multiple distractions of Bangkok, fate has other plans in store for him.
Look at that premise, and tell me if there is anything different there from the first one. Take a second….one more…OK. Nothing has changed at all for that premise other than the fact that they are not in Las Vegas, they are all randomly in Bangkok, which is not even a fun place to be it seems.
Before I start, I just want to say that I did find myself chuckling at moments. I laughed at the little gags in between breaks, and the beginning actually had me laughing many times throughout, but then the film really started to drag.
The writing here is terribly lazy and doesn’t add much of the joy or creativity that was within the first. Director and co-writer Todd Phillips doesn’t do much different here other then practically remake the first one which I can’t really blame him for trying to capitalize on that success, but at the same time, at least give me something remotely funny. There’s too many times where this film just goes “Oh my gosh! Remember this happened in the first!?! Let’s do it again, but this time have the characters say: “I can’t believe this is happening again”!”.
Added to this film is a more grittier and darker tone which I was not expecting, and didn’t really do much for this film. The film tries to create more and more crazier situations as it goes along which the first film did, but there’s no real fun while they get from one place to another. I guess I just wasn’t surprised when all these major plot points popped up because everything is terribly predictable, but there are long stretches of little or no comedy here, and it really was annoying because I remember that I was already pissing my pants within the first 10 minutes of the first one.
The Wolf Pack here though is the real treat to watch and actually save this film from eternal damnation. Bradley Cooper is always good as the kind of slimy, but always cool Phil. Ed Helms is an absolute riot here as Stu once again, and does almost everything in his will to keep the laughs coming. Zach Galifianakis is very very strange this time around as Alan and without him, the laughs really don’t start coming until he’s up on-screen. The guys still play off of each other so well, and even when the script is lacking in actual “fun”, these guys do all they can to bring more of it to their scenes together. Ken Jeong as Chow is in it more and kind of gets over-done big-time. Paul Giamatti is randomly here as well, and does nothing remotely funny in a role that could have been used by a C-list actor and it wouldn’t have made that much of a difference. I wish they put more of Justin Bartha in here though and actually let him be involved with The Wolf Pack because he’s as funny as any of these guys, and also Mason Lee is just terribly forgettable as the future brother-in-law. Still wish Mel Gibson and Liam Neeson got those cameos!
Consensus: There is a more darker, meaner, and grittier tone than the first, but there are still not as many surprises nor as many of actual humor here at all. The Hangover: Part II is just a remake of the first with a few chuckles, but nothing else really new to bring to the table.