Sunday, June 05, 2011
Reviews You Can Use: The Hangover Part II
The only thing that saves The Hangover Part II are the performances of its Wolf Pack, because there isn't really anything in the movie that you didn't see the first time around or in the previews.
The premise really is as simple as the first film - the night before a wedding (in this case, Ed Helms' Stu), Helms, Bradley Cooper's Phil and Zach Galifianakis' Alan go on a bender, wake up in the morning to discover they've lost a member of their cadre (in this edition, it's Helms' soon-to-be brother-in-law), and try to fight through their drunken fugue to remember what happened and where they will find him.
This time around, the film is set in Bangkok, Thailand, rather than Vegas, and there is a monkey. Other than that, there's not much more to the film.
I was surprised by the fact that they shied away from over-exposing Alan and his weirdness, and was even more pleasantly surprised that they allowed Helms to lose his shit on more than one occasion. I wasn't overly thrilled that they let Ken Jeong's Mr. Chow chew the scenery quite as much as he did, and Bradley Cooper more or less phoned in his role.
Even still, for all the surprises, the gags are the same (although they haven't yet devolved into truly childish, Will Ferrell-esque material), the plot follows very similar paths, and we don't really learn anything new about the characters. But, there are still several points where you can't help but laugh, and others that make you cringe.
Still, though, it's not nearly as good as the first, but will probably be better than the third.