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Review: The Hangover, Part 2

May. 26, 2011by: Chris Bumbray

PLOT: Stu (Ed Helms) is getting married in Thailand, and his wolf pack, including Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zach Galifianakis), and Doug (Justin Bartha) are there to walk him down the aisle. Swearing off bachelor parties after their experience in Vegas, the boys opt for a quiet beach bonfire, in the company of Stu's fiances brother, Teddy (Mason Lee). Despite their good intentions, the next morning Stu, Phil, and Alan wake up in a seedy motel room in Bangkok, with no memory of the night before, and Teddy missing. Now the three have to embark on a mad quest through Bangkok to find Teddy in time for Stu's wedding.

REVIEW: When reviewing a comedy, there's really only one question that needs to be answered: is the film funny? In this case, yes, THE HANGOVER, PART 2 is very funny, if not quite on the "pee-your-pants" level of the first film. This is mostly due to the fact that, by following the original film's formula so closely, the sequel can't help but be a bit predictable.

I suppose it could be argued that THE HANGOVER should have been left alone, and that no sequel was necessary. However, when a film with no major stars (at the time), and a reasonable budget comes out and makes $457 million, you can be damn sure it's going to get a sequel. Now, less than two years after their Las Vegas debauchery, the wolf pack is back, in more or less the same movie, with only the location having been changed (Bangkok instead of Vegas).


A feeling of been there, done that is probably inevitable as the first film didn't really leave the filmmakers anywhere to go in a sequel. Whatever they came up with, it was bound to be essentially an imitation,with a raging hangover and wacky shenanigans being a must. Still, the public demanded a sequel and here it is. Luckily,THE HANGOVER, PART 2 is still a pretty damn funny flick in it's own right, and far better than the early trailers might have led you to believe.

The best thing about the first film was the chemistry between the three leads, Cooper, Helms and Galifianakis, which each of them becoming major stars in the process. Luckily, the central trio is back, and their chemistry is alive and well. No one character is more prominent that the other (although once again Bartha's Doug misses all the fun), and none of the actors stoop to recreating their shtick from the first film (for the most part).


As the de-facto straight man, Cooper's more of a responsible, leader-type guy this go-round, with him not being to slick, big-talker he was in the first film. Of the three, he probably has the fewest laughs, minus a couple of great one-liners early in the film. I guess we needed one of our heroes to seem somewhat in-control, and Cooper fits the bill, just as he did in the first film. In a big leap from part one, Helms' Stu's no longer a wimp, with his adventures in Vegas clearly having made him the type of guy that could land someone like Jamie Chung (as his fiance, although Heather Graham sits this one out). Once they get going, Stu, sporting a new Mike Tyson tattoo, is the one who`s dark side really starts to get revealed (with one scene involving trans-sexual hookers clearly pushing the R rating to it's breaking point), and Helms is great as always.

As for Galifianakis' Alan, o f the three he's the only one who hasn't changed much from part one, but considering how much audiences took to him, why mess with something that works? He`s just about as funny in PART 2 as he was in the first film, and the scenes between him and a coke snorting/ chain smoking monkey are pretty hilarious.

Ken Jeong is also back as Mr. Chow, the drug-dealing gangster, now conveniently turned BFF to Alan. His presence is a bit of a stretch, but it all pays off in a fun subplot involving Paul Giamatti as a local crime-lord. However, the tacked-on Mike Tyson cameo was the one part of the film that really seemed to be a bit of a cop-out, and really shouldn't have been included. He was funny in the first film because it was so unexpected, but since then he's been popping up in 'Funny Or Die' videos every other week, and he tries to be zany here, as opposed to playing it mostly straight in the first film (no Phil Collins sing-along though).


Another issue I had with PART 2 is that, in an effort to top the first film, Todd Phillips might have gone a bit too far, as the plot REALLY strains believability this time, especially with a lengthy car chase that, while cool and well-executed, doesn't really belong in a comedy. The pace also lags a bit from time-to-time, with the first twenty minutes (pre-hangover) being pretty dull. Luckily, once the boys wake up in Bangkok, things pick up, and the laughs start coming.

While I think Phillips might have been a little overly ambitious in staging scenes of carnage, I've got to mention the fact that, like his last few films, THE HANGOVER, PART 2 is beautifully shot, with him and his DP Lawrence Sher doing a great job showing off the beauty of certain part of Thailand, and the seediness of the Bangkok nightlife. I don't think there's another director working in comedy that makes as consistently good-looking films as Phillips.

So, while I doubt anyone will say THE HANGOVER, PART 2 is as good as it's predecessor, it's nonetheless a fun and worthy sequel, boasting more than enough laughs to make it worthwhile. What it lacks in originality, it makes up for in laughs, and should please anyone who liked the first one.

Extra Tidbit: That damn monkey steals every scene he's in!
Source: JoBlo.com

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8:01AM on 05/26/2011

Good...

Loved the first didn't want the second to end up bad...Now I know it hasn't....
Loved the first didn't want the second to end up bad...Now I know it hasn't....
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8:04AM on 05/26/2011

loved it

I watched the early showing of this movie and i gotta say i loved it even more than the first one, it felt like they could actually push the boundries and get away with it because bankok is presented as a plave of lawlessness, and debautrey, i know that was not spelled right, the review is fairly accurate but, i gotta say i loved this version more than the last, and if it does happen again i wouldn't mind one more outing with the gang. though i'm sure alot would disagree the hangover idea is
I watched the early showing of this movie and i gotta say i loved it even more than the first one, it felt like they could actually push the boundries and get away with it because bankok is presented as a plave of lawlessness, and debautrey, i know that was not spelled right, the review is fairly accurate but, i gotta say i loved this version more than the last, and if it does happen again i wouldn't mind one more outing with the gang. though i'm sure alot would disagree the hangover idea is something that most of us has experienced.
so recap funny as a baby being thrown to paint a barn, and loved it even more than the original!
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9:26AM on 05/26/2011
I glad I already saw it so I wouldn't be upset about this article having a few spoilers.... That said, everything Mr. Bumbray says is dead-on how I felt about the movie. It wasn't the gut-busting hilarious movie the first one was, mostly due to the fact that Zack Galifianakis is not "new," so his weirdo lines just feel less random. And, then ending all comes together pretty poorly and forced, but nonetheless it was a good time at the movies. 7/10 is dead on.
I glad I already saw it so I wouldn't be upset about this article having a few spoilers.... That said, everything Mr. Bumbray says is dead-on how I felt about the movie. It wasn't the gut-busting hilarious movie the first one was, mostly due to the fact that Zack Galifianakis is not "new," so his weirdo lines just feel less random. And, then ending all comes together pretty poorly and forced, but nonetheless it was a good time at the movies. 7/10 is dead on.
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10:48AM on 05/26/2011
I agree with you but for one point...
Galifianakis' character is, I think, far more pushed on front in this sequel than in the first one... But aside from that, I think 7/10 it is all right.
I agree with you but for one point...
Galifianakis' character is, I think, far more pushed on front in this sequel than in the first one... But aside from that, I think 7/10 it is all right.
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+4
11:35AM on 05/26/2011

Couldn't care if it was a re-hash

As long as it's funny.

The first film wasn't about a brilliant story at all, it was a series of funny moments, situations and lines. If this film follows the same formula, but has different funny situations and lines that make me laugh, then that's good enough for me.
As long as it's funny.

The first film wasn't about a brilliant story at all, it was a series of funny moments, situations and lines. If this film follows the same formula, but has different funny situations and lines that make me laugh, then that's good enough for me.
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1:47PM on 05/26/2011
It was a lot of fun. Laughed a ton, which is all I want.
It was a lot of fun. Laughed a ton, which is all I want.
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1:50PM on 05/26/2011
As a huge fan of the first Hangover of course i was looking forward to the inevitable sequel & of course it was basically gonna have the same formula, and this review pretty much convinces me to now wanna go check this out. Also i think spoilers nowadays are pretty much the standard & just something we have to get used to.
As a huge fan of the first Hangover of course i was looking forward to the inevitable sequel & of course it was basically gonna have the same formula, and this review pretty much convinces me to now wanna go check this out. Also i think spoilers nowadays are pretty much the standard & just something we have to get used to.
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+2
1:54PM on 05/26/2011

It was good!

I enjoyed it thoroughly. Essentially the same plot, but with a different story. Paul Giamatti was awesome. That was the most people I've seen at a midnight showing in a long time. All in all it was a great time at the movies....except for the parents of the year who brought their goddamn 2 year old to the theater I was at. Fuckin' Bakersfield.....
I enjoyed it thoroughly. Essentially the same plot, but with a different story. Paul Giamatti was awesome. That was the most people I've seen at a midnight showing in a long time. All in all it was a great time at the movies....except for the parents of the year who brought their goddamn 2 year old to the theater I was at. Fuckin' Bakersfield.....
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2:01PM on 05/26/2011
p.s. loved the car chase. reminded me of some of the best action comedy in Pineapple Express. Also loved the gritty look Thailand offered, really nice contrast to the overly stylized Las Vegas.
p.s. loved the car chase. reminded me of some of the best action comedy in Pineapple Express. Also loved the gritty look Thailand offered, really nice contrast to the overly stylized Las Vegas.
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2:34PM on 05/26/2011
"What it lacks in originality, it makes up for in laughs"

Perfect way to describe it.
"What it lacks in originality, it makes up for in laughs"

Perfect way to describe it.
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+4
4:04PM on 05/26/2011
I thought the first flick was pretty overrated, but still a solid comedy. That being said, I went in with low expectatons and was still let down. This flick is about as funny as Hall Pass was... not very.
I thought the first flick was pretty overrated, but still a solid comedy. That being said, I went in with low expectatons and was still let down. This flick is about as funny as Hall Pass was... not very.
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4:16PM on 05/26/2011

Fantastic Review

I agree. Good review. It's all kind of the same schtick, but on steroids and in Bangkok instead of Vegas. It's mildly disappointing in that regard, but still brings the funny and that's the bottom line with these things anyway, right?
I agree. Good review. It's all kind of the same schtick, but on steroids and in Bangkok instead of Vegas. It's mildly disappointing in that regard, but still brings the funny and that's the bottom line with these things anyway, right?
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9:09PM on 05/26/2011

I hope this movie fails at the box office

Too many people on here seem complacent by just saying...."well, it's still kind of funny so I guess that's good."

They could have put a fresh spin on it and still made it funny, because as it stands now it is just a rehash of part 1.
Too many people on here seem complacent by just saying...."well, it's still kind of funny so I guess that's good."

They could have put a fresh spin on it and still made it funny, because as it stands now it is just a rehash of part 1.
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9:43PM on 05/26/2011

Totally agree.

Wasn't original by any means but god damn it was funny. Left the theater happy and did not regret buying the ticket one bit and that's all I ask for as a movie goer.
Wasn't original by any means but god damn it was funny. Left the theater happy and did not regret buying the ticket one bit and that's all I ask for as a movie goer.
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11:23PM on 05/26/2011

Great Review. Now read my review!


Check out my review: I don't grade it but I agree with the 7 out of 10.

[link]

Check out my review: I don't grade it but I agree with the 7 out of 10.

[link]
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10:58AM on 05/27/2011

What's with all the support?

I'm a little surprised at all the positive buzz I'm seeing in the comments. Just saw it yesterday and it was "okay" at best. Look I loved the original and I'd be there opening day to see the third one, if the formula was changed up a little, like has been hinted at by the makers of the films, but for a community that constantly gets up in arms about remakes and reboots, to not show more backlash against essentially a carbon copy of a film only two years later just surprises me. I guess I
I'm a little surprised at all the positive buzz I'm seeing in the comments. Just saw it yesterday and it was "okay" at best. Look I loved the original and I'd be there opening day to see the third one, if the formula was changed up a little, like has been hinted at by the makers of the films, but for a community that constantly gets up in arms about remakes and reboots, to not show more backlash against essentially a carbon copy of a film only two years later just surprises me. I guess I shouldn't be given the reactions it was getting in the theater, but all of the things that were hilarious in the first one were "chuckle-worthy" in this one. There were a few parts that I thought were funny, but they were all parts that deviated from the first film. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's a horrible film or anything. Maybe it's unfair to judge a film based on another, but it was just way too much of the same. If I had never seen the Hangover, I might agree with a 7/10 rating, but being that I (and I'm guessing most of the people who will see it) have seen the original, I would given it a 5/10 (maybe a 6 if I'm feeling generous).
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+3
3:05PM on 05/27/2011
It was "ok" at best. I thought it warranted a better cameo. Mel would have been cool, a Charlie Sheen would have been better and I kept thinkin' to myself as an ex smoker, "I wonder how much tobacco companies would pay to have a smoking monkey in a film. Because if when I was like 14 and I thought people in Sin City looked cool, I would have thought a fuckin' smokin' monkey was AWESOME! So that kinda bothered me. Oh and I did NOt dig that Trannie scene. I can't believe (MINOR SPOILER) Stu did
It was "ok" at best. I thought it warranted a better cameo. Mel would have been cool, a Charlie Sheen would have been better and I kept thinkin' to myself as an ex smoker, "I wonder how much tobacco companies would pay to have a smoking monkey in a film. Because if when I was like 14 and I thought people in Sin City looked cool, I would have thought a fuckin' smokin' monkey was AWESOME! So that kinda bothered me. Oh and I did NOt dig that Trannie scene. I can't believe (MINOR SPOILER) Stu did that. Kinda felt sick...
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