Review: The Hangover pt II

30 05 2011

Today I will be reviewing The Hangover part II which is the followup to the 2009 smash hit. Todd Phillips takes up directing and co-writing duties again in a story which sees the old gang reunited for Stuart’s wedding. Stuart, played by Ed Helms, is marrying the impossibly beautiful Lauren (Jamie Chung) in her native Thailand with the begrudging approval of her parents. Lauren’s father makes it abundantly clear that Stuart will never measure up to his expectations, unlike Lauren’s brother Teddy (Mason Lee) who at only 16, is destined to study medicine at Stamford.

Stuart and Teddy get along really well despite a frosty relationship between the former and Lauren’s father. Because of this, he invites Teddy down to the beach for a quiet beer with the gang to toast the upcoming wedding.

Despite not hearing to many great things about this movie, I thought I’d take a trip along on this wet, bank holiday Monday. And I’ll begin by saying that anyone who has seen The Hangover will guess what happens next… the scene opens with Bradley Cooper laying facedown in a grimey Bangkok hotel floor. Unlike the first movie, Doug is accounted for and is safe back at the resort hotel. Teddy however is missing, and it is up to the gang to piece together their substance addled memories to figure out where he is and how they can get him back before the wedding.

From then on, The Hangover II is essentially the same movie but set in Bangkok instead of Vegas. I don’t mean that in a derogatory way though as being a quest movie, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu and the mentally unstable Alan (Zach Galifinikis) do get in some ridiculous situations which are at times, hilarious. It’s just inevitable that due to knowing the characters and the events of the last movie, that this time it was a bit more predictable and slightly formulaic. I’d liken it to the absolutely brilliant joke someone told you at work… only this time we’re reminiscing about it the day after – a fond memory, still provoking knowing chuckles, but any more and it’d be in danger of getting tired.

Bradley Cooper provides a bit of stability and Zach Galifinikis still has a novelty about him which, as with all comedic actors, will get boring eventually (James Corden, Russell Brand, Robin Williams – I could go on and on). But for the time being, he did provide several big laughs with his off the wall humour.

It was a perfectly good comedy which is perhaps held to ransom by the success of the first installment and I certainly wasn’t bored by it. I guess I could level some criticisms at it such as the movie does kind of take for granted that you’ve seen the first one, it’s not going to win any screenplay awards and not all parts of the film hang together that well… but I didn’t really care too much. Although you can probably guess what happens in the story I don’t want to give it away, but let’s just say given the events that took place, the bride and her family are unbelievably forgiving! It would be too easy to pick this movie to pieces so there would be little point. It’s more of the same, slightly less effective than the original, but still good for a laugh.

2.5/5

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