Warning... spoilers ahead
When The Hangover (i.e. the first one) first came out, I had a fun time enjoying this film. It was a comedy that had the grossest jokes that worked, a Memento-styled story structure that has us hooked to three best friends in Las Vegas (well one of them has no relation with these guys) finding their other best friend because he's getting married in a day's time from a messed up bachelor brunch the other night. With that, it knocked the seriousness out of Roger Ebert and every other critic calling it the best comedy of the year.
There were two results. It grossed in the hundreds of millions and became the highest grossing R-rated comedy in film history. The other was that it received the Golden Globe for Best Picture - Musical or Comedy but it's not that deserving to win that kind of award which should've gone to (500) Days Of Summer in that was wittier and like The Hangover has a unique story structure that''s unpredictable.
In this particular movie, we bring back the Wolf pack (three out of four guys. The odd one out is Doug who was the groom in the previous movie and nevertheless was given a lack of presence here) with the literally pretty jackass Phil (Brad Cooper), the indecisive yet mature Stu (Ed Helms) and the clueless chubby wannabe Alan (Zack Galifinakis). They all travel to Thailand so Stu can marry his newlywed Lauren (Jamie Chung). When Lauren asks him to take her younger brother Teddy, a teenage med prodigy to their night out... you guessed it... they mess up, ended up at a seedy motel and they lose Teddy. So... you guessed it... they must find out what happened the night before so they can track down the kid in time for the wedding.
In nearly every review for this film, you'll find parts that mention how it's the same storyline so directly formulaic, you'll forget the formula because they're in a different place. What you're gonna get are these three guys somewhat out of luck, call bride, celebrate their best mate's wedding, they're hungover, etc. There were a list of clues from the first that were funny as it was. A tiger, a baby, a missing tooth, and a stripper. Now it's a drug mule monkey, Stu has a tattoo and... a hermaphrodite... who literally reveals all!
Because of that, for anyone who is a fan of the first film expecting a fresh look, it becomes really tedious and rarely you'll laugh out loud for all the jokes that turned recycled. However at the same time, it works for anyone who would laugh at the raunchiness that is cruder and darker than the first.
Part II did two things that were two hard. a) like the plot, they throw references, characters that you would or should remember from the first film and forcefully add extra screentime for them. b) as mentioned earlier, they up the raunchiness that goes way too far. There were some jokes that made me groan with despair such as a transexual stripper who goes nude and shows off his penis, stating he had sex with one of the guys. You'll get an idea when you stay at the end credits. But I thought it was insulting and homophobic, but that is what you'll supposed to get in a sequel that's in for milking. If Pedro Almodovar saw this, he would've exploded.
The biggest problem is that this is Comedy Sequel 101. Nothing is changed and every aspect that made the previous film well-made becomes stale here. But it's the writers who are too lazy to come up with anything out of the screenplay that is new and the inconsistent direction from Todd Phillips, who gave us Due Date but it wasn't a big hit like The Hangover.
In between the end of the first Hangover and the beginning of the second, there's no sense of development to the heart of it all other than the fact that Stu's getting married and Alan becoming a socially desperate tool who becomes mean-spirited to Teddy later. Phil is still that jackass he used to be but one chingacter that is most unwarranted was Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) who's annoying than ever. What would've worked in this movie, for me at least, were the planned cameos from Mel Gibson, Liam Neeson and Bill Clinton. But the cast resisted and instead we get another cameo from Mike Tyson (one's enough).
Overall, this movie is an epitome of unecessary sequel from a comedy that should've been preserved for its humor, but here it's an A4 copy of The Hangover that is urine-soaked for anyone who's eager to write on it. This is not a sequel people. It's a rehashed remake of a classic. And if you look at the opening credits, there's 'based on characters' put in. Period.
If the sequel had something fresh, they should ask David Fincher about 'a head in the box'.
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