Written By: Jacob Golba
The Trailer for the Hangover Part II is at the end of the review.
“They” say a lot of things regarding what’s wrong with The Hangover Part II. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Stick to the formula and you won’t go wrong. And so on. Fortunately for Part II, however, this formula of roofies, drunkenness, and amnesia is also what makes the film more attractive to the standard moviegoer. The first film was, simply put, hilarious—and the sequel is highly entertaining – but by the end of the film, the whole story just seems old and trite.
This may seem very negative, but this reviewer can still call Part II a good apple and be able to live with himself at night. The humor is irreverent, uncouth, and at many times (usually involving Alan [Zach Galifianakis]) nonsensical. To illustrate, some subjects of jokes involve monkeys smoking cigarettes, pig mutilation, and transvestites. Which sounds horrifying—not unlike the depiction of the exotic Bangkok in the film. However, depending on the viewer, these jokes either live up to the horror or end up being laugh-out-loud funny.
The wolf pack, in other words, delivers the laughs. Phil (Bradley Cooper) is just as charismatically arrogant as he was in the first film, Stu (Ed Helms) now battles with his Thai father-in-law for approval, and Alan has now taken to befriending an international criminal, Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong). These guys aren’t too complex, and they have just enough depth that the audience can invest in, which ends up making the zany situations the pack gets into more enjoyable.
As the film went on, I honestly found myself less invested in the events unfolding onscreen. Part II is, plot-point-for-plot-point (and you don’t have to be a film scholar to see this), identical to the first film. The only dramatic change this time around is Thailand, in place of Las Vegas.
Though Stu is the married man this time around, Doug (Justin Bartha) still has nothing to do but stay at the hotel and (presumably,though we never see it) buy time for the wolf pack. Stu’s brother-in-law Teddy (Mason Lee) is the missing man this time around, and one wonders if they couldn’t have thrown in a straight laced man like him (or even Doug) to counteract the absurdity of all the other men in the pack. Sadly, the world will never know.
In short, The Hangover Part II hasn’t lost all of its novelty, and still makes for an amusing film. There’s not a whole lot more to say than that, except maybe a slight nod to action lovers—there’s an amusing car chase, some gunfire, and a police conspiracy thrown in for—puzzling—effect. However, if a planned third film is still in the works, director Todd Phillips will need to step things up, because I’m not sure if I can give this wild ride another go and be okay with it.
Hollywood Apples gives The Hangover Part II three-out-of-five apples! It is a movie worth seeing and we recommend it to anyone who loved The Hangover and general comedy lovers.