A raunchy, funny roller coaster you've already ridden before6/10
Select All. Cut. Open New Document. Paste. Thesaurus. Print. I can nearly guarantee you this was the process in writing the sequel to the most successful R-rated comedy of all-time. In one of the craziest and most blatant filmmaking moments of carbon copying an earlier installment I have ever witnessed Hangover II paces, moves, and delivers in the exact same method, style and speed as the original. The musical transitions are the same, some of the set-ups are the same, some of the conflicts and revelations were eerily alike and worst of all, the entire third act felt like the original----and they are thousands of miles from the United States. Every strength in this movie is deterred by the fact that Todd Phillips and company put no effort in trying to change things up a little aside from setting.
Is the movie still funny? Yes, it is funny and there are indeed some standout moments. But, all the freshness and originality of the first Hangover is definitely not present here, and it hurts more because they could have fixed some of the setbacks of the original. This time Stu (Ed Helms) is getting married in Thailand in order to gain approval from his fiancee's father. During a night of drinking with the "Wolfpack" (Bradley Cooper, Zack Galifianakis, Justin Bartha) and the fiancee's brother, something went wrong, and the crew is many miles away in Bangkok. And of course, one of them is missing. And of course, they don't remember anything. And of course, they are mixed up in multiple situations occurring within the city. The difference between this one and their stint in Vegas is that the stakes are much higher, as the adventure in Thailand is much more grim and dark than in Sin City.
Hangover part one was hilarious, unique, and had flair of comedic originality. However, it needed a few polishes in order to become a true comedic classic. Zach as Allen is the biggest of the flaws. His characterization in the original was very uneven, too random, and just didn't deliver as much sympathy as the other characters. In the sequel, he is ruder, crueler, and an absolute pain to witness. In the original his actions are mildly justified because of his stupidity. Here however the stupid act gets old extremely fast. It doesn't help that Galifianakis doesn't have the comedic timing that superior funnymen possess. The rest of the cast throughout the movie was great, with Ed Helms and Ken Jeong being the best examples.
Todd Phillips should have known better, as he is a good director with a nice track record. I am extremely disappointed that instead of taking an approach to trying something new while still offering the same type of R-rated college humor, he chose to stick to the formula far too close. You can copy some of the jokes and get away with it, but to imitate the entire three-act structure of the original Hangover is nothing more than lazy and uninspired filmmaking. He still has a few tricks up his sleeve with a few raunchy and hilarious surprises, but far too much potential was wasted in order for me to forgive him.
Bottom Line: You will most likely have a good time watching this if you enjoyed the original. That being said, it will feel exactly like the original---except it's in Bangkok and the setting is much darker. They cranked the ante in conflict, but failed to improve anything or change anything from the 2009 comedy smash hit. Playing it safe hindered this movie, as part of Hangover's appeal was its inability to stick to a formula. Hangover II is funny, but lacks the satisfaction, zaniness, and appeal of the original. Hopefully they can spice things up for the third installment (you know it's coming out, stop lying to yourself) otherwise all I have to do is copy this review and paste it to the third chapter.
diac1987.blogspot.com Entire Planet Observed on Daily Basis