The Hangover Part II (2011)

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IMDb Rating
6.5 out of 10 (view IMDb page)

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102 min Minutes
Todd Phillips
Craig Mazin

Weekly Volcano's Review

Rev. Adam McKinney on May 25th, 2011

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Here's the short version: The Hangover Part II is The Hangover Part II. It's as if a strange experiment was done to see if a sequel can be made that literally repeats, beat for beat, the original movie. I think it would be giving director Todd Phillips too much credit to assume that the jarring similarities to and recreations of scenes from the earlier film is some sort of commentary on the absurdity of sequels. Sadly, the distinctive smell of a desperate cash grab consumes Part II.

This new installment picks up a couple years after Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) went to a bachelor party in Las Vegas, got too f***ed up and awoke in the morning to find the groom missing. Not being able to remember a single thing about the previous night, the groomsmen retraced their steps in an attempt to find the lost groom and, in doing so, learned of all the crazy debauchery that occurred the night before.

Needless to say, everything turned out all right that time, and the groom made it to the wedding just in time. Now, Stu, another member of the "Wolf Pack" - so dubbed by the antisocial weirdo, Alan - is getting married in Thailand, and invites the gang to come along. Those who have seen the original will recall that the reason the Wolf Pack got so messed up and couldn't remember anything was because Alan had slipped them roofies in an attempt to loosen them up. Now you invite him to Thailand with you? Huh.

Joining the Wolf Pack in what was supposed to be a one-beer toast to Stu's wedding is Stu's fiancée's brother, Teddy (Mason Lee). Cut to the next morning, when Stu, Alan and Phil wake up in a filthy apartment in the middle of Bangkok. And Teddy's missing! It happened again!

The journey that follows is not without its occasional laughs - though most of the big laughs are in some way variations on jokes from the first film - but a lack of ambition permeates every scene. All that's been done is that the ante has been upped in repeating gags (instead of Stu marrying a hooker, he sleeps with a transsexual prostitute; Thailand!). It seems as if no thought was given to the possibility of writing new jokes.

Over the past month or so, I have been drowning in a sea of sequels. It's become somewhat overwhelming, and there doesn't seem to be any end in sight. This is the year of the franchise.

And this brings me to what is so disheartening about The Hangover II: remembering The Hangover, and what made it so special. It was a hit despite everything that movie executives think they know about why things are successful. There were no big stars, it wasn't a remake or an adaptation, and it was a relatively cheap movie to make.

Then the studios said, "It was a hit! Great! Let's make a sequel!" And now, of course, Part II will be successful, and no one will have learned anything after all. - One and a half stars

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