Todd Philips seemed to have found the winning formula with The Hangover, as it unexpectedly became the highest ever grossing R-rated comedy, but does this equate to another box office hit?
The Hangover Pt. 2, sees the wolf pack out again and this time it is Stu (Ed Helms) who is getting married in Bangkok. So along come Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zach Galafinakis) and Doug (Jason Bartha); although the latter may as well not have made the round trip, as he pretty much doesn’t feature at all. Instead he has been temporarily replaced by Teddy (Mason Lee), the teen brother to the bride who becomes the MacGuffin.
The new writing team of Scot Armstrong (old school) & Craig Mazin (Scary Movie 4) haven’t really tried hard to push things in terms of the originality that the 1st film delivered; it is pretty much a like for like remake of the original rather than a sequel. Replace the tiger with a monkey, Doug with Teddy, Vegas with Bangkok and I don’t care how you do it but just get from A to B; which has me thinking that the strength of the first film may have actually lain in the cleverness of the script, written by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore
But whereas the original was a fun slow unravelling of events, this outing just seems to jump around pretty much to get as many random kicks as possible, until the abrupt realisation where they have to wrap up and suddenly figure out where Teddy is instantaneously. Yes it is all the same but surely it should be funny?
Well no, not really because all these jokes we have seen before and the repetitiveness of it all grows stale quick. Most of the laughs that are there arrive from the childlike stupidity of Alan (Zach Galafinakis) and his under-reaction to events, as Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms are devoid of charisma and humour. Cooper in the original was like a rock of reason whilst Helms was the polite naysayer, but they are both as lost as everyone else in this film. Nothing comes as a surprise really as they’re just knowing of it all.
But really was there any point in bring Mike Tyson back to just sing.. really? Though given the absolute crassness of the jokes I’d hate to think where Mel Gibson’s rumoured cameo would’ve headed; the hilarious thought of the actors refusal to bring him on board, but then immediately going to shoot the Thai lady-boy gags.
Hangover Pt. does have a few laughs scattered, of the cringe inducing Jackass variety, but unfortunately due to the sameness of events we have essentially already seen before and lacking any of the strengths that made the original such a hit, it left me with quite a bad taste. Though I’m sure that those who have seen the original will probably return in droves. As I left the screening and heard “that was SOOooo good” from some spotty teen, I’m pretty sure a little piece of me died inside. Perhaps we should be looking at Idiocracy as a prediction of the future rather than this impending rapture.
I’m going out on a limb here but I’m saying that Bridesmaids does it much better and doesn’t resort to scraping the bottom of the barrel; though most male viewers will probably avoid its anyway. So bring on the drugs, booze and prostitutes, and let’s forget this movie ever happened!
MOVIE RATING: 2/5
reviewer Dexter Kong
Rated: 15 (UK)
Release Date: May 26, 2011(UK)
Director: Todd Phillips
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis , Ed Helms , Ken Jeong, Justin Bartha