The Hangover Part II - Review
Review by Rob Carnevale
HOW do you attempt to surpass one of the best adult comedies of recent years? The answer is you don’t… you simply try and match it.
And that’s exactly what Todd Phillips has done with The Hangover Part II with predictably diminishing returns.
Where the first Las Vegas adventure was a genuine surprise that boasted countless laugh out loud moments, the Bangkok-set follow up is only intermittently funny and much more predictable. And it only just gets away with it.
The plot is a virtual re-run, placing The Wolfpack – Bradley Cooper’s Phil, Ed Helms’s Stu and Zach Galifianakis’s Alan – in Bangkok on the eve of Stu’s wedding and waking up the morning after with no memory of the night before and one of their extended group missing.
The ensuing film finds them piecing things together and attempting to find Stu’s 16-year-old brother-in-law on a riotously debauched adventure involving smoking monkeys, lady-boys, drug dealers, monks and returning cast members.
But while there are laughs to be found, they are far fewer and Phillips can’t completely avoid the suspicion that this sequel is a bit of a lazy cash-in.
The humour, too, is more uneven and variously guilty of trying too hard, slipping into the distasteful or being mean spirited… a shortcoming that translates to the characters, making them slightly less likeable than before.
But then Phillips doesn’t help himself by opting to stick so rigidly to the plot beats of the original, while attempting to outdo the same gags (even to the extent that he reduces Justin Bartha’s Doug to a supporting role once again, surely a missed opportunity) and making things darker, much like Due Date.
If anything, it’s the actors that carry it through, trading on the goodwill generated by the first film and their obvious camaraderie even though there’s no real progression for any of them.
The Bangkok locations, too, add eye-catching spectacle as well as the type of jokes you might expect from the locations involved.
But in general, this has more wrong than right even though it’s still a guilty pleasure being in the Wolfpack’s company… right down to the now obligatory revelatory photo sequence over the end credits which ensures the sequel at least ends on a high.
Running time: 102mins
UK Release Date: May 26, 2011
- Read our review
- The Hangover Part II Photo Gallery
- The Hangover Part II First-look photos
- The Hangover Part II Character Posters
- The Hangover coverage
- The Hangover Unseen Vegas Snaps
- Watch the trailer