The Hangover Part II infuriates me. Not because it’s lazy and pretty much the exact same movie as the first one. But because it somehow tricked me to see it even though I knew it was going to be lazy and pretty much the exact same movie as the first one. And you saw it, too!
I may be no comedy movie maven, but aside from the Toy Story sequels (and can those even be considered comedies?), I honestly can’t name a single sequel to a comedy that’s even remotely close to the genius of the original. More often than not, comedy sequels are just plain awful. Think Caddyshack 2 terrible or Airplane 2 awful. They leave you with a bad taste in your mouth and almost make you wonder why you liked the original. The Hangover Part II definitely falls into that category. The Wolf Pack has returned, and unfortunately, I wish they had stayed in their dens.
To be fair, I never thought the original was all that great in the first place. It had its moments, but for all its Mike Tyson singing and naked Asians popping out of a trunk, it seemed like one long slog through a frat boy’s dreamscape, and the sequel isn’t any better. In fact, it’s a lot worse. What makes it so bad is the fact that the Wolf Pack doesn’t cover any new ground here. Sure, they’re in Bangkok, and honestly, where else could they have gone after Vegas? But it’s still just men behaving badly one night and then retracing their steps the next day. They’ve even resorted to adding a monkey, which, next to an annoying man-child who makes nonsensical remarks, is the laziest attempt at comedy you could think of. This movie has both.
The story this time around features Stu (Ed Helms) getting married. Since he’s tying the knot with his beautiful fiancé, Lauren (Jamie Chung), in Thailand we know from the get-go that we’re going to get at least one joke about someone doing something explicit to a man, thinking it was a woman. And we do. And it isn’t funny.
After a night of drinking around a campfire, the guys wake up out of their gourds, just like the last movie. But this time, it just doesn’t register. Instead of the surprise and intrigue of what the hell was going to happen next like we got with the first film, this time we just sit there and count the similarities to the original movie. Even the plot of somebody going missing is back in the sequel, but this time it's Lauren’s brother, Teddy. They couldn’t even change the overall structure from the last film? Everything from the original is exactly the same the second go around. Why was this movie even made if it wasn’t going to tread any new ground? Oh, that’s right, the money. And this movie reeks of a payout.
Honestly, the only surprise that got me, and the only reason I’m giving this an extra half star, is the return of Mike Tyson. I didn’t think they would bring him back. His part is hilarious and much needed after the rest of this unfunny film. But as said above, that goes to show just how much they copy-and-pasted the original into a new setting. When Mike Tyson’s butchering of "One Night in Bangkok" is the best part of your entire film, you know you’re in trouble. The Hangover Part II bites the big one. You’re better off just watching the original again.
I don’t understand…how could I laugh so many times watching these special features and only once watching the movie itself? Why couldn’t they channel this humor in the film? Man, I’m mad all over again. The “Unauthorized Documentary” is seriously the best thing about the whole package. In it, Morgan Spurlock, J.J. Abrams, and a whole bunch of others come up with the most nonsensical, hilarious material, and it put me in tears. Oh, and Ken Jeong apparently has an energy drink that is akin to guzzling down jet fuel. I can’t stop laughing about that.
“The Comedy Rhythm of Todd Phillips” goes into detail on what it was like working with the same actors again for a second time. It’s actually pretty insightful on how a director goes about things, so it’s worthy of watching. “Not Your Everyday Monkey” is about, well, the monkey. That can be skipped. The “Bangkok Tour with Chow” is pretty good and has finally made the character of Chow funny to me. I can’t say I ever liked him in the film, but here, he’s hilarious. There’s also a gag reel, which doesn’t feel like a gag reel at all as it isn’t funny, and also an action mash-up of scenes from the film. Honestly, the best part is the “Unauthorized documentary.” It’s seriously better than the film itself.