Look. I’ll tell you right now, honestly, that no, The Hangover Part II is not as creative or intelligent as the first movie was. But if you watched the trailers, then you shouldn’t have expected a brand new storyline. In fact, I found the movie to be exactly what I expected: a sequel that copied the original movie’s formula, only set in Thailand, not Las Vegas. And being that I went in knowing that and looking for a movie that would make me laugh, I found The Hangover Part II to be a decent (if slightly flawed) sequel* and I would totally watch it again.
I happen to think that comedy movies lose their funny if you hype them up too much or spoil the major surprise laughs, so I’m going to keep this short. The premise is this: Stu (Ed Helms) is getting married to a girl who lives in the United States but is from Thailand and wants to get married in her home town. Stu doesn’t want to have a bachelor party, Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Doug (Justin Bartha) want him to, blah blah blah. After some convincing, Stu invites over-the-top Alan (Zack Galifinaskis, who continues to bring on his Raleigh-Durham love this movie too). Alan, ever the grown-up, decides that he has a problem with the group’s “5th wheel,” Stu’s future brother-in-law, Teddy (Mason Lee). Teddy is your stereotypical 16 year old Asian (though he looks 27) who attends Stanford University. I never said and never will try to tell you that this movie thinks outside the box.
So anyway, they go to Thailand to get Stu married and after the rehearsal dinner that’s held two nights before the wedding, Phil convinces Stu to have “just one beer” with the guys on the beach. In a twist that I’m sure you totally didn’t see coming, they have one beer then wake up in Bangkok with no memory of what happened the night before. Shocking, I know.
I quickly skimmed some reviews when I was looking for a picture to put in this post. I kept noticing people criticizing the movie for being too raunchy, crude, and not as fresh ‘n original as the first one. To that, I must say, “Seriously?” The first movie was crude and raunchy. What on earth did you expect from the sequel? Of course they were going to try to top themselves. It was never marketed as an intelligent sequel that would knock your socks off with its classy portrayal of people who got drunk, cause a ruckus in a strange city, and then forgot about it. The trailer even mentions that they lost a character again! If you are a movie snob who gets offended from this, then don’t go see it because you won’t like it. If you understand its a funny summer movie designed to get cheap laughs from lovable characters and a mostly predictable plot, then I think you will enjoy it. Happy movie going!
*I’m putting this on the bottom because it’s a very minor spoiler but I think that one way that the movie could have thought outside the box and strayed from the original and it would have been for the better would have been if they had actually included Doug in on the antics. He missed out the first time and it would have added some variety for him to have been experiencing a blackout night with them for the first time.