The Hangover Part II

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Laura Clifford 
The Hangover Part II

Robin Clifford 

Two years after Doug (Justin Bartha) barely made it to the altar from his Las Vegas bachelor party, the gang travels to Bangkok, where Stu's (Ed Helms) in-laws-to-be live, for his wedding.  Smarting from their last experience, Stu plays it extra safe, but finally agrees that they can have each have a beer from a sealed bottle.  But this gang is just destined for a wild and crazy detour from Stu's bride as Stu, Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) meet some old acquaintances when they undergo "The Hangover Part II."

Laura:
This is one of the most lazy-ass sequels ever 'created.'  Sure the film crew dealt with the tough logistics of Bangkok, but otherwise, it's as if cowriter (with Craig Mazin ("Scary Movie 4") & Scot Armstrong ("Old School"))/director Todd Phillips took the original film's script, changed the locations and didn't bother to go over it a second time to make sure all the pieces still hung together.  There are a few chuckles to be had, sure, mostly from the over-the-top insanity on display by Ken Jeong, returning as Mr. Chow, and the off-kilter man-boy weirdness of Zach Galifianakis's Alan, but on the whole the movie is depressing.  That's right, a big studio R-rated summer comedy followup to the biggest R-rated comedy of all time is depressing.

'It happened again' says Phil on the phone to Doug's wife Tracy (Sasha Barrese), and yep, it sure has.  This time they've awoken in a seedy Bangkok hotel room with Alan pantless again, a monkey instead of a tiger, Stu sporting a Tyson tattoo instead of a missing tooth and no memory of how they got there from the beachside bonfire at Stu's wedding resort.  Oh, and this time it's the bride's younger brother, Teddy (Mason 'son of Ang' Lee), a seventeen year old cello-playing pre-med prodigy who's the apple of his father's eye, who is missing.  Except for his finger, which the guys find floating in a bowl of melted ice.

Just swap out things and scream a lot.  Replace the doctor tracked via hospital bracelet with Tattoo Joe (Nick Cassavetes in the cameo originally slated for Mel Gibson, then filmed by Liam Neeson until they needed reshoots).  Replace the Wedding Chapel guy with Samir (Bryan Callen - the same guy who played the wedding chapel owner!), a sex club proprietor.    Replace Black Doug with an old monk (Aroon Seeboonruang) under a vow of silence for the mistaken identity bit.  The police get involved and Stu ends up with a prostitute.  Alan becomes attached to and must give up a monkey instead of a baby, Jeong does his jack-in-the-box routine again and, just when all seems lost, one of them puts two and two together to figure out where the missing one's been all along.  After the wedding, they get to relive their adventure with photographs that push R-rated limits.

There is a painfully unfunny dinner where Stu's father-in-law-to-be insults him during a toast.  The explanation for how the group ended up in Bangkok is essentially the same as the first film, but entirely more slapdash in execution.  There was a nightmarish logic that threaded throughout "The Hangover," one thing leading to another, that's entirely missing here.  One 'clue' is arrived at by Alan meditating it back into memory. They may as well have used bread crumbs for all the ingenuity on display here.  Warner Brothers was even sued for copying Mike Tyson's facial tattoo onto Ed Helms (a silly lawsuit to be sure, but it may have been better for the movie-going public if they'd lost).

The script barely gives a mention to Heather Graham's character and after all the bonding that went on at the end of the first film, would have us believe that in the intervening time, Alan became persona non grata from the Wolf Pack.  They also have no respect for Justin Bartha, most of whose scenes appear to have been dialed in from a different set altogether.

Unless you think penises are inherently funny, there's really nothing here other than some controversy Phillips dusted up with statements about getting the film's monkey, Crystal, addicted to cigarettes.  He should have spent more time supervising the CGI smoke which is clearly artificial.

C-

Robin:
Robin did not see this film.
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