Same ol’, same ol’ with ‘The Hangover: Part II’

The Hangover Part II (2011)

Directed by Todd Phillips

6.5/10  R

Did you enjoy 2009’s hit The Hangover? Did you like it enough to see it again? If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, go to the nearest theater and catch The Hangover Part II. Director Todd Phillips recognized the popularity of the first film and knew better than to change it up. But instead of making another hysterical comedy, Phillips made a lackluster copy-cat sequel. This isn’t to say it’s not worth seeing. If you have forgotten about the first movie, or you haven’t seen it, The Hangover Part II is sure to be hilarious.

In this awaited summer film, the “wolf pack” travels to Thailand for another marriage, this one between Stu (Ed Helms) and his Thai fiancé Lauren (Jamie Chung). The plot differs little from the first film, and a late night beer turns into an unforgettable—but inevitably forgotten—night in Bangkok. When a five guy night turns into a three guy morning, the pack looks for answers. From the flashback in the beginning to the pictures at the end, plus innumerable other similarities, Part II is almost identical in form to its predecessor.

Don’t be completely turned off, however. Zach Galifianakis delights again as the hilarious Alan, the odd relative of Doug (Justin Bartha), another member of the pack. Bradley Cooper supplies few laughs but provides good looks on screen. Helms is disappointing for viewers expecting his comedic gusto of the first Hangover, and instead plays a somewhat gutsy role.

I’ve said it over and over again, but if I had seen Part II before the original, it would be the funnier movie. This movie is just as hilarious as the first, it’s just that it is so similar to the original that it seems like they weren’t even trying, and that’s sad. But if you liked the first one, watch this movie. I laughed a lot, just as much as the first. It’s worth the money to rent.

Galifianakis seems to be the only perk to this meager sequel. The Hangover Part II flops in its similarities, not differences, to the first. If you can look past the obvious parallels, Part II is actually an entertaining hit; but as anyone who has seen both movies can tell you, that is a difficult thing to do. The Hangover Part II is expected to release on DVD/Blu-Ray in December 2011.

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