THE HANGOVER PART II Review

by     Posted 3 years, 187 days ago

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The original Hangover hit like a bolt from the blue.  Good R-rated comedies are few and far between (although this summer we’ll be getting a bunch of R-rated comedies, but there’s no telling how many will actually be good) and the 2009 comedy brought enough surprises into its fast-paced narrative that the concept of blending a detective story with raunchy laughs worked like a charm.  It’s ironic that The Hangover Part II bases so many of its jokes on shock value and yet clings so dearly to the exact same formula of the original, right down to the plot beats and character actions.  More of the same isn’t necessarily a bad thing and the sequel still manages to deliver laughs, but the stale stench of been-there, done-that pervades the entire film despite the vibrant background of Bangkok.

If you’ve seen The Hangover, you’ve essentially seen The Hangover Part II.  This time around Stu (Ed Helms) is getting married, the wedding with his bride-to-be (Jamie Chung) will be in Bangkok in deference to her parents, and along for the ride are Phil (Bradley Cooper), Doug (Justin Bartha), and much to Stu’s chagrin, Alan (Zach Galifianakis).  Two nights before the wedding, the four guys along with Stu’s future brother-in-law Teddy (Mason Lee) have a drink only to have the original trio wake up in a seedy hotel room with no recollection of the night’s events, new damages to their appearance, a new animal companion (the tiger has been replaced by an adorable monkey), and Teddy has gone missing.  Repeat the shenanigans from the first film but this time it’s in Thailand.

It’s remarkable the extent to which the sequel grabs everything it can from the original as if it’s terrified that changing even the slightest plot point will throw off fans.  On the one hand, I don’t want to spoil any of the jokes, and yet I feel like they’ve already been spoiled.  Almost every situation in The Hangover Part II has a mirror in the original film and while that can be cute, it can also be disheartening.  When it comes to comedy, people don’t want to hear the same jokes.  If you’re going to tell someone “Why did the chicken cross the road?” the punchline can’t be “To get to the other side.”  It has to be something out of left field like “To get away from the wandering hobo that was fucking it to death.”  The Hangover Part II trades too much on familiarity and loses its spark as a result.

Oddly, what the sequel fails to recapture from the original is the pacing.  The Hangover had a nice build up, laid the foundations of some good jokes, and then hit a wonderful frenetic pace that kept layering in fresh mysteries against new hijinks while still working in some great jokes.  Part II is walking the same path as the original, but at slower pace.  It does manage to up the ante and there were moments where the film got some big laughs out of me.  But those moments are inconsistent and the film also leaves aside the smaller jokes that helped color the first movie.  There’s nothing offhanded and inspired like Alan’s protestation “Hey!  There are Skittles in there!”

The characters also aren’t as sharp as they were in the first film.  Alan’s weirdness has been cranked up leaving behind deadpan jokes like “I can’t be within 500 feet of a school.  Or a Chuck-E-Cheese,” and also the character has become meaner.  Phil is still the take-charge leader but his mean-spirited behavior is amplified in the first act only to be almost completely forgotten post-bender.  Chow (Ken Jeong) is even more cartoonish, Stu is still the stick-in-the-mud, and the dynamics simply don’t work as well this time around.

The Hangover Part II doesn’t radically alter or improve on the first film.  Its greatest contribution is simply a grander scale and some solid comic set-ups with a steady stream of jokes that work well enough, but there’s nothing here that will hit you with the same force as the original.  More of the same may be the right formula for some franchises (like Fast and the Furious), but The Hangover isn’t one of them.

Rating: C

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  • Michael

    As the review said, they needed to add a little something to differentiate it. Honestly, how pathetically lazy (and how typically Hollywood) of the filmmaker to basically remake the same movie, but set it in Thailand. That might make for a funny comedy skit, but not a movie.

    While it took the Fast and the Furious franchise about 4 movies to change up its formula, it ultimately did. It amped up the formula, throwing in new characters and such. Just watching the new Hangover trailers makes it seem like they just traced all the pinpoints of the first and, dot by dot, just transferred it to a new piece of paper.

    • Lin

      WOW, why the hell did you see Hangover 2? Sounds like Mr. Rogers is more your speed.

  • Brenno

    i dont know if these reviews are going to stop me. Seems like most of the reviews are nit picking at the fact that it is more of the same while simultaneously and almost always grudgingly admitting there are some pretty funny parts. I really couldnt care about if its the same story so long as im having a good ol chuckle…. Alan just does me in! Absolute crack up.

    • Reijanrobo

      Just saw it and yes, many of the people are definitely nit picking. They keep forgetting that it is a comedy. this is not a Coen Brothers film. half of their movie plot lines, explained vaguely can be confused for one another. But like others have said, The formula works!

      Same structure yes but I laughed equally as much at this installment for sure. There are different elements as well as parts that worked in the 1st movie. These guys just want us to laugh. If you want a great R rated comical treat then see this film!

      • AHN

        but what you also seem to be forgetting is that part of what makes comedy…funny…is the element of surprise, something that you don’t expect. When you’re expecting it it takes the wind out of the sails of the whole plot and many of the jokes. If you want to spend $10-12 on rehashed material, be my guest, but this one is at best a renter. I don’t think the critics are off.

      • Michael

        Ahn, I agree. Good post.

        What Reijanrobo doesn’t seem to understand is that what tickles one doesn’t necessarily another, and vice versa.

        Different people have different standards and tastes, and different ideas as to what constitutes fun. With any sequel, I personally expect something more than before, regardless of which genre it’s in. Straight rehashes, with no surprises, often fall flat. They might still be solid, but they’re too note for note, too telegraphed.

        It’s like going on a rollercoaster you’ve been on before numerous times, but it’s been slowed down.

        There are some music artists who’ve done the same thing when making their second album. They stuck to the formula of their debut that they basically remade that album again — no surprises. Solid, yes. But disappointingly so.

    • Ryan

      than next time you go see a sequel go and see sex in the city 2. what you just said made me want to see it more, sounds hilarious

    • big e

      I read everyones reviews about it being bad. It was funny and well worth it. It was not exactly like the first one. It was a good movie ! funny

      • Rick

        For those stating that “The Hangover II” is tasteless, inproper, degrading, etc… really needs to understand something about the movie business and the film as a whole.

        First off, it is always about making money. As long as people watch it, people will create it. I thouroughly enjoyed both Part 1 & 2 and will watch 3 & 4 when/if they come out. As far as the movie itself goes, Thailand is like that. Nothing was added to make this movie extremely vulgar. That is normal for Thailand.

        Get a grip. Stop being so uptight. Stop boycotting movies because you’re offended. That is the most ridiculuous thing I have ever heard.

        Dee- Grab a drink (alchoholic) and chill out.
        sameaname- You’re a tool. Go snort a line of coke!

  • Kenny B

    Comedies have a two rating systems with me. My big question is “did it make me laugh, a lot”? That’s essentially how I grade comedies. Then you can break it down into more genres if you want to if you would like to pigeonhole it.

    So yeah, did I laugh? I watched Land of the Lost recently. It was ludicrous. The set design/wardrobe….. the whole visual aspect of the movie was extremely inconstant. It definitely had a “I feel I’m watching a movie that was filmed 50% on a sound stage” – which can have its charms, but doesn’t quite feel right here…………. anyways I thought the movie was funny. I enjoy watching Will Farrel behaving like a psycho – right in line with his Blades of Glory/Step Brothers characters. So yeah, I’d recommend it to anyone who’s stoned, to sit down and laugh.

    Original ideas aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. If it hits, it hits.

    – They took the chuck e. cheese line from Galafinakkas’s stand up act BTW.

    • Mia

      You are so wrong about Land Of The Lost!!
      How funny was that huge mosquito? Did ya forget about that? Or Chuka? I watch that alot and even Matt Lauer is pretty cool on there!

  • This Movie Guy
  • fdstrew

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    w w w — j o r d a n s f o r k i n g — c o m

  • Hugo

    “If you’ve seen The Hangover, you’ve essentially seen The Hangover Part II”

    shocking.

  • Lugo

    Ummm… Really, guys? You’re actually surprised that the Hangover Part II looks alot like the original Hangover? I can predict the next 10 years of Hangovers. Ready?
    In Part 3, one of the OG Hangover boys will decide that he is too big, too famous and too cool to do the Hangover Part 3 wherein the producers will enlist the help of an actor whose star is fading and he/she will accept to try and revive what’s left of their career (Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan, anyone?). The change will breathe a little new life into the franchise wherein we will be skewered for a few more Hangovers. Until… We get tired of crappy remakes of the original Hangover and then said star who was too cool to do Hangover 3 finds their star fading so they show back up in Hangover part 7 or 8 and the franchise is momentarily revived until we get tired of the same old hangover wherein the original hung over’s illegitimate children will start to show up as creepy reminders of what the first Hangover was all about. Cue an aging Mike Tyson. And cue me staying home for all 10.
    Save your money, kids. Hot Tub Time Machine was much funnier. And it had a healthy dose of boobs, bears and Chevy.

  • Charles

    Phillips must really think, people are awfully stupid.

  • steve meyer

    a little “safe” — true to the original movie, yet very entertaining. A nice escape from the ‘real world’, with some good old fashion Hollywood fun and action.

    (your Key)
    लेखक डैन ब्राउन स्टीव meyer संत anthonys चर्च पिता mollinger

    Coming off the heels of his very suuccessful Limitless Motion Picture, coming out soon on DVD and Blu-ray, Bradley Cooper has cemented his place presently as one of the hottest (I don’t mean looks wise) Actors on the planet right now.

    Steve Meyer

  • dannyboy3030

    This movie was terrible. Just boring and mean spirited. I liked the first one, this one just eats it.

  • dee

    This is one of the most despicable and offensive films I have ever seen. Child trafficking, child exploitation, offensive sexual content, animal abuse, and there is even a scene where a Buddhist monk is beating the 3 principle characters in acts of violence, something a monk would never do. We walked out of the movie early, demanded a refund, been busy posting on social networks to boycott this film, and are on a mission to have this movie pulled from theaters. This is something I have never done before which demonstrates how offensive this film is. I will make it a point to never see any films that these actors are in. What is even more disturbing is that the first Hangover was so funny so hilarious, that it is a reasonable expectation for this to be similar, but we are duped into being exposed to extremely offensive activity and behavior, nothing funny about this!

    • Pete

      Seriously? The movie is a comedy… Get off your prissy horse

    • Ian

      I thought that the movie was completely repetitive and not very funny but that’s just my personal opinion. To complain about a lot of the aspects of the movie being offensive is a bit petty to be fair, have you been to Thailand?? Prostitution is rife, at night when walking through the streets for 30 minutes I promise you, you will be stopped 20-25 times or asked 20-25 times if you want a prostitute or one throwing themselves onto you. The country is very messed up, the animal aspect of it as well, you see small elephants and snakes malnourished on the street chained up and being used as tourist attractions, which is sad but the movie isn’t too far off from what it’s like over there in what you highlighted. The monk part was quite funny I thought, how can you find that offensive whereas in the first movie a baby making hand notions not offensive??? You’re probably more disappointed and frustrated with the movie itself I’d imagine than offended.

    • dee stfu

      is that how sad and unfufilling your life is that you need to campaign to boycott a film honestly get out the house and do something with your life was that the first time you’d been out of your house in years?

    • dee stfu

      dee your so sad is your life that meaningless and pointless you have to plan to boycott films honestly stfu it’s a film it does not have to be accurate was this the first time you’ve been to the movies in years

    • cripster389

      Dee,maybe you should watch Family Guy instead,May be more to your taste!!

    • SameAName

      Agree. racists comments, and offensive acts to biddhism, no respect at all. Should be banned. People make any rubish to make money.

    • Rick

      Wow, someone needs to get laid. Cry all you want, no one is going to listen to an uptight, prissy b1tch who didn’t like a movie her husband paid for. :D

    • k

      dee,

      shut the F*** up!
      i bet u r A LOT of fun on a date….WHATEVER! u need to get laid!

  • Kd

    I just watched it.., for me it was a perfect summer comedy.. Though the plot of the hangover 2 is similar to the original movie but its story line is quite different., the movie has number of unexpected turns ,which makes it more funny.. Want to njoy ur weekend just go for it..

  • Vnum

    Why does Hollywood always screw up a good thing with a lazy do-over pushing the limits of decency to the point of making the audience cringe?

    Transsexuals nude, transsexual having an orgasm inside a man’s rectum, women shooting ping pong balls out of their vaginas and a monkey licking a man’s penis. Whoever wrote this garbage really needs therapy!

    Any lowlife can defecate on the sidewalk and call it a movie but only the lowest of the low would show it to the public.

  • meinla

    I laughed alot but was pretty shocked at the extreme this movie resorted to so that it will be watched. The porn that was placed into the movie to shock me did just that. I do not know why the explicit sex and porn was needed as it only disgusted me so that I would never recommend the movie. Embarrassing enough to think an R movie would be something I could take my adult children to but the row in front of me had a dad and 2 boys under 8.
    There definitely needs to be a change in how the ratings are labeled for movies. This was definitely an X rated movie and unnecessary for the success. It is now just a big failure.

  • who’s whispering?

    it was following the same guidelines as the first, but with a little more (holy fuck!) into the script. the first one was better. as for the third one i see alan getting married then all hell breaks out! Stew get’s his tongue pearced, alan trying to be funny with his lame jokes, Phill saying the woDs FUCK and HOLY SHIT! all the time, doug- plays his 2 min scenes.

  • kerry

    It had its moments but I really didnt care for it. Mr Chow and Alan were the best in this one. Hangover Part 1 is much better! I wish they had a storyline with Stu and Jade (heather graham’s character). Maybe they’ll bring her back for the third one.

    • nom79

      Totally agree with you on that one kerry. It threw me off seeing the trailer for HO2 and seeing that Stu was actually marrying a different person and not Jade(Heather Graham). Her name was never mentioned despite the fact that Stu told her at the end of part 1 that he would come back for her(way to keep the storyline tight Todd!). Overall, I still thought Hangover 2 was hilarious being that it is a comedy and the purpose of a comedy is mainly to make you laugh. Hopefully Jade will be back in part 3 to clear up the little loose end(s) that were left open.

      One last note to Mr. Todd Phillips ***Spoiler Alert***…..if you’re going to bring in a special cameo appearance at the end of the movie in that of Mike Tyson, at least make it look good(as well as make him look good). Me and my girlfriend enjoyed the movie until that happened. We looked at each other as if we just saw a she-male with a penis……oh wait that was in the movie. Bad example. We looked at each other like if Mike Tyson came into the picture unannounced, on medication and Todd Phillips said “screw it just keep filming, we can probably use this as a deleted scene” but didn’t realize it went to the final stage instead. I would’ve been more suffice if Alan had brought up the Jonas Brothers to the stage as his “surprise gift”. Ha haa!

  • Meow

    I honestly had no plans to see this movie. I loved the first one and I knew that if I saw this one the whole series would’ve been ruined for me. However, I work at a movie theatre so my friend wanted me to go w her so we could go for free and I obliged. The very first line, “We did it again”, angered me so much because people were actually laughing over that! Phillips was just plain lazy w this film and if people are going to laugh at that, then there’s no need for filmmakers to put in any effort. Audiences need to stop accepting bad movies as “ok”. We don’t have to settle for this worthless p.o.s. of a movie. But by laughing at something like that, we are accepting it. And if it couldn’t make you laugh by obvious closeups of Alan’s face, a monkey, or a tiny penis – then it’ll make you laugh by showing outrageously offensive stuff that is only there for shock value (but somehow people still laughed at it). One of the most dissapointing films I’ve ever seen. Stay home and rewatch the original.

  • Dave

    Ive seen it yesterday, and it was pretty good. I liked it as much as the first one even if theres not the ”surprise” the 1st one had because it was new.
    All of you saying shit about it just shut up its alright to have not liked it but people saying omg it was shocking blah blah offensive things… we re in 2011 dude… open your mind…

  • sk

    Just watched this movie….i want a refund…..most pathetic sequel of a movie……don’t waste your money !!

    Same plot, bad acting, bad jokes.

    • Rick

      Oh, you want a refund? Well I want the 5 seconds back of my life it took to read your lame ass comment. Not gonna happen douchebag.

      You pay to go watch movies. Some are good, some are bad. It’s a fucking gamble. Why pay if there’s a chance you won’t like it…. yea, probably never thought of that one huh!?!

  • Chill Out

    To everyone who is complaining about this film reusing a lot of the humor from the first one and thus losing the element of surprise, why don’t you just watch another movie that puts more focus on plot? The purpose of the first hangover, and of any comedy for that matter, was to instill lots laughs, which it definitely achieved. The purpose of the second one was no different, and quite honestly it caused me to laugh a good deal. People who find this film too offensive or too boring may suffer from too much stress in their lives and should either practice yoga or simply watch other movies that they know they will like. The fact is, the Hangover Part 2 is a comedy, and it does cause people to laugh. The majority of the audience in the showing I went to laughed just as much as me, and I found it very funny. Also, it’s rated R for a reason; it is going to have some crude humor in it, so therefore it automatically caters to a younger, raunchier crowd who expectedly will and do actually appreciate the film.

  • the real slim shady

    all you people saying it had the same jokes as the original cant have even watched the film! yeh it has the same format n certain things could have been changed a bit more but the jokes and situations are different enough to keep it fresh and i know i laughed alot more than at the original hangover, i certainly found it funnier. Alan and mr chow both had more lines than in the original and stu’s charachter was developed alot more. Bring on the hangover part 3 Amsterdam!

  • dylan

    Just a dull retread. I found myself laughing on occasion (at Chow, mostly) but the (sold-out) cinema I watched it in was deathly silent for most of the running time. The only truly hysterical moments of the film are the end credits where they find the camera from the night before.

  • stay at home son

    I thought the movie was funny. Definitely not better than the first one, but overall funny. Yes, there probably should have been a bit more to the story, but what do you expect? the concept of the movie is hangover. doing crazy junk when you get drunk.

  • Larry

    DO NOT go see HANGOVER II. It was APPALLING, DISGUSTING, and EXTREMELY SICK. About half way through the movie, there was a scene where the main characters went into a stripper bar in Bangkok, looking for the groom’s 16 year old, soon to be brother in law. While working their way towards the middle to speak with the owner, they bypass tens of young looking, teenage looking girls working as strippers. They finally get to the owner, and he remembers them from the night before and is looking to sell them his gun. The men tell him “we are looking for a boy”, and he answers “$2000″. Thinking the owner is referring to the gun, they are shocked and answer “what??”. The owner then says, “$2000. What age do you want” referring obviously to child prostitution. As I sat there in my seat, wanting to puke to death, my wife and I looked at each other and immediately got up and left the movie theater. But even more APPALLING, DISGUSTING, and DISTURBING than the child prostitution joke was the fact that from the 300 people in the movie theater, only two people from the audience decided to leave. I can’t sleep right now. I am sick over the entire event. :(

    • Rick

      These things exist. Child prostitution, animal abuse, transtrippers, drugs, murder, etc…

      You sleep fine any other night knowing you’re safe in your home with no real threat or regret but once it’s put in your face (by your choosing remember) you suddenly feel sick and can’t sleep?

      You’re a tool, living your life with no regards to the humanity around you. Oblivious to the true nature of our world and the true heart-aches of different societies… but as long as you’re ok thats all that matters.

      Maybe you should take a trip to Thailand and realize that the world is not so black and white as you have lived it…. maybe even share your load with a stripper ;)

  • tom

    this is the best film ever !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • SameAName

      No you are blind!

  • brad

    lol child prostitution is funny

  • mol

    horrible film read this review for a rather good view of the badness

    http://thepurpleworldblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/hangover-2-actually-feels-like-hangover.html

  • michael Golden

    all i got to say is (IT LOOKS LIKE A SPIDERS NEST)

  • bora

    The people on here who are complaining are absolute idiots. The movie industry is called show BUSINESS! This is a busines people. Part 1 made over $400 million. If you were the producer/director/financier wouldn’t you make another one?!? Yes there will probably be a part 3 and maybe even a 4. This is about making money. The movie was also entertaining. Remember its a comedy. To that idiot who said he walked out and demanded a refund, your a goose! What do you expect from an R rated movie? You don’t like it then go watch driving mrs daisy or something. First rule of ANY busines is to make money. This movie is making a shit load of money plain and simple!
    Bora

    • Charly

      Being tasteless is not necessary funny. Making fun of minorities is probably the lowes form of comedy I can think of. If three writers and Philips were not able to come up with something more clever and again people flock to the cinemas to watch sth. so lowbrow, the world is in trouble.

  • Natash

    OMG loool everyone needs to chill, it’s a COMEDY and it was freaken hilarioussssssssssssssssssssssssss. WOW you people are up tight!!!!
    I totally recommend this movie if you want a good laugh!

  • Sansouci

    Really, a sequel has the same formula as the original? What a shock. Well that ruins “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Star Wars”, “Rocky”, “Rambo” or any other Hollywood franchise. The pacing was off and it never quite captured the randomness of the first. Watching the characters completely lose their s*** was the twist and there were some tremendously wicked moments. Alan did turn mean and Phil was completely out of his depth. Regardless, it gave me a few really big laughs. That’s fundamentally what a comedy should do.

  • enriquewanabecritic

    i saw it the day it came out,not as funny as the 1st one.its identical to the 1st only put in bangkok.its not as funny but outrages like the first many nasty parts and a lot of profanity i would rate it 3 and a half tood phillips just wanted to make us laugh one more time but it would’ve been better if part II wasn’t made but it was okay i don’t recomend watching it

  • SameAName

    Terribly funny, but that’s overshadowed by racists comments, and offensive act to biddhism. Should be banned.

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  • pokeabobby

    shut it ya fat cow (sameaname)

  • pokeabobby

    am joking i totally agree sameAname

  • mischievemaker

    LOL… The Hangover II really did it. They really need to make a part three for this movie. its too wild and hilarious. I love it

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  • hatcat

    I don’t pretend to know everything about good or bad movie making. When it comes to giving my review on comedies I just look back and think, “did it make me laugh?” Hangover 2 made me laugh. As all have stated, it was exactly copied and built on the same framework as the first one. And I originally thought that was going to be horrible, but after seeing it twice I realized that it was actually funny that they did that. There were definitely some laugh out loud hilarious scenes. You leave with a smile on your face. What’s the problem? I think some are trying to sound like some deep movie critics and basically you have to ask yourself, “Did it make me laugh?” Yes, it was a familiar skeleton, but the skin was different and it made me enjoy the new jokes. Stop trying to analyze everything to death…. sit back and enjoy it. I thought the monk doing what he did to the boys when they were speaking was hilarious…. and even funnier the second time I saw it. The only thing about the characters that made me wrinkle my nose a bit was Alan’s nastiness to Teddy at the beginning, but I can see why they had to set it up that way. Part of the “funny” was that it IS exactly like the first one. And the seediness and slightly more dark tone didn’t bother me at all. After all, it’s Bangkok.

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  • Ayu

    It was the most boring movie ever….. I watched it because it was on top of movie ranking… Hollywood is wasting big money :(

  • Ayu

    oh and, all jokes are super boring :( hahaha

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  • sado

    Thank you for the good writeup. It if truth be told was once a entertainment account it. Look advanced to more delivered agreeable from you! However, how can we keep up a correspondence?

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