The Hangover Part II Reviews
This is basically the exact same movie as the first one, just set in Thailand and it works great. Not as good as the first, which is fine because the bar was set so high. But since the first wasn't broke, they didn't try to fix it. It may not be very original, but it is hilarious. The characters are all back and better than ever. If you like monkeys, dicks, and Zach Galifianakis then this is the movie for you! I hope they make another one and keep this franchise rolling
Case in point is Hangover II, which, while not a bad film... indeed there was enough inventiveness and funny scenarios and glib one liners that I was entertained... sinned by not being up to the heightened standard that filmgoers, for whatever reason, put on the first film. Yes, I enjoyed the first film and laughed my butt off, but in my opinion it certainly wasn't the be all end all that so many have made it out to be. Is it a better film than the sequel? Yes, if for no other reason than the concept was fresh. Still, to trash the second film seems a bit harsh to me - there's the same feeling that "if something can go wrong, it will go really, really wrong" sensibility in this film, and since we already know the characters, it's all an easy fit. Except for a rather weak ending (and the superfluous appearance of a totally tone deaf Mike Tyson), the sequel is well paced and plotted.
So what went wrong here? Why the vitriolic reaction by so many viewers? I sense that perhaps the veil was lifted on this film and you could see the man behind the curtain. It has always been my contention that comedy is a thin line; one you dare not cross by being perceived as trying too hard. The public wants comedy to seem natural - which is a difficult task when you use the comic scatter gun - throwing as much stuff out there as you can, hoping that some of it sticks (or shticks?). It is the nature of Galifanikis' style of humor that makes walking the fine line a daunting task. He is intentionally odd - and his comic connections equally so, therefore it can easily appear that, yes, he's trying too hard to be funny - which isn't funny. In both films how many times is there a scene set up where the camera pans to Galifanikis so he can create some irreverent or off the wall comment? In the first film it seemed to have worked, in the second... well you get my point, and it's not that he isn't funny... it's just as Peter O'Tool's character so aptly put it in My Favorite Year "drama is easy, comedy is hard" (which I believe to originally be a quote by Olivier).
I've heard so often that this sequel is a carbon copy of the first film and that it is a prime example of lazy writing, but come on, what did you really expect. The characters were already in place, they weren't going to all of a sudden start spouting The Bard. Sure, what you have is formula, but is that really all so bad? Every comedy team since the dawn of time had a formula, from the Marx Bros. to The 3 Stooges. Maybe we are expecting more in the 21st century - but for me, other than the last 15 minutes, I was entertained and really didn't care if it's tone echoed the first film - after all, they named the film Hangover II, not "and now for something completely different that in no way resembles that other film".
The highlight in both films is of course Mr. Chow, the jive talking Oriental mob boss (or whatever). Here once again, the film ratchets up a notch when he is on camera. Best line of the film IMO is when Chow sets up his laptop opposite Paul Giamatti's (who is pretty cool as a rival mob boss). After the exchange of cash is made Chow looks up over his laptop and smirks "you sunk my battleship".
Final verdict - squarly between a 6 and 7 - 6.5 it is!
It's been two years since the Vegas incident, and this time it is Stu who is getting married, and it's a destination wedding in Thailand. Despite his efforts to keep thigns under control, things once again get out of hand and the Wolfpack have another kooky and wild mystery adventure on their hands.
I was hoping that this film, even if it was a retread, would have somehting in it to make it stand out (in a good way), but my hopes were not fulfilled. I hardly laughed at all (and the times I did were far between). I spent most of the running time annoyed and broed. There's some really painfully awkward and uncomfortabel moments that just don't work, and it's a really obnoxious and somewhat offensive film, to boot.
Okay, so I will admit that there were three parts I actually did like: the scene set to a very famous Curtis Mayfield song, the scene with the tattoo artist, and the scene at the whorehouse. Those worked, but even then, they could have been better. The rest of the film is just crap.
None of the returning cast really lokk like they had any fun or wanted to be there, Pau lGiamatt iis wasted in a pointless subplot, Ken Jeong is just overwhelmingly obnoxious and makes me hate him. He really needs to go back to doing the menacing/funny thing schtick he did in stuff like Role Models and Knocked Up instead of this kind of junk. Mike Tyson was also pointlessly shoehorned in for the hell of it, and there's just this underlying streak of hatefulness and uncorfortable characterization that not only falsls flat, but started to really anger me.
The first film didn't need a sequel, but in this day and age if it is a hit, it's guaranteed to start a franchise, whether it is warranted or not. This film could have been really good had they tried to put some effort into it instead of just rinsing and repeating, but no. That's just too much to ask for. As for the performances, when the animal costar is not just the scene stealer, but also givs the best performance, you really know that something's wrong.
Skip this crap and pray that the proposed sequel doesn't end up getting made after all.
"The Wolfpack Is Back"
I didn't dislike this as much as everyone else. I actually enjoyed it, but I can't lie, it is a little disappointing. The laughs are still there, but mostly because of the nostalgia of the first movie. The cast is what keeps this film lively though. Ken Jeong and Zach Galifianakis are just fun to watch. Sure it isn't the original and it is disappointing, but it still is an okay, if copied, sequel.
Plot details for this aren't important as you've already seen them in the first. The only real difference is that it takes place in Bangkok, not Vegas.
Altogether, The Hangover: Part II suffers from being too much like the original, but the excellent comedic cast makes it go down a lot better than it should. They took some of the comedy to a higher level of rauncy and crude than they even touched in the first. For some this will be off putting to say the least.
It's okay, just don't expect an instant comedy classic like the first. This is one of those forgettable comedies that we see every year. It just got panned more because it is the sequel to one of the best comedies in recent years.