Review: The Hangover Part 2

by Ty Landis

Someone wiser than me once said that the best brand of humor is the kind a person or a collective group can look at, and find some identifiable truth to. It’s been several hours since I’ve left a packed theater, to have found myself cheated for a meager $10 that I spent to view Todd Phillips’ disastrously bad sequel to The Hangover. Is it the worst thing I’ve ever seen? certainly not. Is it the worst thing playing at your nearest theater, probably so.

Sole blame falls directly on director Todd Phillips’ shoulders. This will make obscene amounts of money for the studio and perhaps pave the way for one last film to round out a trilogy, but the laziness on display here is nothing to shrug off. One can understand not deviating too far from the original film, but this film is literally the same damn thing we saw two years ago, but only worse.

Ten minutes into this and you’re already itching to get the hell out of the cineplex. I’ll be honest, the first film had a semi-interesting, mildly cliche way about itself, one that seems partially tolerable after viewing this stinker. As with most comedies, once you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the entire movie. Except the audience I saw this with acted like they’d never seen the trailer, laughing at the most tasteless and obvious jokes that a screenwriter could muster. It gets worse, the film relies on penis jokes to garner its laughs, ho-hum. This is basically how it plays out for the film’s 100 minute runtime, which feels much longer than it is. They’ve once again managed to save the raunchiest and wildest laughs for the end credits, why does anyone think this is still a good idea?

The film doesn’t even try to throw a different scenario at its audience. One can almost see the producers and actors of the film grinning ear to ear when they heard it would take place in Bangkok, a nice paycheck and beautiful weather for everyone involved, they apparently forgot to make an entertaining movie as well. I wasn’t smiling, or was even slightly amused at how vanilla this all seems, once again. Everyone is going through the motions here. Cooper, Helms, and Galifianakis are again the main attractions, with their buddy played Doug by Justin Bartha pushed to the side. Why not include him more in this sequel? Apparently there’s no room for a level-headed guy in the midst of all the shenanigans. Bartha should feel honored to not be subjected to such low-level gags.

In terms of extra faces and characters, Ken Jeong is featured more here as Chang, a seedy Chinamen with a pension for referring to people as “bitches” and “niggers,” yawn. Paul Giamatti shows up as Kingsley, a mysterious businessman with an agenda, strictly a throwaway role for him. There is also the character of Teddy, Stu’s soon to be brother in law who goes missing and serves as a pawn to move the story along. He’s a straight-laced Stanford student who Galafiankis’ Alan immediately dislikes. The first third of the film is dedicated to Alan’s so called “brand of humor,” his man-child frame and mindset immediately comes across as stale and uninspired. In certain areas it’s obvious that the actors aren’t having much fun here. Can’t imagine this is the most ambitious comedy that they’ve ever done, look and act bewildered for 100 minutes, go home and do it all again the next day.

The Hangover Part II represents a giant middle finger to anyone who expected honest laughs and escapism for a few hours. It’s tiring and forgettable, and I’m just relieved that I can now get it out of my system. I have a feeling that smart, mainstream movie-goers will see right through the film and hold it in the same contempt that I do, but I’ve been wrong before.

35/100 - This stale sequel not only brings nothing new to the table, but represents a career low for director Todd Phillips, who lazily sits back and reaps the benefits off of mainstream movie-goers with this half-cooked, mind-numbingly bad sequel.

Ty Landis

I've been a film enthusiast ever since I was a little kid. I find that my tastes are consistently expanding and changing. Cinema is a lot like life in the way that we learn and adapt to it. It is my hobby, and my ultimate passion.
  • Christopher Misch

    I admit, it would appear I enjoyed Hangover 2 more than most.  I never did end up finishing the original, so maybe that had something to do with it.

  • Tylandis9

    Can’t understand for the life of me why they don’t insert parts from the credits throughout the movie.

  • Jim Napier

    I loved the Hangover II, truly one of the best comedic sequels I have ever seen. Best comedy for sure this summer.

  • Christopher Misch

    That’s some pretty high praise.  I can agree it’s not as bad as a lot people are saying it is. #TheHangover

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