The Wolfpack is back in The Hangover Part II. Director Todd Phillips has reassembled his cast from the box office success The Hangover and they went out on another bachelor party adventure that results in nothing but pure destruction. What was mildly entertaining in the first film is now old and tired. The sequel acts more like a reboot, following Phillip’s original formula beat-for-beat.
This time around Stu (Ed Helms) is getting married in Thailand. He invites friends Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Doug (Justin Bartha) to the wedding while leaving out the oddball Alan (Zack Galifianakis). Stu has everything set in specific motion so another freak occurrence doesn’t happen like last time. He substitutes a wild bachelor party for a bachelor brunch at IHOP. The events from The Hangover are mostly kept locked up inside everyone’s mind that is until Alan comes along for the trip.
After getting begged to invite him Stu, Phil and Doug go to his house and invite him to the wedding. Things instantly go nuts as soon as Alan is thrown into the shuffle. He finishes his lunch (prepared by his mother), packs his bags and administers his medical shot.
The gang arrives in Thailand and everything is set in place. They plan to have a few beers down by the fire and call it a night before the wedding. But then they wake up in a dirty (and extremely hot) hotel room in Bangkok with no memory of the night before. Stu’s soon-to-be wife’s little brother Teddy, who had a beer with them the night before, is missing. The only sign of him is a cold finger in a bucket of ice.
Stu now has a face tattoo, Alan shaved off his hair and Phil still looks like Phil, but with a massive hangover. The Wolfpack must piece together the night before by revisiting clues scattered about the hotel, city of Bangkok and in their pockets. They have a deadline though as the wedding is scheduled for later that day. Their buddy Doug stalls the family as they venture around the city hoping to find Teddy and hoping to find answers.
The Hangover Part II is pretty much The Hangover rebooted. Director Todd Phillips takes the characters we’ve all known to love and tweaks minor details in the plot. He takes out the found baby in the first film and replaces it with a drug selling monkey. Instead of Stu losing a tooth he now has a tattoo. Everything is slightly changed to make this film be considered a sequel, but in reality it’s very much a reboot. The excuse Phillips gave after the swarm of negative criticism is that The Hangover films follow a formula.
I call it lazy writing, but he calls it a plan to get people to come back for the third film, which is apparently breaking formula. That’s The Hangover Part II‘s biggest problem and it’s one that will either make or break the experience for you. Everything is almost exactly the same.
Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper and Zack Galifianakis all reprise their roles in a similar fashion. Cooper continues to play the slick guy of the bunch with the plans. Helms brings out more of that demon he speaks about, but only in a humorous matter. Galifianakis plays the airhead of the bunch on a little bit bigger scale. He’s given much more room to express his idiotic ideas this time around because of how much people warmed up to him in the first film. All three gentlemen bring their respective brand of jokes to the table and the chemistry is the strongest point in the film.
Supporting roles are mostly thrown away on guys like Ken Jeong. He reprises his famous Leslie Chow role, but he quickly buries it. What kind of worked in the first film doesn’t work at all in the second one. As for cameos Paul Giamatti and Nick Cassavetes don’t really do anything. They’re not all that funny, but they are kind of interesting to see in this type of flick.
The Hangover is a very subjective movie. On one half of the board you’ll have people praising it as one of the best comedies of this decade and on the other you’ll have people that despise it. I don’t really care for the film, but I found enough laughs in it to warrant a watch. The sequel on the other hand is mostly a letdown. Fans of the original were excited to go on another ride with their favorite characters, but then they found out it was a ride they’ve already paid for.
People that hated the first ended up hating the second even more. It’s the worst kind of sequel; one that doesn’t open up on things presented in the first. If you’ve seen the first and enjoyed it than I wouldn’t even bother with the second one. Just re-watch the first one.
Warner Bros. has transferred The Hangover Part II to Blu-Ray with a hot 1080p video transfer. Colors are warm and detail is full of sweat and dirt. Everything is oversaturated, but it fits the look and feel of the film. Facial detail is sharp and there’s barely a dull scene in this one.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is an increase in quality from the first film. This one is much more active and louder. The track starts out simple, channeling the dialogue on the front speakers, but as soon as they wake up in the disgusting room in Bangkok everything else starts to open up. The back channels become the source for the crowded city to suck you in for a wild ride.
The Hangover Part II comes with a very weak assortment of extras. There’s maybe 20 minutes of entertainment to be found here, but the rest is filler. Check out the full list below.
- Unauthorized Documentary (HD)
- Behind the Story (HD)
- Gag Reel (HD)
- Action Mashup (HD)
- DVD Copy
- UltraViolet Digital Copy
The Hangover Part II is a piss poor excuse of a movie. Director Todd Phillips just takes what worked in the first film and redoes it. He doesn’t try and make it all that different; instead he switches around very minor details hoping to fool everyone. The sad thing is he did! The film was a box office success and one of the highest grossing films of the year, despite the negative word of mouth. Even big fans of the first one came out disappointed and upset with the second film.
I was never a huge fan of the first, but I saw its appeal. Only small bits and pieces of the first were laughable, but for the most part it wasn’t worth all of that praise. The second film is worse because it doesn’t provide a reason to exist. It’s one of the laziest sequels ever and it should be skipped by all.
The Blu-Ray provides a good looking video transfer and an excellent audio track, but the special features are short and lacking. Fans of the series will no doubt purchase this disc regardless of what others say, but I’d strongly suggest sticking to a rental for this one. You’ll probably find a few laughs, but ultimately you’ll return to the first one and find more enjoyment.