The Wolf pack is back for another crazy bachelor party, but this time Stu (Ed Helms) is getting married and Thailand is the setting. Aside from those minor changes, nothing really has changed in this film when compared to the first one. A few minor things help disguise this one from the first, like adding Stu’s soon to be brides brother to the mix and swapping out the baby from the first film with a monkey. Director Todd Phillips manages to travel the exact same path as the first film and the result isn’t that impressive. You can’t blame the guy though; I mean the first Hangover film grossed over $450 million dollars when adding its domestic and foreign numbers. That’s pretty impressive when you consider that the budget was a measly $35 million. So I don’t blame the cast and crew for repeating almost everything scene for scene, but that doesn’t help people that weren’t fans of the first film. It makes for one predictable ride that feels all too familiar.
The Hangover Part II picks up a few years after the first. After the wild night in Vegas the boys decided to move on with their lives and eventually clash together again for another wedding. This time it is Stu who is getting married and he invites everyone to his wedding in Thailand, well everyone minus Alan (Zach Galifianakis). After the stunts Alan pulled in Vegas could you blame him? But wait, Alan manages to make his way into the wedding thus continuing the mediocrity. Where the first Hangover film came out as a decent comedy with some laughs due to its crazy story and fresh at the time characters, the second one ends up feeling a little too recognizable.
The film plays exactly like the first film in terms of format. From the opening credits to the setting up of the party, everything is the same thing. Again, I fully understand why they followed the same format, but it really made this film become more of a dragging experience. From the opening credits you will either love the film or find it as another average affair. Some sequels like to try and go in a new route in hope of attracting new viewers, but The Hangover Part II doesn’t. I won’t ruin the story for you as that would ruin the fun, if any. You follow the wolf pack on a crazy few days while they wake up from a hangover and try to slowly piece together the past events. Someone goes missing like usual and they run into several familiar faces. It all comes to a very familiar end with no sense of surprise. A few moments had me going but they were almost immediately ruined by the scenes that followed.
I was never a big fan of the first film. I can understand why people enjoy it and I am not trying to say that it was a horrible movie by any means, but I do think that the first film was an average comedy at best. It had a few funny moments and it mainly worked because of the massive amount of chemistry between the leads, but it felt like a one and done type of movie. When the second one was announced I tried channeling it out until it came closer and closer to release date. I find the cult status that the first one gained to be extremely annoying and now after it was all settled, they decided to kick the shit back up!
The problem with the second one is that it doesn’t feel like a new film at all. It feels exactly like the first one, but with certain elements changed. If you’ve seen the first film then you have seen the second film. If you hated the first one then you will hate the second one. Fans of the first one will now have an excuse to waste more money. If you’re tired of watching your copy of The Hangover on DVD and you want to relive it on the big screen, then by all means check out Part II.
I have problems viewing The Hangover Part II as its own film, mainly because of the similarities. There were scenes in the first film that I didn’t mind because it was its own thing and somewhat different from other comedies, but when I see those same things rehashed in the second installment, I can’t help but to not enjoy it as much.
Overall, The Hangover Part II is exactly what it’s selling itself to be, a second part to the first film. It’s not its own film in anyway as far as being different is considered. It’s just a retelling of the first with a new setting and a few new characters (that replace some from the first film). I don’t appreciate it when filmmakers do these sorts of sequels because I think that it’s just another way to make a quick and cheap buck. I wouldn’t recommend this film unless you’re a huge fan of the first one and you simply can’t get enough. For everyone else, go see Bridesmaids, a far superior film in every way.
The Hangover Part II – 6/10