The Hangover Part II
The sequel to 2009’s sleeper hit The Hangover reminds me of what sequels used to be back in the 90s. Sequels back then, especially comedy sequels, were severe sufferer’s of ‘sequeilitis’ which makes them simply try to redo all the same things they did before. They have to use the same lines, retread the same jokes and basic plot structure, and almost always lead to disappointment. Examples of this are the Austin Powers sequels, Ace Ventura, Weekend at Bernies, and to a lesser extent Wayne’s World. Well, Hangover is bringing those days back.
Pretty much all they have done here is copy the plot and keep the same jokes but changing them with different objects or circumstances. Lets list them, shall we? We once again start off with a desperate phone call to the girls (which worked to great affect in the first film, not so much when repeated). Instead of finding a baby, we find a monkey. Instead of losing a tooth, Stu has a tattoo. Instead of losing Doug, they lose Teddy. (*SPOILERS)Instead of Black Doug as a case of mistaken identity, they have a monk. The reason for them blacking out is even the same. And they even end it in a similar manner, but the elevator instead of the roof. (End of SPOILERS) And there are more.
I had a feeling this would be the case going in. I didn’t think it would be THAT formulaic, but still… As the movie started I really began to warm to it. Mixing in with these familiar characters again made me think that I wouldn’t mind a retread. That soon wore off.
The character interactions are the best thing going here, but its not enough to hold it up weighed against all the problems. A big problem is that the character of Alan (Zach Galafinakis), who was a huge reason for the success of the first film, is much less likable here. There’s also much more gross-out humour, including Stu’s new prostitute encounter, and a scene with the most annoying character from the last movie, Mr. Chow. Gross-out humour is the cheap and easy road when it comes to comedies like this.
With all that stacked against it, I still didn’t hate it. Its lazy, disgusting and in no way admirable. But the greatness of the first film does peak through now and again and I did get some laughs in.But overall, this is a poor effort to capitalize on what was once a fresh and fun comedy.