Review: The Hangover Part 2

Like almost everyone, I've been extremely excited for The Hangover Part II. The first was undoubtedly one of the best comedies in recent years and still makes me laugh to this day. Surely with director Todd Phillips and stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis returning it's going to be good? Sadly not. This sequel follows the original 'wolf pack' in Thailand who end up on another wild bachelor party throughout Bangkok. The next day, they are once again, left to put the pieces of the night before together and find Teddy, Ed's brother-in-law to be.

This isn't a snobbish review from someone who doesn't like gross-out comedy, this is from someone who was looking forward to the movie for a while. Firstly, all the cast do well with the material they're given (albeit this material is pretty poor). All three of the main stars slip back into their roles comfortably yet do not deliver anything that's not been seen in the first installment. We also see more of a few of the smaller characters from the first movie such as Mr. Chow played by Ken Jeong, who is the funniest thing about the movie. It's hard not to laugh at his snappy dialogue and outrageous mannerisms. Justin Bartha's character Doug features slightly more, he acts as a sort of mission control type figure speaking to the wolf pack from the wedding resort. However, we sadly don't see enough of him. It would have been nice if Phillips shook the original line-up a bit and changed the dynamic slightly, it just felt incredibly safe, hardly deviating from the original film at all. 

It almost feels as if Phillips has thought - it's in Thailand now, people won't notice if we just use the script from the first film. Even in a more 'exotic' location, The Hangover Part II still feels on a smaller scale to the first film - probably because the jokes aren't as funny, there's not much shock or surprise at the set pieces and the dynamic between the three lead characters just feels tired and predictable. There are also incredibly dull and pointless cameos from Paul Giamatti and Nick Cassavetes (They should have stuck with Mel Gibson).

The film does have a few laughs, however, mostly from a drug dealing monkey, Mr. Chow and Alan (and a small appearance from the criminally underused Jeffrey Tambor as Alan's father). However, these aren't on the same level of the instantly quotable lines from the first film. I'm one of the few who liked Due Date, Phillips last feature prior to thiswhich I'd say is a vastly superior film - even it's critics must agree that it shows more originality than this. 

The Hangover Part II, feels like a lackluster rehash of the first film. No attempt has been made to veer away from the original significantly enough and the gags just feel less funny and fresh than those of the first film. There, are some amusing moments but just not enough to save the film. It's incredibly likely, we'll get a third entry due to the huge amounts of money this will make. 

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