If you’ve seen the trailer for The Hangover Part II, then you’ve seen most of the funniest bits in the movie. Except for a chain smoking monkey and a bit more use of male genitalia for shock value, most of the rest of the movie is recycled from the first film.
Although the locale has shifted to Thailand, The Hangover Part II finds the three funniest members of the first movie’s Wolfpack – Phil [Bradley Cooper], Stu [Ed Helms] and Alan [Zack Gallifianakis] – waking up the morning after having one beer on the beach at their posh hotel [where Stu is due to marry the gorgeous Lauren in two days] in a strange place with hangovers and no idea how they got there. This time, the fourth member of the group is Lauren’s [Jamie Chung] sixteen-year old brother, Teddy [Mason Lee] – who has gone missing, leaving behind one of his fingers.
So now the trio has to figure out where they’ve been, what they’ve done and where Teddy went. And deal with crazy gangster Mr. Chow [Ken Jeong], that chain-smoking monkey, assorted thugs and a Thai hooker with something more than a heart of gold [though she has that, too].
Complications on the threatening side include Lauren’s father [Nirut Sirichanya] not liking Stu, and a singing Mike Tyson.
I may have laughed half a dozen times over the course of The Hangover Part II – and I was probably the most engaged audience member. Outside of a few good moments for Gallifianakis’ Alan, a couple of moments for the monkey and a couple of moments for an ancient monk [Aroon Seeboonruang] who took a vow of silence when he was eight, the movie is pretty much inert. Even the presence of the first movie’s straight man, Doug [Justin Bartha], is a complete waste [he’s used mostly as a framing device… really]. The less said about Paul Giamatti’s character the better…
Director Todd Phillips tries valiantly to keep things moving, but the movie is still more of a plodder than the zippy laugh riot that the first Hangover was.
Frankly, if you want to see a good R-rated comedy this week, go see Bridesmaids. It’s everything The Hangover Part II is not: fresh, original and funny. Just pray to whatever gods there maybe that there won’t be a Bridesmaids Part II. Based on what happened with The Hangover Part II, I wouldn’t like its chances.
Final Grade: D