The first Hangover was a brazen, bawdy rollercoaster ride around Las Vegas we didn’t want to get down from. Not when it had, among its loops and thrills, a missing groom, a tiger, a raving-mad naked mobster, a broken tooth and a high-stakes blackjack game.
Replace Vegas with Bangkok, the tiger with a chain-smoking monkey, the tooth with a facial tattoo, the groom with a brother-in-law, and you pretty much have The Hangover Part II. But that’s exactly why everyone will be watching the sequel. To find out what the – insert your choice expletive – happened.
Yes, the Wolfpack is back. This time, timid dentist Stu (Ed Helms) is getting hitched to the lovely lass Lauren (Jamie Chung) in Thailand with his buddies tagging along. As per the last movie, you will see cool Phil (Bradley Cooper) taking charge of Stu and man-child Alan (Zach Galifianakis) in the thankless task of searching for Stu’s missing future brother-in-law (Lee Ang’s son Mason Lee) in steaming, seedy Bangkok after a night of drunken chaos.
Previously forgotten groom (Justin Bartha) remains left behind in the comfort of the resort. Joining them in their manhunt is the irrepressibly wacky Mr Chow, (Ken Jeong) who gets even more exposure (interpret this however you want) here.
In a bid to outdo its predecessor, The Hangover Part II is deliberately set up to be louder, cruder and more unhinged. Some of the jokes and gags achieve the feat of being both ruthless and cringe-worthy at the same time.
Too bad the inspired “OMG, what’s going to happen next?” factor is painfully absent.
Director Todd Philips is so precious about not upsetting the formula that made the first movie such a monster success that all originality seems to have been sucked out of this follow-up, right down to the moment when the Wolfpack almost throws in the towel and decides to call home defeated.
When Stu repeatedly bemoans, “I can’t believe this is happening again”, it’s a sentiment we can all agree with.
Written by: Horaki Kashiwa