In 2009, audiences were introduced to The Hangover, a raunchy Frat Pack-esque comedy about a small group of men who overdo it when they celebrate one of their own’s bachelor party in Las Vegas. With a crew consisting of Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha, insane hijinks and ridiculous R-rated debauchery ensue. After the film’s enormous success, a sequel was eventually more than likely to be made and that is the subject of this review. The Hangover Part II is now out in a nifty Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo pack and what a perfect stocking stuffer it is for the holiday season.
The story of this sequel pretty much continues the events and craziness of the original. It is two years after the madness that occurred in Las Vegas and now, Stu (Ed Helms) is getting married. The wedding is being held in a beautiful part of Thailand and Stu’s friends Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) have been invited. Once they arrive, Phil, Stu and Alan as well as the bride’s brother all go for a beer by a beach campfire and after that, guess what happens…
Phil, Stu and Alan wake up the next day in a seedy hotel room in Bangkok, hungover and very confused yet again. The rest of the film rehashes scenarios from the first The Hangover with rather lackluster results. Ken Jeong’s over-the-top and somewhat annoying character Chow returns and Paul Giamatti makes an appearance in the film that was originally supposed to be Liam Neeson. The Hangover Part II tries very hard to recapture the charm and magic of the first film. First, the gang was in Las Vegas, now they’re in Bangkok, how clever! Just because you put the same cast together and a similar script but change the setting, that doesn’t really make the movie original. Director Todd Phillips has regurgitated the first film and the lame result is an uninspired and uninteresting flick.
A rather busy year for Bradley Cooper, who came out with Limitless and the film this review is about. He was also named People magazine’s “Sexiest Man of the Year” for 2011. Cooper is one of Hollywood’s hottest commodities, showing range in the comedy, action and drama genres. He is turning out to be one of the film industry’s most versatile actors and can be teamed up with virtually anyone. I still remember the first time I saw him in the classic comedyWedding Crashers where he played a temperamental groom-to-be. He has certainly matured since then.
The rest of the cast in The Hangover Part II also shone quite brightly. Ed Helms, who has branched off from The Office is continually proving himself to have strong comedic chops however his dismal Frat Pack vehicle Cedar Rapids was a minor hiccup in the funny man’s blossoming career. Much of the same can be said about Zach Galifianakis, who, with his iconic bushy facial hair has won the hearts and funny bones of many an audience. With his unique comedic style being put to work in standup routines, as well as his HBO series Bored to Deathnot to mention a voiceover role in Puss in Boots, Mr. Galifianakis is one of today’s most sought after comedians.
The Hangover Part II is a predictable comedy sequel through and through. If you saw the first film, you don’t really need to see this one. It is pretty much a copy of the original. Basically, the only difference between both films is the location. Watch this film if you enjoy hearing similar jokes and seeing a plot redone.
Blu-ray Bonus Features
The bonus features for The Hangover Part II are relatively decent. There are bunch of humorous featurettes such as an “unauthorized” documentary which contains footage the makers of film don’t want you to see. There is The Comedy Rhythm of Todd Phillips, a look at the director’s creative process. There is Not Your Everyday Monkey which explores the relationship Crystal the Monkey had on the cast and crew. There is also a Bangkok Tour with Chow featuring the unforgettable Mr. Chow and lastly, there is a gag reel.