The Hangover Part II
May 26, 2011
More depraved. More insane. More wonderful than the original.
By Jim East
Welcome ladies and gentlemen (and everything in between) to the summer movie season, an endless parade of sequels, comic-book spinoffs and re-boots. But just when you think you’ve seen it all before, you meet a drug dealing monkey with a vintage denim Rolling Stones vest, an adorable fondness for cigarettes and a less adorable fondness for other, um, oral fixations.
This little critter is a memorable addition to the cast in The Hangover Part II, a howlingly funny, gender-bending (don’t ask) stroke of genius that careens through the filthy, sweaty streets of Bangkok. And if there’s a moral to this story, it’s this: DON’T EVER GO TO BANGKOK.
If there’s a second moral, it’s this: the best friends in life are the ones who stick around when things go wrong. Horribly wrong. Lose-a-finger, stuff-a-dead-guy-in-the-hotel-ice-machine wrong. And that’s just for starters. The Hangover Part II ratchets up the insanity and the depravity from the original 2009 blockbuster, and somehow they’ve surpassed the sky-high expectations and made an even better movie.
Warner Brothers had better schedule Parts III and IV while the original cast is still affordable, because this thing is going to make a freaking fortune.
The Hangover Part II takes Phil, Stu and Alan (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis, respectively) to Thailand for a destination wedding. Stu dumped the shrew at the end of the last movie, and now he is about to marry the girl of his dreams despite the hilariously withering disapproval of her father.
The night before the wedding, the fellas head down to the beach for one celebratory beer, and proceed to get Bangkok’ed. They regain consciousness the next morning in some sleazy hotel, and even worse, they’ve lost track of Stu’s brother-in-law to-be, Teddy (Mason Lee), the most treasured member of the family.
And so begins a raunchy, unpredictable and inspired quest to track down Teddy so all four men can return in time for the wedding. When the quest begins, director Todd Phillips (who is approaching comedic immortality with Old School, Road Trip and The Hangover franchise) punches the accelerator. He understands with a plot this gleefully insane, you don’t want to give the audience any time to reflect or start asking questions. Instead the movie just piles on the laughs and confidently crosses some lines that have never (and I mean NEVER) been used in a comedy before.
Phillips also has the luxury of some seriously dedicated comic actors. Helms is especially great, willing to do anything for a laugh even if it means he’ll have to make sure his children never, ever, ever see this movie. There are some things no kid should ever see daddy do, and Helms does every one with gusto. Galifianakis is again priceless as an emotionally stunted man-child who inadvertently reveals his colossal ignorance every time he opens his mouth.
For fans of the original, this movie has a special treat at the end that is worth the price of admission. For everyone else, even if you haven’t watched the first movie, The Hangover Part II is the first must-see film of the year.