‘The Hangover: Part II’ DVD Review

Director: Todd Phillips

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galianakis

Plot: A group of mates head out for a stag night in Vegas Bangkok only to wake up the morning after having lost the groom younger brother of the bride.

Review: Among the first news that was released about this highly anticipated sequel to the surprise comedy hit was a quote from Bradley Cooper revealing that they were flying out to Thailand to begin filming. He didn’t supply us with any other information aside from this because he hadn’t yet received the script. “We probably lose Doug again” he continued.

This seemingly innocuous piece of information could been seen at the time as evidence of the quick paced, intense production schedule but in hindsight it’s more indicative of the little planning and effort that went into this slapdash sequel.

Many critics noted that it was just a carbon copy of the first, but this shouldn’t be seen as a negative. James Bond films have been following the same formula for the best part of fifty years with little complaint, a good framework can work wonders for a franchise. Many viewers would feel cheated if the sequel couldn’t deliver something similar to the original. What ultimately lets the film down is the lack of funny material.

Expect to see lots of this...

The original movie derived its humour from creating a snowball from the initial set-up, making things progressively worse and following up every uncovered piece of information about their debauchery with more questions. This sequel, conversely, only seems to go for shock value with many gags never followed through on. Stu’s tattoo is a prime example – after the initial surprise of seeing his new face art it barely gets mentioned for the rest of the film. It gets to the point of ridiculous when he is reunited with his bride and she doesn’t react at all. It makes no sense at all that she wouldn’t be at least surprised when her ususally modest fiancée is suddenly sporting ink. This isn’t an isolated incident either. One character seems totally unfazed that he’s woken up missing a finger. It also doesn’t help that the biggest surprises, such as the face tattoo, was featured prominently in the marketing.

These shock comedy moments usually miss the mark entirely. Finding out a character has drunkenly gotten married to a stripper was funny, but finding out that this time around they had buttsex with a transvestite is just kinda iffy. The writers seemed so keen to one-up themselves they forgot to add the punchlines to the jokes, or even forget which jokes they’ve already made – monkey fellatio gets rolled out in two different scenes and isn’t that funny to begin with.

The movie isn’t a complete let-down. The easy charisma and banter between the lead three is still present and some of the reveals of the night before are surprising enough to raise a chuckle. Everything that made the first film so entertaining is still present, bar the jokes and the investment in the story. Looking for your friend so he doesn’t miss his wedding holds more appeal then finding your friend’s brides brother.

FOUR outta TEN

...and this.