Hangover 2

Hangover 2 was a film I had been looking forward too watching. I greatly enjoyed the first one, which while not being the funniest movie ever is a great comedy which keeps you hooked. So I had been hoping that part 2 (which I saw a few days ago) would live up to the original, which it did do just not in a good way. It turned out to be nothing more than the exact same movie, just done worse. It didn’t really add anything to the formula that worked in the first movie, except the new ‘exotic’ locale. This probably has a lot to do with the writers, the sequel is written by a different group of people, who just didn’t seem able, or willing, to try and bring anything new (and funny) into the mix.

The actors have a good showing, with Bradley Cooper probably doing the best of the main three, portraying Phil well in line with the first film being a likeable dick. My main issue with the characters is Alan (Zach Galifianakis), who seems to be a whole lot worse in this film than the first. His character is obviously supposed to have social issues, and not really understand the world, which worked fine as a contrast to the other two in the first film. However, be it Galifianakis changing his portrayal or more poor writing (my bet), in this one he is, putting it lightly, over the top. Rather than making funny out of place comments about the groups actions he just makes inane remarks about whatever is going on (but I guess the line between funny and inane is a matter of personal aesthetics). Unfortunately I waited too long to write this so can’t remember any exact quotes, but suffice to say he was more cringe worthy than funny. Ken Jeong’s return for an expanded role as Mr Chow worked well and his craziness did help the scenes he was in.

Back for a moment to the plot, while they did change things around slightly most of the main points are the same (skip the rest of this paragraph if you don’t want any spoilers). Again we have Alan drugging the group, though I’m not sure how muscle relaxants would give the same effect as the roofies in the original. They manage to go to another strip club, though this time no marriage, but it is less important to the story and just seems thrown in. Stu (Ed Helms) instead of pulling a tooth gets a tattoo ala Mike Tyson (who does make an appearance at the end), and makes another song about the groups misadventures. Another animal is present, a monkey, and again it is an important part in the film. Money and gangsters are a main issue in finding the lost character, and in the same fashion as the first film solving this problem doesn’t really help on the search. There are others, but there isn’t much point in continuing on listing them. So all in all most of the major plot points are straight from the original with a slight, and in some cases non existent, twist. This leads to a boring story which seems more along the lines of a remake than an entirely new movie.

The soundtrack is a good fit, with songs fitting the point in the movie and mood well. But a few well placed songs is nowhere near enough to deal with the many problems plaguing the film. While not being a terrible movie, I did enjoy it far more than Thor, it doesn’t hold up to the first by any means. It has its moments, some of which are rather funny, but a few good scenes can’t make up for a rehashed plot and a completely insufferable character. I’m sure I’ll end up watching it again, after the original no doubt, and as with so many comedies in recent years it will be enjoyable when watched but quickly lose appeal after it finishes.

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~ by Chris Stevens on May 30, 2011.

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