TMP Reviews: The Hangover Part II – This Is The Hangover?

THE SET-UP

The movie takes place as Stu (Ed Helms) is finally getting married. Oddly enough it isn’t to the strange hooker he found in the first film. Instead he is marrying Lauren (Jamie Chung) who has a dad that doesn’t like him and a young brother named Teddy (Mason Lee) that tags along for the trip. Remember how I said it all seems rehashed? The “Wolfpack” consists of Phil (Bradley Cooper), playing the same exact role; Alan (Zach Galifianakis), even more exaggerated as stupid and childish; and Doug (Justin Bartha), which will miss out on all the fun once again.

Remember how I said the film is exactly the same? They eat tainted marshmallows (instead of roofies), they go “cause mayhem” in Bangkok (instead of Vegas), they carry around a monkey that belongs to someone else (instead of a hookers baby), and they will get beat by a gang of monks (instead of tasered by cops).  Lastly they all wake up after this crazy night, look to link things together, and realize one person is missing and go hunt for him.

 

THE GOOD

I honestly have to think really hard about what was good about this film. It was better off coming out years down the road when the first Hangover wasn’t so fresh in our minds.
That’s not to say there weren’t funny moments or good ideas in the film.

Zach Galifianakis somehow always manages to make me laugh in these types of roles. He plays a similar role in Due Date where he is a “stay at home son” and gets babied by his parents. Once you put him out in the big mean world he doesn’t exactly know what to do, which in return makes for some extremely comedic moments.

THE BAD

I absolutely loved the first Hangover, I was laughing non-stop. The Hangover Part 2 didn’t feel this way at all. In fact the cut and paste aspects it had from the first film gave you that “I’ve seen this before” attitude. It’s similar to a comedian that can’t make up new jokes every time he goes on tour, so he reuses the same jokes that made him funny to begin with. Before long people realize he is a hack and don’t want to bother laughing.

 

I could write a book on all the things that I didn’t like about this film. For starters it seems as though they  simply went back to the first film, took major key moments from it, copied and pasted them into this film. Then tweaked very minor details so they could have an argument that its different. Combine that with very long stretches of boring details and explanation and you have The Hangover Part 2. It was honestly better suited as an action film than a comedy.

The movie goes out of its way to copy every aspect that made the first film funny (I am trying to explain how this is without really spoiling the film for you). Beyond the similarities I mentioned above, other aspects will play out the same. There will be surprise appearances that work similarly; and Hell even the ending was identical.

With that in mind it seems that they didn’t know how to connect these keypoints and add in new things. Instead everything was happening very casually and way too convenient for the characters. They would simply look a new direction and right in front of them would be a new clue. They didn’t have to travel to new places and talk to a douchbag doctor, instead it was a friendly tattoo artist. A lot of the comedy comes from Alan acting like a child, or one line jokes, and not so much the events that happen.

 

The film also took some aspects too far. Remember back in high school when saying penis, or some immature friend would think it’s funny to have people look at a penis? Well this movie caters to that crowd with penis flying left and right. When Mr. Chow openly showed off his near the beginning of the film it was somewhat amusing; but as the movie continued it only became disturbing.

THE SCORE CARD

Acting:

Zach does a great job as Alan as this is his type of role, and he has shown it through other films. Bradly Cooper also does a good job in his role, but he seems more serious than comedic. This seems to be Mason Lee’s first film and it shows throughout his performance.

Directing:

Todd Phillips does a horrible job trying to recreate the first film. He couldn’t keep the same pace, same comedic outbursts, and basically failed to make me laugh.

Writing:

The writing is horrible…The dialogue is pushing too hard for the comedic joke, everything happens way to conveniently for the characters, and there is no discovery or major comedic outbursts from the first film. Just pay attention to the ending to see how hard the writers were trying the entire time to push funny one liners out the door.

Sound:
Surprisingly this is one of the very few things I loved about the film. The movie has several scenes with a western feel to them, and its great and works fine. Why it’s in a comedy like the Hangover? I honestly don’t know.

Visuals:

The same thing that happened with sound, happens with visuals. There are some very stunning shots and things happening, but overall they were better suited for an action flick. There were also several shots and montages that were directly pulled from the first Hangover.

OVERALL

The Hangover Part 2 seems to be the original idea behind the first Hangover. You know the first draft of a film before professional writers get their hands on it and actually make it funny and worthwhile. It’s not a sequel, its half boiled recreation of The Hangover. Then again what do you expect when you give an R rating opportunity to writers that cater to high school kids with Scary Movie 4…

The Hangover Part 2 gets a 6 out of 10. Simply due to Zach making me laugh, otherwise it would be much lower…unless of course they want to call it an action flick instead.