I’m probably one of the rare few that didn’t think The Hangover was an awesome film. A clever premise, interesting characters, and some wild, outrageous and completely insane situations — yes — but personally I didn’t find it all that funny.
A couple of my friends told me that the sequel, The Hangover Part II, was very very funny, so despite my wariness, I went and checked it out.
Mmm…like the characters in the film, I honestly couldn’t remember a whole lot about the original, but even so, this sequel felt eerily similar, almost recycled. The same bunch of guys have a wild night out before a wedding, get plastered, can’t remember anything the next morning, and have to retrace their steps in limited time to find a missing person. Like the predecessor, it’s crazy, crude, often disgusting and utterly improbable — meaning if you enjoyed the original you’ll probably like this one too.
Unfortunately for me, it meant another pretty average experience.
Moving the ‘Wolfpack’ to Bangkok was a step up from Vegas, and they sure did exploit the beautiful scenery, the vastly different culture, the squalid parts of the city and the language barrier. I also thought the three main characters — Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) — provided a formidable trio with distinct personalities that meshed well together.
But ultimately, The Hangover Part II just wasn’t very funny. Well, perhaps I should clarify by saying that it’s not my kind of humour. Like the first film, it relied on outrageous situations, gross out scenarios and random/awkard/uncomfortable moments provided by Galifianakis (who shot to stardom after the original). It’s a formula that obviously worked for audiences the first time, but I could count the number of genuine laughs I had from this film on one hand. A big reason for that was because a lot of the gags, especially the sexual ones, were telegraphed and you could see them coming a mile away.
The biggest disappointment for me was the Asian gangster Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong), who for me was absolutely the bright spark of the original. In the sequel, however, I felt his jokes were more scripted rather than ad libbed, and as a result he wasn’t nearly as funny as he was or should have been. I still love Ken but he couldn’t lift the film this time.
Having said all that, I still maintained interest in the story most of way through because of the curiosity factor — after all, I did want to find out what happened to them that night. But as was the case with the original, that knowledge didn’t mean much by the end.
2 stars out of 5