The Hangover Part II Reviews
If you superimposed a diagram that mapped out all the narrative beats, characters and jokes in "The Hangover Part II" over one for "The Hangover," the two would align almost perfectly.
Trade out Las Vegas for Bangkok, a tiger for a monkey, a lactating hooker for a trannie stripper, a missing tooth for a face tattoo, and you've got Todd Phillips's rote, dispiriting replica of his own surprise smash hit.
I can't believe how precisely everything does happen again, except that what was fresh and surprising in Las Vegas turns rancid and predictable in Bangkok, where yet another wedding is scheduled to take place.
It's a tribute to the filmmakers, particularly director and co-writer Todd Phillips, that the best way to approach The Hangover Part II is to talk about what it isn't. It isn't a typical sequel, either a watered-down encore or a muddled [extension].
...[it] sacrifices plausibility, believability and empathy with anything that doesn't validate its lead characters' 'Wolf Pack' mentality in the service of a smirkingly cynical attitude.
The Hangover Part II isn't a dud, exactly -- some of it is very funny, and there are a few memorable jolts and outlandish dirty moments. But it feels, at times, like a routine adventure film set overseas.
The MPAA's elaboration of the film's R rating says the movie has "pervasive language, strong sexual content including graphic nudity, drug use and brief violent images." Also other stuff. Maybe their space was limited.
I need jokes. Something more than a situation recycling the situation in the first one. I'd like filmmakers who, worldwide grosses aside, show more of an interest in filming visual comedy -- gross-out, violent, action-based, whatever -- with some finesse.
Repeating the structure of the first film beat for beat, writer/director Todd Phillips keeps things fresh by going sleazier and more depraved, a litany of pain and suffering played for laughs. It's one part comedy to four parts juvenile delinquency.
This isn't even really a sequel to the hilarious 2009 comedy smash set in Las Vegas. It's virtually the same movie, just transferred to another continent and with the raunch wildly amped up.