When The Hangover hit our screens in 2009 it took the world by storm. Its formula of absurd surprise and timely one-liners proved to be a recipe for laughs that resulted in one of the most successful comedies to date.
However, Todd Phillips seems to have used “cut and paste” to disastrous effect with his second attempt at documenting the ultimate lads romp. Deciding to replicate the first film but this time in Thailand, it’s not just the trailer which is a shot-for-shot replica. The film begins with a carbon copy of the opening scene of the original, with our three leads waking up after the mother of all nights out. The blighted groom is yet again Stu (Ed Helms) who is persuaded by the perverse odd-ball Alan (Zach Galifianakis) to enjoy a final night of freedom in Bangkok.
This time around, the story revolves around trying to find Stu’s future brother-in-law Teddy as opposed to Doug. As before, clues are sparse with the odd scrap of paper, or in this case decapitated finger leading the lads to their next caper. A drug-dealing monkey is relied on as a crutch throughout the film, being routinely abused when the laughs inevitably dry up.
The Hangover Part 2 fails to utilize the element of surprise in any way shape or form, which was arguably the redeeming factor behind the success of the original. As the trio set out to piece together the memories of their night, the usual clichés crop up – the remains of a brawl, a risqué visit to a strip club and dubious dealings with a criminal. In order to squeeze a modicum of humour from the repeated plot, Phillips appears to have tried using the shock factor. Bad taste and gore are rife here, with mutilated body parts and animal abuse used as ammunition for cheap laughs.
Perhaps the use of tired celebrity Gok Wan as a compere to the premiere should have been an indication that the following two hours were going to be grueling. In keeping with sticking strictly to the formula of the first installment, Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) reappears, doing little but putting on his odd eastern accent, which gets tiresome very quickly. In a recent interview, he said that Phillips gave him free reign to do as he pleased which with hindsight was probably a mistake. All in all, you’re left with a feeling that you’ve seen it all before; and when Mike Tyson pops up, you’ll realise you have.
The Hangover Part 2 is in cinemas now.
Via Blogomatic 3000