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More of the Same: The Hangover: Part Two Review

22nd July 2011

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Hangover Part 1 had everything a good comedy should have. It was original, funny, a great cast and Mike Tyson punching an obese man in the face. So when I heard that Todd Phillips was going to make a sequel, I was as excited as everyone else about seeing Alan (Zach Galifianakis) once again bringing more ‘laugh out loud’ moments than watching old people fall over on an icy day. But like everyone else I was dubious about it, as it did seem like it was a one hit comedy. I asked questions like what else could they do? Where else could they be taken? These questions were answered simply. Just make the same film again, with some changes, ish. The results, not quite as hysterical, but still very watchable.

To start, it is best to say that basically it was like watching “déjà vu” for over two hours. But with the first film being so good, is this really a problem? At points no. The new setting of Bangkok worked very well with the style of comedy The Hangover is now famous for, outrageous amounts of drinking, drugs, and weird people delivering a more over the top version of Las Vegas. The monkey replacing the tiger from the first film worked well, with a smoking monkey never failing to make someone laugh. Another great change was Alan. He was bald. What more could you ask for?

But at points the similarities showed a real lack of imagination, and they lost a lot of their comedy for it. Someone getting married, someone getting lost, them all checking the phone at the end to see the night before to name just a few did actually make you feel slightly awkward watching it, almost as if Todd Phillips watched his first film back again, and said to the cast, well, let’s just do that again.

At times it seemed like they were struggling to come up with new ideas and scrapes for the ‘wolf pack’ to get in. The rather strange and tedious cameo from the usually brilliant Paul Giamatti shouts out at me as being rather like ‘he is famous, cue laughter’. Mike Tyson was back, and without punching someone in the face he just seemed to be thrown in there as a strange homage to the first film. And I am not sure about you but when you watched the tattoo parlor scene, we were expecting Mel Gibson or Liam Neeson. Instead we got Nick Cassavetes. Yes, I do not know who he is either. It simply turned into a transitional scene, losing out on the comedy, and also the moment in the cinema when everyone goes, oh my god that’s Mel Gibson!

Looking aside from the comparisons between the first and second and just looking at the film as a separate entity, it is a decent comedy. Alan is genuinely hilarious once again, providing the majority of the laughs, with my favorite bit of the film coming from inside his room. The scene at the monastery was in addition very funny, with monks famously never failing to hit the mark when it comes to comedy. Then there is the bit with the woman/man. I will not ruin the story for you if you have yet to watch it. Comparing this to other films out of late, The Hangover Part 2 is most certainly the best option to have a truly enjoyable cinema experience. The best opening weekend of any comedy film of all time tells its own story.

My Rating

Overall a good comedy film, with some hits and misses, and what can only really be called a replica of the first brilliant film. Possibly should have just left it at one, as the task in hand was like trying to make a sequel to the Titanic. (Embarrassingly this has happened!) Overall, I would rate it with three stars.

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