Full disclosure, I am not a disciple of The Hangover. I thought the first movie was funny and I gave it a "B." I didn't think it was the funniest movie of all time or even of that year. I thought the first act was great, then it got pretty good and the last third of the movie wasn't really that funny at all. When I heard they were making a sequel I groaned. When I watched the trailer I rolled my eyes. After watching the entire movie, I could do nothing but sit there shaking my head at how truly awful it was.
The Hangover Part 2 is the perfect example of what's wrong with Hollywood. The original was a surprise hit and went on to be the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time. Did it have more to say? No. Did there need to be a continuation of the characters? Not particularly. So why did this get made? Pure greed. Not only was this made ONLY to make money but it was done so arrogantly and lazy.
It's one thing to give the people what they want, but it's another thing entirely to shovel the exact same story down their throats. I was blown away by how much the trailer made it look like the sequel was going to be a rehashing of the first one but nothing could prepare me for how carbon copied it really is. It's so bad that there are characters from the first one that are in the second one that have absolutely no logical reason for being there. In case you don't know, the story is the exact same as the first one except now they're in Bangkok preparing for Stu's wedding, who's played by Ed Helms (NBC's The Office, Cedar Rapids). He's joined by his friends played by Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha, who played Doug in the first one.
You can draw a straight line between the two films for comparisons. For instance, when they wake up from their party they no longer find a baby to care for but instead a monkey. Stu didn't pull out his tooth but instead got a face tattoo. I could go on and on with this but I don't want to put any spoilers in the review (although spoilers in a movie like this is a ridiculous notion since you know exactly what's coming next and who will do it). Let's just say that there are so many that it's fairly sickening.
That's not to say that The Hangover Part 2 isn't funny...of course it is. Just like the first one, it's funny at first and then starts to lose its way as the movie goes on. For this one the burn is far quicker because director Todd Phillips confused kicking the craziness and humor up a notch with simply making it darker, more serious and gross. It makes you feel extremely unsettled. In the first one, although it dealt with a kidnapping, drugs and wrongful marriage, the hijinks the boys get into are relatively frat boy-like behavior. In this one it's disturbing and dangerous. It's a lot harder to laugh it off and I could hear that reflected in a packed theater of rabid Hangover fans who sat silent for about 45 minutes of the film.
Even Galifianakis, who single-handedly stole the show last time with his witty, improvised, quotable one-liners, was phoning it in. It almost makes me judge everyone who worked on this movie as being void of integrity. However, if I had a studio lobbing piles of cash at me to do the exact same movie I already did, I would find it impossible to turn down as well. But the level of unoriginality that went into this movie is almost insulting as an audience member. The fact that the studio and Phillips think so less of us that they could deliver this in hopes that we would eat the same exact meal and never notice we were is just sad.
I'm sure The Hangover Part 2 will make tons of money all over again. And I'm sure the studio will figure out a way to get everyone back for another one. I can only hope the poster for the movie was taken after the cast saw how much the critics hated this movie and that they may have sullied their legacy. But as far as I'm concerned, I'm officially hungover on The Hangover.
The Hangover Part 2 (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: D+
I agree. This movie was so upsetting to me. I even made it a point to watch the movie with no biased or comparison to the first movie, but it's almost like they took the script from the first movie and made very minor changes. Even while not expecting much from this sequal, I was still entirely disappointed. This movie isn't even worth a RedBox dollar.