Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Living Here in Alan Town

In the classic Murray Head song, there's the lyric "One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble." That's the basic plot of The Hangover Part II, in which the Wolfpack, in Thailand for Stu's (Ed Helms) wedding, wake up in Bangkok and can't remember anything that happened the night before. If you're thinking, "Isn't that basically the same exact plot as the first Hangover movie? How could that happen again?" then you're right. But if you like the characters and the movie's funny, then the plot's not exactly important. So let's move on, then, shall we?

Full disclosure: I'm not the world's biggest fan of the original Hangover. It had its moments, but to me, it's just not the instant classic it's been hyped up to be. This sequel is of similar quality. The novelty of the situation's gone, so the filmmakers have no choice but to ratchet up the raunch and take it to new extremes. Of course, that's after the guys wake up. For some odd reason, it takes a long time to get to that point. Why the filmmakers spend so much time establishing the film's premise this second time around I don't know, but it's a bummer.

To be sure, Hangover 2 has its moments too, but some of them you'll feel like you've seen before. There's a bit involving Stu and a stripper (again), and while you can predict what's going to happen a mile away, the payoff (if you can call it that) is both gross and hysterical. That scene is an exception; there's nothing quite as funny in the entire rest of the film. In fact, Hangover 2 has stretches where there aren't many laughs at all. Thankfully, Zach Galifianakis brings the awkward funny throughout the film. It's his lines that you'll be quoting all summer (that, or the lyrics to Stu's song — yes, that's another bit that carries over to the sequel).

So in the end, is The Hangover Part II worth seeing? It's less enjoyable than the first film, it's predictable, and Bangkok ... well, let's just say you won't want to travel there any time soon. But it's still funny at parts, and the Wolfpack is fun to hang with for two hours. So I'm giving The Hangover Part II a B–.



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