The Hangover, Part 2. For 90% of you, you already know if you’re going to like this movie or not. If you liked the first one, you’ll likely enjoy this one as well, as it follows the exact same formula. Some scenes are even shot-for-shot identical to the first film, which gives the feeling of deja vu (which I think is intentional). But for me, it felt like the movie was saying, “Hey! This is just like in the first movie, which you loved, remember?” or “Hey! Here’s a cameo of someone from the first movie! That was hilarious right?”
I feel like I need to be honest about something. I wasn’t a fan of the first film. It felt like it was all shock value, like it was supposed to be Jackass 4 or something. It was all gross reveals, shocking twists, and a lot of profanity. And who would even act like that? It seemed incredibly over the top and unrealistic, which really detached me from the comedy.
Well, in Hangover 2, you get more of the same. A lot more. The formula basically consists of “Wouldn’t it suck if ___ happened?” plus “The crowd will totally be grossed out by ___” and then a pinch of “People love unnecessary vulgarity!” And then you have The Hangover, Part 2.
The movie is set in Thailand and they follow all the stereotypes in existance about Thailand, though I do commend them for at least showcasing a few locales that are beautiful and exotic as opposed to the sketch parts of Bangkok, where most of the movie takes place.
Now, let me talk about the three lead actors in this movie. Bradley Cooper doesn’t have to do anything. He just overreacts to every situation and kind of phones in his performance. Ed Helms carries most of the film, as he’s the only one that legitimately acts like how a human would act in these bizarre situations.
And then there’s Zach Galifianakis. In the first movie, I felt bad for him. He was just socially awkward. But in this second film, he borders on mentally challenged and I found it to be more sad than funny. He puts people’s lives at risk and he says things that are clearly not okay but no one says anything. I didn’t find it funny. A few moments I chuckled but then it set again that I know people that would act like that and it’s sad. It’s way over the top and pushes past socially awkward.
Now… my theatre was packed. And people were roaring. So, I know some of you will enjoy this movie. But for me, it was humor for the lowest common denominator and I thought it was crude and tasteless. I appreciate R-rated comedies, don’t get me wrong. I think Wedding Crashers, the movie that pretty redefined the genre of adult comedy, is a masterpiece. Knocked Up and Forgetting Sarah Marshall are both stellar examples of humor that can appeal to adults, without going into that dark place that Hangover 2 pretty much lives in.
You may like it. But I’m saying that I wasn’t impressed. The first installment was at least creative, where this second one is a carbon copy with worse jokes. See it at your own risk.