May 29, 2011

The Hangover Part II (05/29/2011)

Lettergrade: D

The Hangover Part II is one of those sequels that rewraps whatever people seemed to like about the first movie in a different setting. It's a pantheon that includes The Cannonball Run II, Weekend At Bernie's II, multiple Ocean's 11 follow-ups, Escape From L.A., The Karate Kid Part II, Another 48 Hours, Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles, and countless others that will come back to me, I'm sure.

It's an alright movie in and of itself, I suppose. Although director Todd Phillips and his co-screenwriters spent most of pre-production combing through the first screenplay and dutifully changing every appearance of "Las Vegas" to "Bangkok," they found time to come with a little bit of fresh material too, and the new stuff is pretty funny. But man... there really isn't that much of it. Beat for beat, Part II offers slight variations on scenes from the original, and I've gotta say that I've never entirely understood what audience is demanding to see an essential replay of something they've already seen and might have even bought on DVD?

Bangkok is a bit scarier and a lot less fun than Vegas. The surprises aren't all that surprising because although we don't quite know what the punchlines are, we can roughly guess when and how they'll be delivered. Zach Galifianakis is still funny, but remember how great it was to watch the first movie and not know who that sweaty, hairy guy who was saying all the crazy shit was?

There are a handful of big laughs in The Hangover Part II, but none of them really match the pleasure of watching the original. There are better flicks out there to spend your time and money on right now, so I'd encourage you to choose one of them instead. Again, it's not that it's bad, but perhaps I'm being a little extra tough on it for not being much more than a fuzzy copy with a few of the variables switched up.

My journal entry on the original Hangover.

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