The Hangover: Part 2
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The Wolfpack Is Back... In “The Hangover Part II,” Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) travel to exotic Thailand for Stu’s wedding. After the unforgettable bachelor party in Las Vegas, Stu is taking no chances and has opted for a safe, subdued pre-wedding brunch. However, things don’t always go as planned. What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in Bangkok can’t even be imagined.
Released to Buy:
05 December 2011
Released to Rent in Store:
05 December 2011
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The Hangover Part 2 Review
Uuurrrgghh, my head... Wha... Where... Oh no. Oh no. Come on dude, seriously. You've got to be kidding. Not again... It can't be!
But oh yes it can ladies and gentleman as director Todd Phillips and the Wolfpack return for another odyssey of indignity in The Hangover Part II, proving that lightening can strike twice so long as there's a sufficient supply of alcohol, doped marshmallows and bad luck on hand.
Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) reunite two years on from the traumatic events of Las Vegas for toothless dentist Stu's (Ed Helms) wedding in Thailand to a beautiful fiancée with a disapproving father. Adamant that there will be no repeat of the raucous debauchery and collective amnesia of Doug's bachelor party, Stu insists on limiting the fun to a pre-wedding brunch at the International House of Pancakes and bans all intoxicating stimulants from his engagement party on a moonlit beach. Surely this time nothing can go wrong... but then what kind of a frat boy, gross-out comedy caper would that be? Sure enough, the boys wake up the next morning in a squalid Bangkok motel room faced with a demonic, drug-dealing capuchin monkey in a denim vest, a severed finger, Maori tattoos and a whole lot of explaining to do.
Less of a sequel than a straight remake of the first film, The Hangover Part II follows the template of its forerunner to the letter. Again forced to piece the narrative back together like some groggy parody of a detective story, our heroes this time set out in search of Stu's bride's younger brother - the apple of their father's eye and a prodigious cellist and would-be surgeon - while the aforementioned primate stands in for the earlier film's tiger and baby, Heather Graham's stripper is replaced by a naked transsexual and both hedonistic Chinese gangster Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) and a cameoing Mike Tyson return to run through their now-familiar party pieces. There's even the same iPod Shuffle approach to the soundtrack, which skips through the genres seemingly at random, featuring everyone from Johnny Cash to Kanye West via Danzig. The Hangover Part II may contain more déjà vu than surprises then and does suffer from a major lack of ambition but it's understandable that the producers saw no need to change a winning formula when the first film went on to become the US's highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. Perhaps you could even talk up this approach as a subtle piece of social commentary about the futile repetitiveness of doomed, drunken male bonding rituals in an oppressive Western consumer-capitalist culture that increasingly infantilises and emasculates. Though probably not.
On the plus side, Phillips presents us with a picture postcard tour through the sights, sounds and smells of Bangkok that feels vibrant and authentic and is beautifully shot by cinematographer Lawrence Sher. The film also offers an added layer of tension by capturing something of that fear of being lost in a foreign city without being able to speak the language that made Roman Polanski's Frantic (1988) such an effective little thriller. The three leads also have real chemistry and share the embarrassments fairly evenly, though the cementing of their friendship at the film's close does descend rather unfortunately into the blokely "I love you man" sentimentality of a lager commercial. Galifianakis, so funny in HBO's latest hit series Bored To Death, just about comes out on top though Cooper and Helms also have their moments (notably in the scene in which they are ruthlessly beaten by a Buddhist monk for disturbing the serene tranquility of his temple) though seasoned performers Paul Giamatti and Jeffrey Tambor are squandered in supporting roles. Still, The Hangover Part II remains for the most part a thoroughly likeable jaunt through stag do country with enough action set pieces and riqué humour to keep the crowds happy. Quite how much they'll remember the morning after though is open to question.
By Joe Sommerlad
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