Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hangover II

Nothing annoys me more in film than lazy writing and "the Hangover Part II" is exactly that. This usually happens in remakes and sequels, but never have I noticed a sequel that felt like a remake more than this one. I enjoyed the original "Hangover" (2009) so much that I was willing to see it more than once in the theaters. The clues to Doug’s whereabouts came from clever writing that gave the guys just enough information to keep them moving forward.

In the original film, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) wake up with memory loss, unable to recall the night before ("remember"). The sequel begins like the first movie, with Phil explaining that they won’t be able to make it back for the wedding, and then it proceeds forward with the guys trying to find clues as to the whereabouts of their lost friend, this time the brother of the bride to be (Mason Lee). The path they take to find their missing friend seems forced and now unoriginal, just when they think they are about to find Teddy, they realize they don't, and then suddenly they remember something that makes sense  and they have a deep cleaning with a happy ending.  The international criminal sting operation between Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) and Kingsley (Paul Giamatti) is the only redeeming aspect of the story. 

The differences are simple as they find a monkey in the room rather than a tiger. Stu now has a face tattoo rather a missing tooth. When they think they’ve found the missing person, it turns out to be a Monk that has taken a vow of silence.  Even the hilarious song that Ed Helms sang in the first film about Doug has a new version for the sequel, but makes you wonder where he found a guitar on a river boat.  It's as if no thought at all went into making the film.  They just did it in Bangkok instead of Vegas.  Ultimately, what happened in Vegas should have stayed in Vegas. 

I almost want to compare this film to "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift", which was another sequel that bombed. Just because you change the location doesn't make it a new movie.  Instead it comes across as an insult to the audience.

Perhaps this is all a joke from writer/director Todd Phillips in that we are supposed to still be hungover from the original.  I am sure that it will get a strong number at the box office this weekend, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it have a significant drop the following weekend.   I wish I could give this a better review, but 2 Quacks is really all it is worth. One night in Bangcock and the worlds your oyster as the devil is walking next to you.  Even Mike Tyson hasn't seen what comes at the end of this film.

(screening date 5/24/11, release date 5/27/11, location AMC Loews Georgetown 14)

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