Movie Review: The Hangover Part II
Rating: R (language, violence, nudity, drug use, adult situations)
Release Date: May 26, 2011
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Stars: 3 out of 5
After the runaway success of "The Hangover," a sequel was inevitable. After some contract negotiations and lots of anticipation, the original cast and crew were reassembled to make "The Hangover Part II."
This one picks up two years after the first one left off. Doug (Justin Bartha), who was lost for nearly the entirety of the first film, is still happily married with a child on the way. Phil (Bradley Cooper) now has a baby girl in addition to the young son we met in the first film. Stu (Ed Helms) is engaged to a gorgeous woman named Lauren (Jamie Chung), whose family is from Thailand.
The boys are set to travel to Thailand for the wedding in front of Lauren's disapproving family. The hitch in the plan is that Alan (Zach Galifianakis) was not invited. Alan's sister (and Doug's wife) Tracy (Sasha Barrese) begs Doug to get Alan an invite. Of all the changes that the four friends have gone through in two years, Alan has changed the least. He is still a man-boy living with his parents with no apparent profession or aim in life.
Stu relents, and the four meet up at the airport along with Lauren's brother Teddy (Mason Lee), a medical student at Stanford. From the get-go, Alan doesn't like Teddy because he is not a part of the Wolf Pack formed in the first film.
After a tense rehearsal dinner in Thailand, Phil insists that they have some kind of bachelor party for Stu. The boys quickly plan a small bonfire on the beach with a few quick beers. It all seems fairly harmless, so Stu relents from his ironclad "no bachelor party" stance. Even Lauren encourages him to go have a good time.
If anyone should know that a good time can turn bad very quickly, it should be these men. They wake up the next day in parts unknown with no memory of what happened. Stu wakes up in a filthy bathtub with an exact replica of Mike Tyson's infamous face tattoo. Teddy and Doug are nowhere to be found, and crime boss Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) has shown up as Alan's guest for the wedding.
For the rest of the film, the boys must piece together a very murky night based on a few clues and a bratty monkey, who may hold the key to what happened. Luckily, Doug is safe and sound back at the hotel, having retired for the night before the debauchery started. He is used intermittently by the remaining Wolf Pack members to help them locate Teddy. If they don't, Stu's wedding, and likely relationship, with Lauren is done. Losing somebody's kid brother would probably be a bad way to start a marriage.
As the clues begin to come together, the same lewd gags and crude humor that made the original so much fun ensue. "The Hangover Part II" is basically the same story and plot as the first, only this time the gang must make it back in time for Stu's wedding instead of Doug's. Despite the lack of original story, people who laughed at the first will laugh at this one as well. The change in locale from Las Vegas to Bangkok gives the story enough of a shift to still seem somewhat fresh. From the seedy backroom of a strip club to a tattoo parlor where Stu's face tattoo is done, Bangkok is almost like the fifth member of the Wolf Pack. In fact, the Thai location is the key to this movie being nearly as funny and enjoyable as the original.