By the time AntBuoy and I reached the cinema X-Men First Class had already sold out so we were left with only one option, this sequel to the huge 2009 comedy hit The Hangover. I went into this one at a bit of a disadvantage having never seen the first film but I was reliably assured that Part II repeats the same plot and uses many of the same jokes.
Stu’s getting married, to a Thai bride no less, but he’s determined not to experience a repeat of the gang’s Las Vegas bachelor party. Phil manages to convince him to invite Alan to Thailand and the trio are charged with looking after Teddy, Stu’s soon-to-be brother-in-law. A nice, straightforward evening of one beer on the beach escalates into anything but and the guys wake up in a seedy Bangkok hotel room unable to remember the night before during which they managed to acquire a monkey and lose almost all of Teddy. Cue highjinks and craziness as the trio desperately try to track Teddy down before Stu’s wedding.
I probably got more out of this than anyone who has seen the first film. The characters, concept and style of comedy was new to me and the endless recycling of jokes didn’t matter much. Suffice to say you can expect animal antics, uber camp criminals, gross-out nastiness and a certain sportsman making a cameo. It’s silly and strangely endearing but far from a revelation in comedy. The set up is painfully slow, most of the early jokes fall flat and if your experience is anything like mine you’ll have a hard time liking the extremely obnoxious Alan. This one requires some patience.
The payoff comes once the hangover itself begins and we get into some shenanigans. It’s pacy and amusing but you never quite fell like you’re watching a high level of comedy. I guess lightning doesn’t strike twice. There are some interesting good bits, like a flashback involving some amazingly accurate mini-me lookalikes and one scene in a strip joint will have you squirming but most of it is fairly forgetable. The players generally do a decent job, Ed Helms desperate exasperation is pretty funny and whether or not you like Alan, Zach Galifianakis’ characterisation is on the money. Bradley Cooper has less to do but manages to hold it all togther.
No doubt just as many people will hate this one as love it. AntBuoy hated it, a lot of the audience in our screening clearly loved it. If you’re a fan of the original you’ll no doubt want to give it a look and if the repetition doesn’t bother you no doubt you’ll enjoy it. Of course if you don’t have a taste for low-brow comedy this will do nothing for you. Perhaps the best compliment I can pay this sequel though is that it has made me want to watch the original.#
A film that employs an ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ mentality with mixed results. There’s plenty of entertainment value here but this is no super sequel.