This review of “The Hangover Part II” appears on KTKA-49.
One way to make a sequel of a hugely popular comedy is to take the characters we loved so much in the first film and put them in a different set of comedic circumstances with a couple of callbacks to the original to remind us why we liked them so much the first time.
The other way—let’s call it the way of “The Hangover Part II”—is to make the exact same movie again, changing only the location. Moving the trio of Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis to Bangkok to try and recover their memory of another drunken night of extreme debauchery seems like an inspired choice, but “The Hangover Part II” is the very definition of a lazy, pointless sequel.
Not only do the guys wake up in another hotel room without their friend, but they’re late for another wedding, they try to piece together the night before, photos of their night are shown at the end, the movie hits all the same story beats as the first one, and the same flashback structure is employed too—meaning Cooper makes another phone call at the start of the movie delivering the bad news that they’re not going to make it.
This time, however, he says: “It happened again.” And it really did. It happened exactly like the first one, only with diminishing returns (and a monkey instead of a baby).
The reason “The Hangover” worked so well was because of the unique concept and the mystery structure. Now the concept is familiar and the mystery isn’t engaging.
What’s worse, there’s more attempts at shock humor and less laughs. Forgetting the entire night after a round of heavy drinking is bad. If only forgetting this movie were as easy.