Monday, 30 May 2011

Film #50 The Hangover: Part II

A quickie on this, as it's getting acres of reviewage. So, if, like me, you quite enjoyed the first Hangover you might've gone into the theatre thinking "OK, so it'll be more of the same - fair enough, it'll still be funny at least." Well...

The first thing to point out is that the plot is indeed the same, only transposed from Las Vegas to Bangkok. The same gimmicks are given a do-over, though in the attempt to crank up the gross-out factor, the credibility of the story is stretched too far. There's still fun to be had in the idea of the quiet drink with friends that's spiralled out of control, but the gags are just too stupid to be real, and therein lies the problem - it's impossible to relate to the story. I'm out on my stag do this time next year (Paris, thanks for asking) and could well imagine some similar nonsense going down as in the first movie (OK, maybe not the tiger in the bathroom, but y'know) but this follow-up just goes too far in it's silliness.

That said, I did laugh a few times, but this mild humour got lost amid the casual racism, the occasional homophobia and the morally ambiguous (to be very charitable) celebration of Mike Tyson. In terms of performances Bartha, Cooper and Helms are bearable, Galifianakis and Ken Jeong are irritating and overexposed, and poor Paul Giamatti is visibly embarrassed to be involved. The direction is fairly corny, though the soundtrack (as with the first one) is actually pretty good and eclectic: witness the inclusion of Curtis Mayfield, Kanye, Deadmau5 and Jenny Lewis.

Maybe this isn't quite as terrible as the reviews are saying - as mentioned, there are a few laughs - but it is pretty bad. It would be nice if all involved could just put this behind them and move on to better things; needless to say a third instalment is predictably in the planning stages. My money's on Amsterdam.



  1. I'm pretty much in the same camp as you. I laughed a few times, but I was really letdown by most of the proceedings. Turning Alan into a jackass was their first mistake.

    Great review!

  2. Yeah, I just can't work up the same indignation that many critics and reviewers have found. It was simply a bunch of bad ideas thrown together to make a disappointing sequel - bad, but not awful.

    I think maybe you enjoyed the first one a bit more than me (though I did really like it), and you're bang on about the characters becoming caricatures this time around. You can imagine the cigar-chomping studio execs sat round the table saying, "oh yeah, we had a tiger last time, this time we gotta have a monkey" or "everyone loved the gay asian gangster dude, let's make him a main character" or even "it's Bangkok - so let's see someone get fucked in the ass by a ladyboy".

    The last one was a breath of fresh air - this is just morning breath (I just made that up! Reading it again, it's not that good though).

    Thank you for the compliment, though your review was much better ("no, after you sir!).