The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Movies

May 26, 2011

Review: 'Hangover' sequel retreads fun of predecessor

“The Hangover Part II” opened Wednesday, kicking off the long Memorial Day weekend with one raucous party.

BACKGROUND: “The Hangover Part II” is the much-anticipated followup to the 2009 smash “The Hangover.” The success of the original film was a huge surprise — its cast (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha) were hardly Hollywood heavy hitters and director Todd Phillips (“Starsky and Hutch,” “Old School”) had yet to strike box-office gold. But the combination worked, and audiences, mostly young adult males, flocked to the flick. “The Hangover,” produced on a shoestring $35 million budget, grossed $277 million domestically and $467 million worldwide, making it the top grossing R-rated comedy of all-time. A sequel was all but assured.

SYNOPSIS: It’s time to celebrate another Wolf Pack wedding, and it’s Stu (Helms) getting hitched. His lovely bride hails from Thailand, and he invites Phil, Alan and Doug (Cooper, Galifianakis and Bartha) to the overseas nuptials. But Stu isn’t about to let the debacle during Doug’s bachelor party in Las Vegas happen again. He’ll settle for one beer on the beach with friends. Alan, however, has other plans, and the Wolf Pack wakes up to find itself in a heap of trouble in Bangkok, one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

THE GOOD,THE BAD AND THE UGLY: You know those stories you tell during a night at the bar with old friends? The same stories you tell every time you get together? The ones that make you laugh and remind you of the good times you’ve shared?

That’s what “The Hangover Part II” is like. It feels like “The Hangover,” because they’re essentially the same movie. The guys wake up from a drunken night they can’t remember and have to figure out what went so horribly wrong.

But, once again, watching them stumble their way through that lost evening is so full of gut-wrenching laughs you forget you’ve done this before.

While Cooper and Galifianakis got the biggest bump from the previous film, Helms really shines in the sequel. He’s improved his screen presence and doesn’t let Stu play second fiddle to handsome Phil or bumbling Alan. Andy, his character on “The Office,” could learn a thing or two from Stu.

Ken Jeong rings up the laughs with his performance as Mr. Chow, again the impetus for the boys’ problems. It’s hard to believe someone who can so easily slip into the skin of this hard-partying international criminal is in real life a licensed doctor.

The movie, filmed in Thailand, is beautifully shot, taking advantage of its extraordinary setting. Phillips does have a real talent with the camera, and it would interesting to see what he would do with a more action-oriented script.

A word of caution for the faint of heart or more conservative moviegoers, the debauchery of the first film is definitely doubled in “The Hangover Part II.” After all, this is Bangkok ... and like Willie Scott sings in “Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom,” anything goes.

Text Only
Movies
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Poll

Which DC Comics character that has yet to get a feature film release would you like to see on the big screen next?

Wonder Woman
The Flash
Green Arrow
Hawkman and Hawkgirl
Justice League of America
Aquaman
Shazam
Other
     View Results