Bangkok has them now…
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis & Justin Bartha
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Screenplay by: Craig Mazin, Scot Armstrong & Todd Phillips
The Wolfpack head to Thailand for Stu’s wedding and after a quiet drink on the beach the night before, Phil, Stu and Alan wake up worse for wear in a rundown hotel in the middle of Bangkok.
There simply can be no denying that when taking your seat to watch The Hangover: Part 2, the first thought that comes to mind is that this is a sequel we really didn’t need. After all, The Hangover came out of nowhere back in the summer of 2009, and finished up as the highest-grossing R-rated comedy ever made. But more importantly, the film felt fresh thanks to its original premise, unique set-up and the shock value that came with it. So it’s somewhat surprising to be able to report that The Hangover: Part 2 is far from the bitter disappointment it probably should have been.
A lot of the negative reviews that have materialised for the film have called it ‘lazy’, which of course would be perfectly fine if The Hangover: Part 2 wasn’t actually funny. But in places it is in fact very funny. Also the term ‘carbon copy’ has been used more than once and whilst this may well be a fair comment, did we honestly expect anything else?
So yeah this is like watching part 1, only this time the boys wake up in Bangkok. And after already using up the perfect location in the first outing, director Todd Phillips wisely selected the only other place in the world that stood a chance of matching Las Vegas. Thailand’s most infamous city is renowned as one of the most chaotic cities in the world, which allows us to appreciate the fact that some of the outrageous encounters that Stu, Phil and Alan endure – as they desperately try to piece together the events of the night before – could actually happen in a place as crazy as this.
So fear not, there are still plenty of shocking and hilarious moments in store for you this time out, including another ill-advised union for Stu, Phil dropping a perfectly timed C-bomb, a drug-running monkey, angry monks, and of course some ladyboys revealing all.
Helms, Cooper and Galifianakis remain as likeable and funny as they were first time around, which is very important for a comedy as broad as this, and pleasingly the decision to slightly extend Galifianakis’s role as sweet/stupid Alan, works out just fine with the former stand-up comedian stealing plenty of scenes once more. Just in general the boys appear to be fully game for this sequel, and combined with the easy chemistry they share, these are characters worth spending time with for a second helping.
Regrettably there are casting missteps with Ken Jeong invited back to reprise his role as the very irritating Mr. Chow, who inevitably gets even more screen time than before and yes the tiresome, tiny penis joke rears its ugly head once again. Also on board is an underused Paul Giamatti who essentially only turns up to spill some OTT rage. And sadly the much-talked about Mel Gibson cameo that never happened now feels like a massive missed opportunity, especially because of the darker tone this time out and more importantly the lack of any kind of replacement, with even Liam Neeson’s mentioned appearance missing from the finished product.
“It happened again!” are the words spoken by Bradley Cooper’s Phil just minutes into The Hangover: Part 2, and thankfully for us it hasn’t turned out to be such a bad thing that it did.