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    July 25, 2011

    MOVIE REVIEW: THE HANGOVER PART II

    THE HANGOVER PART II (18)

    Genre: Comedy
    Release Date: 28 July 2011
    Running Time: 102 minutes
    Distributor: Warner Bros Pictures
    Director: Todd Phillips
    Screenplay: Craig Mazin, Scott Armstrong and Todd Phillips
    Starring: Bradley Copper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, Paul Giamatti

    Plot: In The Hangover Part II, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) travel to exotic Thailand for Stu's wedding. After the unforgettable bachelor party in Las Vegas, Stu is taking no chances and has opted for a safe, subdued pre-wedding brunch. However, things don't always go as planned. What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in Bangkok can't even be imagined.

    Review: Once upon a time, a gang of buddies had a drink or two on top of the roof. So a drink or two did no harm to the drinking buddies right? Why not considering in a couple of days time, one of their best friend will embark into a married life and let’s make a toast for him. What happens next was described in the movie title itself. The next morning, they woke up in a strange feeling of headache, nausea and dysphoria – classical symptoms of hangover. Ouch, what a wild night the gang has experienced by creating havoc, chaos and plenty of mess up with the criminal gangs too. Back then, it was an awesome and fresh adventure of a lifetime. Two years later, the same things happen again. Another adventure of awesomeness or just a recycle of everything we have seen? Read more after the jump.


    In The Hangover Part 2, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) travel to the exotic land of Thailand for Stu’s wedding. It seems that the past experiences and that unforgettable bachelor party in Las Vegas may have put their friendship into a test and Stu has decided to downsize their pre-wedding party into merely a marshmallow camp fire gathering. This time, Teddy (Mason Lee, the son of renowned director Ang Lee), Stu’s future little brother-in-law is joining the gathering for the first time putting aside his geekiness for some chill time. The gathering seems harmless with a bottle of American beer and roasting some marshmallows to chew along, but it doesn’t go according to plan.

    The next morning, everyone wakes up with the similar feelings like they have two years ago – but this time in a filthy hotel room in the city of Bangkok. Phil wakes up to find out that Alan has his head completely shaven and Stu has a face tattoo. On top of that, they find a chain-smoking capuchin monkey in the toilet and somehow Mr Chow (Ken Jeong) is mysteriously there with them the whole night. However, they cannot find Teddy, only discovering his severed finger much to their horror. Now the gang must recollect the entire puzzle to remember what had actually happen on that night. People say that “what happens in Vegas stay in Vegas”, but what if it happens in Bangkok this time? Would you say the same?


    Let’s face it. You may or definitely enjoyed the first adventure in The Hangover, the first movie that completely redefines the comedy genre as a whole and repackaging the road trip comedy mini genre with punching great elements to be enjoyed. Yes, those memories of the yesteryear are somehow still fresh in memory. It takes only two years later for another round to come into play but this round two is something you do not expect to happen again. To make it even worst, it is just a carbon copy of what we have seen in the past. Tear down the Vegas setting and paints it with Bangkok instead, The Hangover Part 2 has the same things happening again – somebody’s missing, somebody’s roofied, there’s a strange animal, there’s something happened that I can’t remember and etcetera. The plot template is nothing new but the opening sequence goes around with a clever set up of high hopes. Director Todd Phillips also raise the stake bar higher by pushing things into international scope flair of fun and furious – though not all been as ridiculous and crazy as the first movie.

    Unfortunately, it goes a little wasted when you try to give them any credit for originality because it will go down to almost zero. Then, if you give them any credit for effort, that is an absolute zero. I know that is harsh to say so but if things can be less harsh; I would said that there is nothing we have not seen in The Hangover Part 2. It is actually disappointing to have it lacks the surprise elements like we used to have in the first movie. It looks lazy in one hand but on the brighter side, the movie is fortunate enough that despite been all too familiar, it is not a total disaster after all. While things lack the much needed surprise outfit and originality to fuel the story, the misadventure in the city of Bangkok is good to follow. The misadventure sounds fun, momentous and adventurous beyond stupidity. The script writer team may have been lazy in dealing the elements but still decent enough to tie details of the plot into order. Surreally, it both kills and generates your brain cells, how ironic.


    Of course by been a sequel to a great comedy, The Hangover Part 2 still pretty much jam-packed with great punch of laughter; been both ridiculously absurd and enjoyable good riddance. It is still funny and also depressing to go in the race around the city of Bangkok to find clues of what really happened the previous night. It retains the same degree of ‘craziness and havoc’ formula that make the first one a pure magic of comedy, albeit been less magical this time. On careful plot analysis, you will find this been more offensive and obscure than the first one. For the Thais, this movie has pictured Bangkok in a nasty way by portraying it a centre of international crime, wild night experience and ‘kathoey’ prostitution center. In parallel reality, this Bangkok trip has in fact turned into a raunchier and darker.

    Acting wise, let’s just say that Ken Jeong’s portrayal as Mr Chow is again giving a bad limelight to the Asian American’s reputation of been a second-tier. Mr Ken Jeong, please get a proper job! The same goes to Zach Galifianakis’s character whom I deemed the most atrocious character in the movie. In the end, the wolfpack gang returns with the same gritty humors but suffers the issues of originality and lacks of memorable surprises. It’s like a carbon paper that re-imposes and recycles the same subject matters, only this time been raunchier and darker.

    THE RATING:
    Story: 3.0
    Casts: 3.5
    Cinematography: 4.0
    Effects: 3.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 13.1/20.0

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