Déjà-vu is the experience of feeling that one has already witnessed or experienced a current situation. I experienced déjà-vu throughout a vast majority of The Hangover: Part II. From the phone call at the beginning confessing that they screwed up, to the photo slide-show during the end credits, the sequel to the record-breaking 2009 comedy is far too familiar. Don’t get me wrong- it’s still a funny ride, but it’s definitely one I’ve been on before and having to pay reentry may leave some audiences disgruntled.
The first ‘Hangover’ movie was amazing. It was original and seemed to leak laughs from almost every scene. The second does not accomplish such a feat, at least not if you’ve seen the first film. The situations, characters, jokes, and even part of the soundtrack have all been recycled from The Hangover. The entire plot has simply been shifted over to Thailand.
This time Stu is getting married to a beautiful Thai girl whose father doesn’t like him. The wolf pack head to Thailand to attend the wedding near the beginning of the movie. After the rehearsal dinner – at which Stu’s soon to be father-in-law compares him to bland, wet rice – the four friends from the first movie, and the bride’s younger brother Teddy, go to the beach to have a few beers. The next morning they wake up in a trashed dump of a hotel room in Bangkok, miles away from the lovely resort where the wedding will take place.
Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galifinakis) set out on a quest to uncover the events of the night before, including why they can’t remember anything, where did they get that monkey from, how did Stu get a tattoo, and where is Teddy? The answers to these questions are explored through a search of Bangkok’s shady underground, in a story far more risqué and explicit than the first film. They also have to find Teddy and get back to the reclusive beach resort in time for Stu’s wedding, which is the next day.
I’m disappointed in Todd Philips and his writers for not coming up with a better sequel. The premise is fine and some of the new jokes are funny, but there is far too much in common with the original to really appreciate this movie properly. The Hangover: Part II is funny, profane, but at times goes too far in an attempt to generate laughs. The first movie seemed to walk the line between funny and profane, where as this film will seem disgusting to certain audiences. I know it’s hard to make a good comedy, but after a tremendous first movie, I think everyone had high expectations and this sequel just doesn’t square up.