The Hangover Part II

  • 2011-06-08
  • By Laurence Boyce

Director: Todd Philips

You know that feeling when you wake up with a hangover? You make a promise to yourself that you’ll never do it again. But you invariably do. And you usually feel a lot worse the second time around.

After their misadventures in the previous film, best friends Phil, Doug and Alan travel to Thailand to celebrate the wedding of their friend Stu to the beautiful Lauren. As they prepare for the wedding, the group, alongside Lauren’s younger brother Teddy, head down to the beach to share one last beer. The next thing they know, Phil, Stu and Alan are in a Bangkok hotel room alongside a gangster and a smoking monkey. And no Teddy. And no recollection of the night before. Like two years previously, the disheveled group of no-hopers have to piece together their debauched behavior from the previous night, find Teddy and try to get Stu to the altar on time.

The original movie had a certain charm that mixed raunchy comedy with an affecting sweetness that raised it up beyond your typical Hollywood comedy. But the law of diminishing returns means that director Todd Philips has ramped up the gross-out material (unsurprisingly, its Thailand setting means it’s a stereotypical view of a place filled with ladyboys, drugs and depravity) whilst the charm of the original has been replaced by bored familiarity.

There are one or two good jokes and the cast is mainly likable (with Zach Galifianakis as the borderline autistic Alan rising high above the rest), but the rest of the material is so predictable and tawdry that the entire film becomes something of a chore. Add in the fact that much of the physical humor and set-pieces (such as a car chase) seem forced, and this seems very much a cash-in.

Perhaps next time around everyone concerned should have a cup of cocoa and an early night…


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