If it's crap ... We'll tell you
In the summer of 2009, Todd Phillips' "The Hangover" became the highest-grossing comedy of that year. In this reviewer's opinion, the movie was fun, but nothing great. It definitely had its moments, though I had a few problems with it. Zach Galifianakis was funny in certain scenes, but just started to get on my nerves in others. The same goes with his character in Phillips' next film, "Due Date", though I personally enjoyed it a bit more than "The Hangover", mainly because Zach's character's friends in "The Hangover" seemed like they constantly forgave him for his wrongdoings. For a long time in "Due Date", though, the character Zach was with would not put up with his crap. I also thought that "The Hangover" had some tonal issues. It was played for laughs very often but sometimes it would try to get kind of serious and the constant silliness just didn't mix well with those scenes for me. Despite this, though, I did have a pretty good time with the film. It had some good laughs, and for the most part the leads were appealing.
So of course, it was inevitable that "The Hangover" would have a sequel due to its success. Even though it's pretty much the same movie as the original, this sequel is darker, crazier, and much, much raunchier than the first film. And this time, I actually thought the darker tone worked to the film's benefit. Todd Phillips is good at adding a mellow feeling to his comedies, even though I thought he failed at his few attempts to add a more serious tone to the first "Hangover". I thought "Due Date" had some nicely dry humor, and "The Hangover Part II" does a better job at adding a more serious tone than the first film. It's still silly and raucous, but there's also a hint of darkness that measures out surprisingly well here. The point is that I couldn't help but enjoy the sheer craziness of it all.
The plot is very similar to the original. This time, Stu (Ed Helms) is getting married to Lauren (Jamie Chung), and he, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Doug (Justin Bartha), and Alan (Zach Galifinakis) go to Thailand for the wedding. After a toast on a beachside bonfire with Lauren's little brother, Teddy (Mason Lee), Phil, Alan, and Stu wake up in a ugly motel room. Doug is at the Thailand resort and Teddy is missing. The three soon find Mr. Chow from the previous film, and they learn they're in Bangkok, and try to piece together what they did the night before and find Teddy.
Zach Galifinakis still did get on my nerves at points, especially at the film's beginning. Fortunately, he surprisingly grew more tolerable as the film progressed. He's still insane, but a bit more likable then in the first one. Bradley Cooper, who didn't really do much for me in the first film, also surprised me in the way that I liked him more here. Ed Helms, to me, had the most charm of these three guys in the first film, and while he's still likable here, he's more aggressive here and sometimes can be a bit too much like that.
I still had a few problems with this film. Like I already stated, Galifinakis still got on my nerves at points. At the beginning of this film, he meets Teddy and, for no good reason, despises him. He keeps giving him this angry look and treats him like he's a threat throughout the beginning of the film. It got to a point where I wanted to smack him. While the whole story of this movie woudn't have started without Alan's hatred for Teddy, he still really annoyed me, though he did grow more tolerable as the film progressed. I also felt the film went too slow. It has almost the same running time as the first one, and I actually thought both of the films had pacing problems. The first one felt a bit too fast, and this one drags on at points.
Another complaint: What happened to Heather Graham? She was the most likable person in the frst one and is barely mentioned in this one. The conclusion of the first film showed promise of a possible real relationship between Stu and Graham's character, and this film seems to have decided to replace Graham with Jamie Chung just because of her looks. Chung is attractive and sweet, but extremely underdeveloped. It really just felt pointless why they decided to change love interests for Stu.
As a whole, "The Hangover Part II" is unremarkable, but a fun film for the most part. This is pretty much the same reaction I had to the first film. I award "The Hangover Part II" two and a half out of four stars. For a Spill.com rating, I would give it a Matinee.