Those bleary-eyed soggy brained The Hangover boys are back, nursing more king hell headaches and attempting to fill in crater sized holes in their brains caused by alcohol and spontaneous feats of lunacy.
The follow-up to director Todd Phillips’s surprise 2009 hit, The Hangover 2 takes the cookie cutter sequel approach of identifying all the structural points of the original and repackaging them with slightly different wrapping.
A hotel room in a holiday destination with a weird animal in it? Check. A wedding to go to? Check. A missing person to find? Check. Permanent body damage? Check. An Asian gangster? Check. A mercifully brief cameo from Mike Tyson? Erm, check.
This time the fella getting hitched is Stu (Ed Helms), who reconvenes with the original gang Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) plus his future brother in law Teddy (Mason Lee) and travels to Thailand to walk the aisle.
Acknowledging the mistakes of the Vegas fiasco last time around, Stu is adamant that his Bucks party will consist of nothing more than lunch at a diner with an orange juice. But, one burst of concentrated social pressure later, he agrees to have a single beer on the beach — “see you in 20 minutes,” he tells his wife-to-be — and the rest is history, if only he could remember it.
The group wake up in Bangkok, their cruddy hotel room adorned with the added bonuses of a severed finger and an angry well-dressed monkey. Within minutes one of their entourage is dead, so, time and criminal charges pending, they decide to leave post-haste. But Teddy is missing and they need to find him — or recover his body — before rocking up to the wedding.
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There are chase scenes, awkward encounters and a mixture of sight, dialogue and situation gags as the fish out of water group scramble to make sense of, well, anything.
There is also an unmistakable overarching feeling that The Hangover 2 is going through the rounds. In his attempts to recreate the success of the first movie, a dopey, funny, throwaway popcorn flick, Todd Phillips forgot — or simply wasn’t interested in — adding anything fresh to the equation other than a change in location.
Expect giggles rather than laughs and another disjointed anything-goes storyline. The cast pitch at about the same level as the first installment, but the Galifianakis character – easily the funniest – is a lot less hilariously brusque this time around. Both Galifianakis and the film in general feel, dare I say it, a little hungover.
The Hangover 2’s Australian theatrical release date: May 26, 2011.