Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Hangover 2



Sequels are never a good idea, especially if the first film is good. And The Hangover was very good.
It was a surprise box office hit and currently holds the record for the highest grossing R rated comedy of all time (US$467,416,722 all up).

Although we’d seen them as strong comedy players on television, it thrust stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis onto the big screen as they pieced together what happened over a drunken night in Las Vegas. Director Todd Philips had already proven himself in films like Road Trip and Old School, but The Hangover really hit the ball out of the park with an engaging story (well, a mystery to solve) and most importantly characters that had amazing comical chemistry.

So, how does The Hangover Part II follow that up? The simple answer is to change the setting... and then do exactly the same thing. The setting is Bangkok: Stu is getting married (he’s broken up with the Vegas prostitute we met in the original) and decides to hit the beach with the gang for one last drink. Yes, Stu brings up the point that’s where it all went horribly wrong last time, and that is Phillips’ nod to the fact that The Hangover II unashamedly follows the formula set by the first. I imagine this will be a point of contention for some, but for me, it was a good thing. Why mix up a formula that worked so well beforehand?

I don’t mind watching these grown men get beaten up, shot at and sexually violated all over again. Even Doug spends much of the movie split up from the others, leading to the formation of the original ‘Wolf Pack’. And herein lies the comedy.
Zack Galifianakis is as funny as ever, this time with a bald head. Maybe it’s all the time I’ve spent watching his Between Two Ferns skits, but I laughed harder at him in this film and he’s given more time to shine. One of his best lines is delivered with absolute deadpan: “I’m a stay at home son,” and the Los Angeles crowd I was watching it with lost the plot. The other actor that’s given more space, thank God, is Ken Jeong. He returns as mad criminal Mr Chow and steals any scene he’s in.
A qualified medical doctor in real life, Jeong hit it big with The Hangover, going on to be a part of the critically acclaimed TV show Community. It’s great that he’s back, as lewd, noisy, violent and irritating as ever (traits one would hope his patients avoided).

And yes; this film is still very R-rated. Male genitals play a fairly large role at one point, something fairly petrifying on a big screen. Overall I’d say this is a potentially more offensive film than the first. But that’s what we wanted, things to be amped up. My only complaint is the addition of Mason Lee, who plays the younger brother of Stu’s fiancé. He doesn’t have a big role, but he’s not in sync with the other guys. We don’t see him much, though; he’s mainly there to serve an element of the plot rather than be a part of the comedy.

Special mention also needs to be given to Crystal, a 17-year-old capuchin monkey that sort of takes over the role of the baby from the first film. I’m a sucker for monkeys in films, and she covers an amazing range of emotions and physical comedy. I understand animal rights activists have been crying foul over including a monkey in the flick, but I spent two hours with Crystal and her loving trainer and, for what it’s worth, just saw a monkey having a really good time.
Other familiar faces also return for Part II but I’ll let you discover who for yourselves. And you should definitely stay for the credits, because I think the photo sequence at the end may top that of the first film.

The Hangover Part II may be formulaic, but it’s a formula that works.

3 News

     The Hangover Part II
:: Director: Todd Phillips
:: Starring: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Liam Neeson, Jamie Chung, Juliette Lewis, Mike Tyson, Bill Clinton, Ken Jeong, Justin Bartha
:: Running Time: 102 mins
:: Rating:  R16 - Contains offensive language, drug use and sexual content that may offend

 credit to: David Farrier


Release dates forThe Hangover Part II (2011)

Belgium 25 May 2011
France 25 May 2011
Italy 25 May 2011
Sweden 25 May 2011
Argentina 26 May 2011
Australia 26 May 2011
Canada 26 May 2011
Chile 26 May 2011
Croatia 26 May 2011
Denmark 26 May 2011
Hungary 26 May 2011
Ireland 26 May 2011
Netherlands 26 May 2011
Peru 26 May 2011
Slovenia 26 May 2011
Thailand 26 May 2011
UK 26 May 2011
USA 26 May 2011
Brazil 27 May 2011
Estonia 27 May 2011
Finland 27 May 2011
Norway 27 May 2011
Paraguay 27 May 2011
Venezuela 27 May 2011
Germany 2 June 2011
Greece 2 June 2011
Hong Kong 2 June 2011
Portugal 2 June 2011
Singapore 2 June 2011
Poland 3 June 2011
Turkey 3 June 2011
Georgia 16 June 2011
Spain 24 June 2011
Japan 1 July 2011