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Sunday, 26 June 2011

The Hangover part II review

"The Hangover" came out in the summer of 2009, and proved to be one of the year's (if not the decade's) most successful comedy.

In an era where comedies have become increasingly romantised (That noise you heard, just a second ago? That was the groaning of several thousand heterosexual men who have been emotionally blackmailed by their partners into watching the dreaded "rom-com"), "The Hangover" provided a much needed break from the average plot-line and allowed the first well made, genuinely funny comedy aimed primarily at men, although proved to be appealing to women as well. It was a much needed piece of escapist cinema that received both critical and financial success...

So, obviously, a sequel was made.

And the general public began to panic.

"What happens if it's not so good?", "Is Alan going to be in it? I'm not watching it if Alan's not in it!" and "What could they possibly do with the plot" were all questions I heard getting asked when people first heard about the movie... and all I can say is:

It is good.
Alan has a much larger role in this one.
They take the same, successful plot and place it in another country.

In "The Hangover Part II", Stu is getting married to his beautiful fiance Lauren in Thailand. Of course, all of the wolf pack (with the addition of Lauren's brother Teddy) head over to Thailand with Stu to help him celebrate his big day. Despite many wary incidents in which Stu attempts to avoid "being roofied", the inevitable happens and they end up, passed out, in a dingy motel room, losing Teddy but gaining a rock 'n' roll monkey in the process. Stu wakes up with a face tattoo, Alan wakes up with a bald head but none of them wake up with a clue to what the hell happened last night. Just like the previous film in what appears to be the trilogy, the gang need to retrace their steps and embrace the hilarious madness that is unfolding around them.

Of course, the question you will ask anyone who has seen this film is "What's better, the first one or the second?" and the answer is... it depends.

I feel as though this was the more enjoyable film, purely because people had the expectations of being disappointed by this particular sequel, and it proves to be a great comedy, in comparison to the original, which had been, by the time I had finally gotten around to watching it, so highly praised, it reached a point where I had such ridiculous expectations for the movie, my expectations simply could not be met. If you loved the first one, you'll like the second one. If you liked the first one, you'll love the second one. Either way, you cannot deny that the movie is a great piece of escapist cinema that is well made and incredibly humorous, regardless of gender, age or race.

As Alan said "When a monkey nibbles on a penis, it's funny in any language."

Zach Galifianakis reprised his role as the lovable oaf that is Alan, and other than the monkey) was the funniest character in the entire film. The acting of "the wolfpack" was brilliant, and allowed the actors to show their comedic timing. Everyone had their roles:

  • Alan was the comic relief
  • Stu was the victim
  • Phil was the leader
  • Mr Chow was the insane Asian
  • Teddy was the guy who got lost 
  • And Doug was... well... there.

My problems, when it came to acting, laid firmly in Mason Lee, who played Teddy in the film. He had no good lines. The only purpose he had in the film was to be the expendable character that the guys could lose without the audience caring. They cast the actor who, if I am being brutally honest, didn't act, but merely turned up when he was supposed to and recited his lines. 
However, Teddy had such a minuted part to play, that the lack of acting for his character is hardly noticeable and doesn't have an effect on the films ability to make you laugh.

Todd Phillips directing is great, with the iconic scene which features a smoking monkey sticking in the mind of the viewer, the paparazzi style, flash bulb photography providing an interesting new technique instead of the usual, cliched shots that most comedic directors resort to using. The fact that Alan saw himself and the rest of the wolfpack as children as he mentally retraced the crazy antics they got up to the night before really cemented the insane atmosphere that the film is able to create.

The plot is, by far, the reason to go see this film. Or rather, the script is. The plot is identical to the first one, the script is similar, but the jokes haven't grown old. It has the same gross out, belly laughs that the first film managed to create, but just amplifies them, mostly in the form of physical humor, such as Stu's reaction to checking out Phil's bullet wound or Alan throwing the anchor out of the boat, despite the fact that it was beached. 

Is the film similar to "The Hangover"? Yes. It's almost identical. But if you want to laugh, then I say either buy the original film and watch that, or stop complaining and go to see this film.

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