Movie Review: The Hangover Part II

By Stephen Rebello

Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis bring debauchery to Thailand in the sequel to the 2009 summer blockbuster.

Director: Todd Phillips Rating: R Studio: Legendary Pictures

Generally traveling along the same comic trail as the wolfpack monster hit The Hangover, you may find yourself viewing the The Hangover II wanting to shout at the screen, “Was this trip really necessary?” This inevitable sequel reunites Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis, substitutes debaucheries in Bangkok on the eve of Helms’ character’s wedding for debaucheries in Vegas, gives us an orally-fixated monkey in place of the baby of the first film and swaps angrier, strident laughs and darkness for the lunatic, gleeful profanity and spontaneous combustion buddy charm of the first movie.

The script by director Todd Phillips, Craig Mazin and Scott Armstrong gives us a crime deal that involves scary dweeb Paul Giamatti, a severed finger, a Mike Tyson-style tattoo, guns, chases, a flamboyantly bare-naked Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong), trannies and penises, penises, penises. All the elements are in place for a raucous good time and the cast members come ready to rumble…but the party fizzles. There are also many, many fewer laughs—let alone belly laughs—and zero surprises. It’s not an awful movie and this is a beloved franchise well worth saving, but it’s a chore to slog through. Sticking to the tried and true doesn’t light the fuse and certainly doesn’t fire up the anarchic spirit of the original.

About the Author

Playboy Contributing Editor Stephen Rebello has written many Playboy Interview and 20 Questions features. He is the author of such books as the notorious Bad Movies We Love (with Edward Margulies) and Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, the latter of which has inspired a dramatic feature film set for production in 2011. His most recent Playboy Interviews include Josh Brolin and Cameron Diaz.


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