The Hangover Part II Review

From Newton’s three laws of motion to Einstein’s theory of relativity, scientific formulas have helped shape humanity into the world we have today.

These magic little equations of truth have facilitated our civilisation’s evolution from the dark ages to, well, not quite enlightenment; but at least we’re not still burning witches at the stake, torturing heretics for blasphemy or worshipping rotting cadavers on crucifixes.

Ok, so two out of three ain’t bad.

Of course, not all formulas further human evolution. Some don’t even function in the first place.

Unfortunately, The Hangover Part II is a prime example of this latter theory.

Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms all reprise their roles from the original Hangover as Phil, Alan and Stu respectively; only this time it’s Stu’s turn to get married.

Having inexplicably attracted a much younger, much hotter Thai bride – not that kind – the boys are soon heading east to take part in Stu’s impending nuptials.

Still wary of the alcohol fuelled beasts that lie dormant within, Stu eschews a bachelor party and decides a simple brunch will suffice. Only Phil has other plans for his friend’s last night of freedom.

Has the age of the cinematic factory line arrived?

That’s the depressing question The Hangover Part II left me pondering as I left the cinema.

Director Todd Phillips has created a sequel of cheap laughs, predictable shock value and very little substance; aside from the illegal ones that inevitably fuel the on-screen pandemonium.

The Hangover Part II’s script is literally a recycled version of the first one; only this time we’ve a monkey instead of a tiger and they’ve added transsexuals to the mix in an effort to reflect the, ahem, cultural diversity of Thailand.

Throughout, the storyline treats the audience as a child; spoon feeding us a thoughtless montage of unrealistic scenarios glued together by an incoherent and diluted storyline.

Well, I’m not a child. In fact, I’m more than capable of thinking for myself and deciding what is and isn’t funny. And this doesn’t include dressing a monkey up in a denim jacket.

Peculiar? Sure

Cute? Perhaps.

Funny? Not even if I were hung over.

It takes more then an oblivious primate in vintage human apparel to tickle my funny bone.

The Hollywood film industry appears to function on one simple rule these days; if a movie makes a huge profit, its sequel is guaranteed to be in production before it’s original has left your local multiplex.

The Hangover Part II takes this unimaginative way of film making to a whole new level, which might be considered an achievement of sorts.

But hopefully not by many civilised people.

And certainly not by me.

Creating an awful sequel to a good film is bad enough, but it goes beyond lazy to simply copy and paste the exact same formula from the original.

The only thing that’s different from The Hangover, a film whose verve and vibrancy deservedly made it into 2009’s surprise hit, is the location.

Do the money men at Warner Brothers really think grafting a few palm trees onto the previously successful script will trick the masses into thinking this is a new film?

Apparently so.

I’m sure there’ll soon be a special edition, six-disc box set of The Hangover franchise gathering dust on living room mantelpieces throughout the western world; only to be taken down when illness has left you with a thermometer in your mouth, an ice pack on your forehead and a mind riddled with fever.

If only Hollywood would came up with a formula for forgetting every awful sequel you’ve ever seen instead.

Kareem Ghezawi

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Dates ‘n stuff

May 2011