The Hangover Part II

The sequel to the 2009 hit comedy foregoes originality for crass humor. 

The Hangover Part II should have been dubbed The Hangover Remix. Part II suggests the film to be creative and built upon the shenanigans of the middling original. Instead, the sequel merely remixes it, regurgitating the exact same plot and characters with the addition of a new setting and new level of tastelessness.

In this remix, The Hangover takes place in Thailand. With some preposterous gimmicks from Todd Phillips, all the members of the wolfpack return, as well as the flamboyant gangster, Chow (Ken Jeong). This time Stu (Ed Helms) prepares for marriage in place of Doug (Justin Bartha). On the night before the wedding, the guys make a toast on the beach. Then, just like the original, the film cuts to the following morning. The guys wake up in a seedy hotel in Bangkok, where Alan (Zach Galifianakis) finds his head shaved, Stu discovers a Mike Tyson tattoo on his face and a mysterious monkey appears. They also realize they’ve lost Teddy (Mason Lee), the little brother of Stu’s soon-to-be

wife.

The ridiculous situation sets up the same narrative played out in the first Hangover. Led by the trusty Phil (Bradley Cooper), the guys try to retrace their steps to figure out just what happened the night before. Predictably, Alan proves to be the man to blame. In hopes of keeping the trite plot fresh, though, Phillips decides to enhance the amount of absurdity and crudeness surrounding it, which takes an already too-crass story and makes it disgusting.

After learning that the guys wound up at a brothel in Bangkok, Stu soon discovers he cheated on his fiancee with one of the women. At first he feels shocked, but Phil calms him down, telling him it’s no big deal. That’s until they realize the women aren’t women (the evidence of which is shown vividly and for a long period of time on the screen). Stu’s partner then describes the previous night in detail, much to his disgust. This gross, pornographic scenario intends to be funny, but it’s really just repulsive and unnecessary, especially considering the pictures we see of Stu’s sexual experience at the end of the film.

There are countless sequences like this throughout The Hangover Part II, including several supposedly funny parts in which Chow energetically snorts cocaine as if drug addiction is humorous. Phillips also relies on an excess of profanity to draw laughs. It’s not clever or creative. It’s cheap and trite.

In one scene Phil tells Stu he shouldn’t worry about his immoral actions. He tells him to just forget about them, and eventually the shame will go away. Stu replies and says, “But I’ve got a devil inside me.” “So what?” Phil remarks. The same concept returns in the film’s finale when Stu faces his fiancee’s father, who hates him. Stu comes clean about the whole night and tells everyone at the wedding about his dark side—the devil inside him. Instead of confronting his depravity, though, he embraces it. He boasts in it. He undermines the reality of it.

All of this reflects Phillips’ worldview and the attitude of our confused culture. The words of Teddy highlight it: “I can’t remember anything, but I woke up feeling happy.”

Uninspired, unfunny and perverse with a few laughs scattered throughout, The Hangover Part II sets morals aside and both glamorizes and makes light of sin. Even if it’s just supposed to be silly entertainment, there’s no getting around that.

23 Comments

84,084

Insecurityguard reviewed…

When it was released, I thought the first Hangover was one of the most overrated movies of the year...Observe and Report, released at around the same time, was far funnier...but at least in the midst of the crassness and stupidity, there were some genuine belly-laughs.

Part 2 doesn't even have that. I saw it in a packed theater, and at no point did I hear anything beyond a polite chuckle from anyone in the crowd. The whole exercise was nothing a desperate attempt to recapture what made the original popular. And yet, the same people who loved the first seem to love this one as well.

And once again a far superior comedy, Bridesmaids, is in theaters at the same time, showing you can be both crude AND funny...and that the way to do so is to add genuine humor to the crudeness, rather than just adding more crudeness and CALLING it humor.

84,084

Insecurityguard reviewed…

*nothing but a desperate attempt...

84,084

Jdoe006 reviewed…

Good Lord you are taking yourself way too seriously....

84,084

Jdoe006 reviewed…

Another problem is not knowing how as Christians to evaluate humor: to distinguish between laughing "with" the guys in "The Hangover" or "at" the guys. Believers ought not to self-righteously oppose "the world" in such an aggressive manner, when they can laugh "with" the world at things the world actually finds silly and sophomoric, too.

84,084

Anonymous reviewed…

One thing that has helped me with my walk with Christ and that ultimately determines what I should be doing is to ask myself... Is this helping me and my faith or hindering it? And, in situations I'm not sure I should be in, I ask, Would I want Jesus here with me doing what I am doing right now? Good way to look at things, and since I've done this, I feel closer to God and know that He is proud of my actions. I do not think in ANY way is watching a movie like this glorifying to God. It's not self-righteously opposing the world, it's just making sure we don't BECOME the world. We are to be IN the world, not part OF it. =)

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