XCN Film Club: The Hangover Part II
The movie The Hangover was such a resounding success in 2010 that it was hard to predict that The Hangover 2 could be anywhere near as funny without losing the originality and chemistry created in the first one. The main reason that the first film was so well received around the globe was because of the unique concept and the mystery structure. Does the Hangover 2 live up to its predecessor’s reputation or did it leave a dead cat taste in the mouth?
In The Hangover Part II, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) travel to exotic Thailand for Stu’s wedding. There are plenty of beautiful and dramatic landscape shots to set the picture. With the opening scenes being an almost exact copy as the 1st, the groom being missing, or so we think, the Hangover 2 sets itself up as a Parody of The Hangover. Worries start to raise themselves in my mind, how can this be as funny as the first but after the slightly calm introduction to the perfect island setting in Thailand the actual real story and the comedy start to unravel on our screens, and boy did this film live up to my expectations.
After the unforgettable bachelor party in Las Vegas, Stu is taking no chances and has opted for a safe, subdued pre-wedding brunch. When Doug persuades Stu to invite Alan to his wedding we all expect the worst to happen and his jealousy of the bride-to-be’s brother seems an ideal chance for some mishaps. As the Wolf Pack come back together for a peaceful last night around the beach campfire with just one beer the mammoth Hangover from hell kicks in.
I can see where some people lose interest in the format of the film as yes it does follow the same structure as The Hangover. However, The Hangover Part 2 does take the mickey out of itself for this fact, it also still manages to keep us guessing and kept me laughing with shock and humour all the way through. It isn’t revealed until we have seen our main characters Stu, Alan and Phil waking a in dirty, hot, squalid apartment in an unknown Asian City who is actually missing. With Doug safely back at the wedding venue, and a very friendly monkey and Chow on the scene it suddenly dawns on our heroes that Teddy, the underage brother-in-law to-be is the one that has gotten lost in the nights shenanigans.
It seems implausible that this could happen, yet again to the same bunch of guys and suspicion quickly falls on to Alan but he seems as dumbfounded as the rest. The majority of this movie is the quest to locate Teddy, using their experiences from the previous film as a guide but failing miserably. The scenery in Bangkok is not the usual pretty tourist routes that most would recognise and this adds to the seediness of the film. The Hangover 2 has a depth and a darkness that the first movie didn’t have and the black comedy along with the characters discovering their darker sides made this an overall winner of a movie.
One of the highlights of the movie for me was the car chase scenes through the back street markets of Bangkok and how there was a complete lack of any sort of authority around as drug dealers hunt down Chow with his best boy racer skills. As the car smashes through a meat stall Stu’s face is priceless. His depth of character is really tested in this movie, with weaknesses such as his squeamishness and a penchant for hookers and his strength of loyalty and courage under pressure revealed.
With strippers, drug lords, trafficking monkeys, ping pong balls, Lady boys, missing fingers, chase scenes and Chow’s nether regions I certainly wouldn’t watch this with my mother but would recommend it to anyone looking for a darker more in depth version of the first film.
Xboxer Score: 4.5/5