Precisely two years ago, ‘The Hangover’ had swept the audience off their feet with its cleverly written humor and making a sequel is a humongous challenge. But Todd Phillips and his team seem to have run out of ideas and merely copy-pasted the first film. Essentially, the cast and the conflict are retained and only the setting is changed.
So, what are the changes? Vegas tuns into Bangkok; the tiger is now a drug dealing monkey; istead of the groom, the bride’s teenage brother goes missing; it’s an old monk instead of an abandoned baby; Stu falls for a stripper then, now err, ahem, let’s leave it unsaid; Stu’s girlfriend was mean back then and it’s his father-in-law belittling him now; spiked drink then, drugged marshmallows now; the list is endless.
Stu is all set to be married to Lauren (Jamie Chung) in Bangkok. Not wanting to face another disaster, Stu limits the celebrations to a bachelor brunchand keeps Alan away, only letting him in later, albeit reluctantly. After a ‘just one drink’ night by the bonfire, the suddenly wake up in a seedy hotel in Bankok’s bylanes. Like the first film, the rest of the story is about finding their friend and making it to the wedding.
Those who have seen the first will find nothing new in the second and newbies may miss out on humor having roots in the original. The film does have some genuinely funny moments, like Alan’s dinner speech and Stu’s song on the boat, but those come between long lulls. The lack of surprise is covered up with explicit scenes and dark stuff like chopped fingers and a guy losing pulse that are unfunny.
The cast is the same and their roles don’t change much. Zach Galifianakis as Alan, the weirdo is still the star, but hasn’t he become predictable? Remember his similar role in ‘Due Date’, again by the same director? Bradley Cooper continues as the more balanced Phil and Ed Helms is still awimp who manages a show of temper towards the end. Ken Jeong has a bigger role as Mr Chow that has been played over the top.
Even if the movie makers were granted a benefit of doubt that the audience expected too much, it doesn’t absolve them of the responsibility to come up with something good. They could have experimented with Doug in a bigger role or getting Alan married. And Bangkok is not ‘some asian city’ as they call it when it is a bustling metropolis.
Per se, it doesn’t really hurt to watch it since it’s better than many braindead comedies. But in giving it a chance, you could be flirting with disappointment.
Rating 4/10: Lazy piece of work that reeks of mediocrity