I’ll admit to not having seen the first Hangover movie in the theater, which is certainly a regret of mine. But I did rent it on DVD from Netflix and laughed so much that I watched it twice in a row. Let’s face it, it was funny! Yes, the humor is pretty lowbrow, but sometimes that’s all you really want in a film. Just a laugh-out-loud silly comedy.
So of course, we end up with a sequel because the first film was so popular. Unfortunately, though, as is sometimes the case, especially with comedies, the sequel just isn’t as funny.
And that’s definitely the case here.
I think part of the problem is that the concept is not new to us now. The set-up to Hangover 2 is identical to the first film, except for the setting. Stu (Ed Helms) is getting married for the second time. Remember that prostitute he hooked up with in Vegas? Well, apparently, surprisingly enough, that didn’t work out. But he’s finally met a nice girl whose family hails from Thailand and he’s tying the knot for good this time.
So our guys fly to Thailand for Stu’s big day. And as in the first film, they have a wild night and wake up in a seedy hotel room in Bangkok with no idea what has happened, save that Stu has a huge tattoo on his face and that they’ve adopted a monkey.
The set-up to the morning after seems to take longer than it did in the first film, and I found this to drag the beginning of the story down. There are little reminders of what happened in the first film given here, but they’re not done in a way that makes you giggle as you remember them.
Obviously, things pick up when they wake up and have to figure out exactly what happened and also figure out where they lost the bride’s brother.
The pacing of the movie felt slow to me. You’d have a lot of quiet moments between the laughter, which isn’t necessarily a good thing with a comedy like this. And although the comedy in Hangover 2 is good, it’s not quite as good as what we saw in the first film. There are still some hilarious moments, but they seem fewer and far between than in its predecessor.
The stand-out actor here is Ed Helms. While it was Zach Galifianakis who stole the first movie, this one belongs to Helms. A particular funny scene is a freak-out he’s having where he’s squealing like a little girl. It makes for some very good comedy. There are also a few other surprises his character encounters that I really enjoyed and laughed through.
With all that being said, though, there is a cameo at the end of the film that makes it worth the price of admission.