I hate to break it to you, boys and girls, but if you’ve seen The Hangover then you’ve pretty much seen The Hangover Part II.
The first installment provided humor that was fresh and bizarre scenarios even the wildest real-life Bachelor parties have probably never reached. The moment Bradley Cooper’s character Phil said to one of his students “It’s not school anymore, I don’t know you kid” on the way to leave for Las Vegas with his friends, I was sold—mostly because I think Bradley Cooper is pretty, but also because it was hilarious. I recently read a Zach Galifinakis interview in Time magazine where the actor stated he liked humor that was original, such as creating a character that couldn’t be within 200 feet of a Chucke E. Cheese, which is facet of his character Alan in The Hangover.
And some of that same humor was present in The Hangover Part II—I did appreciate that the characters were consistent from the first movie, carrying through Phil as the bad boy, Stu as the over-cautious type, Alan as the who-the-hell-knows-what, and Doug as the token good guy friend. But the writers had to take it one step further, not just recreating the same characters but essentially recreating the same plot moments. The men are drugged again at Alan’s doing, a strange animal appears in the hotel room, Mr. Chow jumps out of a enclosed space, a strip club is involved, and so forth. And while the lines did produce laughs, the humor almost could not be appreciated because of the plots that were so similar it was embarrassing. When Mike Tyson shows up in one movie punching people in the face while singing along to Phil Collin’s “In the Air Tonight”, that’s funny. When he appears in the second installment of the same franchise, it’s just pushing it.
I knew when I looked over and saw Rahul asleep with my sweater pulled up against him that we had a lemon on our hands. Toward the end, it was almost sad how easy it was to predict what was coming next as to figure out how close to the end of the movie we were. And of course the one character that goes missing is found at the last minute, somehow physically okay and able to return to a lively human being at the wedding that ensues right afterward.
Even though there was definite entertainment value present, it was merely at face value. Like Sex and the City II, end it before fans start to question why they enjoyed the franchise in the first place.