After the surprise success of the original Todd Philips film, The Hangover: Part II sees the return of Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zach Galifianakis), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) as they travel to Thailand for Stu’s wedding to Lauren (Jamie Chung). With the memory of their previous bachelor’s party in Las Vegas still lingering, Stu is reluctant to take any chances this time. Two nights before the wedding, Stu gives in, has a drink and wonders “what’s the worst that could happen?”

What’s surprising about this sequel is just how similar it is to the previous film. Alike in structure and content, what makes this film ever so slightly different is its Bangkok setting. If you could imagine The Hangover as being viewed through a dirty window then its sequel is seen through a dirty and cracked one that revels in the depravity Bangkok offers. The set ups and pay-offs deliver in a manner you’d expect, meaning the novelty and surprise factor of the original’s narrative fade as the film rigidly adheres to the template set. It never surprises and always conforms to the expectation that more of the same is adequate enough.

…Part II fits the remit of a film designed to provide a familiar experience…

Is The Hangover Part II an unmissable sequel? Not in the slightest. For audiences who haven’t seen the original or those who simply enjoy seeing the shenanigans of the Wolf pack on the big screen, then Part II fits the remit of a film designed to provide a familiar experience. For audiences looking for something fresh, you may feel you’re watching Déjà Vu: The Return.

3 Stars

Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

 

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