The Hangover Part II Review: Hey, A**hole: You Gave Me This Present Last Year; You Can't Change the Gift Wrap and Call It New
Movies can reshape our imagination, bring us to tears, render us lovesick, break our psyches, shock and horrify us, or draw out an emotional catharsis. The great power of film is its ability to inspire, to elicit laughter, to provoke thought, or to enable us to appreciate what we have or what's been lost. The great power of The Hangover II, on the other hand, is its immense ability to make us feel as though we've been robbed, ripped off, stolen from, sold a bill of goods, knocked out, anally violated and left for dead. It's not even that The Hangover II is a bad film; it's that it's a film we've already fucking seen. Maybe you remember it. It was called The Hangover.
Sequels suggest continuations of stories; The Hangover II is not a sequel. It's a remake set in a different goddamn city. It's the same band singing the same song. All they did was add someone to play the wood block and tickle Brad Cooper's balls. The lyrics are slightly different, but no one even had the goddamn decency to change the chorus. It's not a new movie; they just repackaged the old one. It's like paying to replace your laptop with the exact same one, only the screensaver is an Asian tranny instead of a stripper Mom. It's like The Next Karade Kid starring Ralph Machio in the Hilary Swank role. You know what that's called? The Karate Kid.
What I don't get it, where is the outrage? People paid $13 to see something they'd already seen. Why weren't there reports from midnight screenings of audience members ripping out their seats, beating up old women, looting Rite Aids, and throwing batteries at movie theater managers? Have we grown so complacent that we will now idly accept a re-gifted movie? We're just going to shrug? That's what we're doing now? "Hey, why are you getting so worked up? Whaddya expect? It's Hollywood." You know what: Go fuck yourself. Just because you're a fucking retard doesn't give that doucher Todd Phillips the right to treat us all like one.
If you've seen the first movie, then you know what's going to happen in the second film. The chief "difference" here is that it's Stu (Ed Helms) who is getting married, and the wedding takes place in Thailand instead of Vegas. And you know what they say about Bangkok? "What Happens in Bangkok, shut the fuck up, douche."
Doug (Justin Bartha) isn't around anymore than he was in the first film -- he took off before Alan (Zach Galifianakis) drugged Phil and Stu. So, instead of losing Doug, they lose Teddy, the little brother of Stu's bride-to-be. Otherwise, it's the exact same setup as the original film. In fact, the only way in this review to spoil the movie is to let you know how many of the events of the first Hangover are repeated in the second. SPOILER ALERT: All of them. All of them. ALL OF THEM. They wake up with no memory. Stu has a face tattoo instead of a chipped tooth. There's a monkey instead of a tiger. The monkey also acts as the film's baby substitute. Phil has the same phone conversation with Doug's wife. Chow jumps out of a locked container. Stu sings a song. Stu encounters a stripper. They have no memory of destroying a place. There's a Mike Tyson cameo. Alan says strange things. They find Teddy in an obvious place. In the end, Stu grows a backbone. There's a wedding. Someone discovers a camera with all the pictures from their forgotten night. The end. END SPOILERS.
It's as though Todd Phillips simply took the first script, changed the setting, swapped a few plot devices for comparable ones, and turned it in again. He got paid twice for the same job. There's nothing new here. There's not even an earnest attempt to give us the illusion of something new. How stupid does Todd Phillips think we are? Hey, asshole: You gave me the same present two years ago. What? You didn't think I'd notice because you changed the gift wrapping? You didn't even change it that much, cuntflap.
But is it funny? Well, yeah: If you laughed at the first film, this one is about as funny as it was, only you've seen it already. Jokes tend to lose their power once repeated. You could just rewatch The Hangover on HBO and get the exact same amount of enjoyment out of watching The Hangover Part II, minus the moral outrage at having been ripped off. Add your own lame trans-gendered prostitute jokes to the original, and you'll never even know the difference.