Friday, May 27, 2011

The Hangover, Part II Review

In 2009, "The Hangover" was a gigantic success. It was the sixth highest grossing movie in the U.S. Of course, that means sequel. So would the new movie be a small indie about the problems of married life? Guess again. The Hangover, Part II opens today.

The Hangover II begins with a frantic call from playboy Phil (Bradley Cooper) telling his friend's wife that "it" has happened again. "It" is that the guys, Phil, Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Stu (Ed Helms) aka The Wolfpack have just woken up from a hangover and have a problem. You see Stu is getting married in Thailand. The Wolfpack and Stu's fiance's teenage brother Teddy (Mason Lee) are missing before the wedding. The problem? Teddy is gone. The gang must retrace their steps to find out what happened and find Teddy. Along the way they meet up with Chow (Ken Jeong), the Asian gangster, who had a memorable naked scene in the first movie.

What makes The Hangover, Part II work is the gags and the cast. With the success of the first one, the budget is larger and this one feels like cross between Memento, Inception and Animal House. Director-writer Todd Phillips, writers Scot Armstrong, Craig Mazin have absolutely no fear as to what they can come up with in order to make you laugh. Obscene, smoking monkey is okay. Mild mutilation. No problem. Strange sex acts? You got it.

As with the first one, the cast will do any humiliating thing for a laugh and it works. Bradley Cooper seems happy to be a bit of a cad even trying to steal Stu's prescription pad in his underwear. Ed Helms gives his dentist character a geeky charm while getting caught in some of the crazier moments. Zach Galifianakis, again plays crazy and childlike Alan. Ken Jeong steals every scene as the loopy gangster who at this point is so important to the plot, they should make him an honorary member of the Wolfpack.

The Hangover, Part II sets back Thai-American relations twenty years. It will not be welcomed by animal rights advocates. It is also one very funny movie. The grade is A.

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