Director: Todd Phillips
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Paul Giamatti, Jeffrey Tambor, Ken Jeong, Mike Tyson, Jamie Chung, Juliette Lewis, Nick Cassavetes, Mason Lee
RunTime: 1 hr 42 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Rating: M18 (Coarse Language And Some Nudity)
Official Website: http://hangoverpart2.warnerbros.com/
Opening Day: 2 June 2011
In “The Hangover Part II,” Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) travel to exotic Thailand for Stu’s wedding. After the unforgettable bachelor party in Las Vegas, Stu is taking no chances and has opted for a safe, subdued pre-wedding brunch. However, things don’t always go as planned. What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in Bangkok can’t even be imagined.
“It happened again,” confesses Phil to Tracy in the brief flash-forward at the beginning of the movie. Ask yourself this- how much did you enjoy the first movie? And how much are you willing to see the Wolf Pack do it all over again? If your answer is yes to both, then we guarantee you that you’ll absolutely love “The Hangover: Part II”, because Todd Phillips’ answer to his most successful R-rated comedy ever is essentially wilder, crazier and a whole lot funnier.
The groom may be different this time round- Stu (Ed Helms) is the one getting married- but the premise is pure déjà vu. Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) are back to join Stu in his wedding in Thailand, but after a supposedly harmless seaside toast to the groom, Phil, Alan and Stu wake up to find themselves in a Bangkok hotel room. Of course, how can their night of debauchery and drunkenness be complete without some physical disfigurements, an animal and oh a missing member of the party?
Yet again, the trio’s quest is to find the fourth guy- the one misplaced happens to be Stu’s soon-to-be brother-in-law, Teddy (Mason Lee- Ang Lee’s son by the way)- though this time their monkey business has also turned literal in the form of a chain-smoking capuchin monkey. And among the other bizarre characters they will meet is a wheelchair-bound monk on a vow of silence, a straight-talking tattoo artist (Nick Cassavetes replacing Liam Neeson who in turn replaced Mel Gibson), and a local crime lord (Paul Giamatti).
Phillips is the only returning writer from the original, but newcomers Craig Mazin and Scot Armstrong have more than gotten the hang (pardon the pun) of the comedic beats which made the first movie such an unadulterated delight. There is nary a dull moment in the entire movie, with each of the new supporting characters adding their own colour and verve to the story. They also know a crowd-pleaser when they see one- hence the return of the off the wall Asian gangster Mr Chow (Ken Jeong), who once again plays a pivotal role in what went down the night before.
With the experience of Las Vegas, Phillips returns with renewed vigour and confidence to tell yet another raunchy tale of misadventure- and he isn’t afraid to push the limits even further. Mr Chow’s penis is mistaken by Stu and Alan for mushrooms; said capuchin monkey likes to give blowjobs; and last but not least, Stu realises that the morning after that the prostitute he had sex with the night before is in fact a lady-boy. The assuredness by which he directs the madcap proceedings shows in many of the daring creative decisions he exercises in the film, and many of these shocking moments are also laugh-out-loud hilarious.
But as with always, it is the chemistry between the cast that holds the movie together. Here, Cooper, Helms and Galifianakis slip almost too easily into their respective roles, and the friendship and camaraderie among the diametrically opposed characters is even more convincing and enjoyable to watch thanks to the actors’ familiarity. Galifianakis’ infantile act has lost some of its novelty the second time around, but his socially maladjusted character still gets some of the film’s best lines. The scene-stealer however turns out to be Ken Jeong, whose wacky exuberance and derring-do through some of the most insane moments simply lights up the screen.
Indeed, with the combined appeal of Jeong, Cooper, Helms and Galifianakis, who can resist such a boisterous reunion of the Wolf Pack? Sure, it’s basically the same s**t happening all over again, but who’s complaining when it turns out as uproarious as before? A huge part of the delight of the first movie came from watching Phil, Stu and Alan have fun with the kind of gleeful abandon we wished we could summon in our own lives. And once again the Wolf Pack has given us the chance to live vicariously through their misadventures- so really what are you waiting for?
(Wilder, crazier and even more f***ing hilarious, Part II is more of the same kind of unadulterated fun you wanna have with the Wolf Pack)
Review by Gabriel Chong