If the original Todd Philips helmed hit The Hangover was the epic night of drinking and debauchery with friends that you want to reminisce about, it is only fitting that its follow-up would be the true Hangover where nothing seems as funny and all you want is coffee and Ibuprofen. In their best Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls impersonation we get a pretty formulaic re-hash of the same jokes just told on a slightly grander scale all without packing an equal punch as its predecessor.
Don’t get me wrong, there are entertaining moments to be had. Ken Jeong (who can also be found playing Senor Chang in the criminally underrated sit-com “Community” on NBC Thursdays) although a bit more over-the-top than needed continues to steal each and every scene he is in. Ed Helms dial’s up the crazy a bit and still is believable as the uptight and also tight lipped “how did this happen to me” dentist. And Bradley Cooper takes off his shirt which I’m sure is entertaining to some people out there.
More importantly, I’d be lying if I don’t admit to still falling for any immature gag with a monkey (The Rolling Stones jean jacket was a nice touch, not gonna lie) and routinely laugh just looking at a photo of Zach Galifinakis but in the end it wasn’t enough to justify this sequel. At least, aside from the monetary reasons of course. Which illustrates just how abundantly clear that’s all this is anyways: $$.
Now let me clarify: I, for one, was excited when I heard this was in production last summer. There were so many unique side stories that we could take and the absurdity of the original in many ways is part of its charm. In my movie-going experience you have me hooked for the ride and suspension of reality is more than welcomed. Although I must say that for all of the absurdity and stretches of imagination this conjures I can’t help but think the most ridiculous concept to be had is how Ed Helms ever married the breathtaking Jamie Chung.
But I digress… The point is, all I am really asking from you here is to simply find a way to justify that ride is all. Give me a side story worth exploring and I won’t question how ridiculous it is that all you did was swap a cute baby for a cute monkey. Unfortunately though that justification has now come in the means of a 137 million dollar opening weekend, shattering box office prognostications in what is now the highest grossing R rated opening in history. Yes, this means the next morning headache is likely to continue into what I am sure will be the marriage and bachelor party in Amsterdam for Zach Galifinakis’ character, Paul, in The Hangover Part 3:Projectile Vomiting. Call it a hunch. Todd Philips is already on record saying this is the Empire Strikes Back of the series. Being a film nerd I wasn’t a fan of this comparison but I’ll just give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant Attack of the Clones instead.
It’s a real shame too because a spin-off with Ken Jeong and the numerous exploits alluded to really would make for an entertaining film. But if this sequel is any indication we should know exactly what to expect: a scattering of entertaining moments surrounding an almost paint by numbers script of the original and maybe a few more penis shots. Oh joy. Two hours and $8 later we have what amounts to a nice five minute youtube edit of clips that are sure to get a few laughs but you can’t help but leave the theater wondering why you didn’t chose Bridesmaids instead. (and you should, it’s much better). There’s a reason why its Rotten Tomatoes score looks like a batting average… its more Weekend at Bernies 2 than Clerks 2.
Art Theater Wish List: Tree of Life, Submarine, Troll Hunter
I figured everyone and their mother has seen the trailer for hangover 2 so here’s a clip of Ken Jeong in something funny AND original: