The Hangover Part II

Tuesday, June 5th 2012 – Addendum

The only thing that would cause me to re-visit The Hangover Part II is by receiving a promotional copy from Warner Brothers on Blu-ray. This is an example where I can occasionally be out of step with the viewing public. This became a huge hit ending up as the 4th biggest film of the entire year. No small feat considering it was rated R and ostensibly precluded a large audience from seeing it without a parent or guardian. But in actuality R rated comedies ruled in the summer of 2011. Bridesmaids, Horrible Bosses and Bad Teacher were all released to box office success. However The Hangover Part II was the highest grossing of them all. Gross is a particularly apt word as this is pretty hard to watch in parts. I will admit that the utter squalor presented here looks even more vibrant on Blu-ray than I remember in the theater.

Stu and the gang travel to Thailand for his wedding. Another wild night ensues when their buddy Alan drugs them (again) as he did in the first film. I don’t know about you, but if my friend drugged me even once, they wouldn’t be my friend anymore. Given his history, when Alan brings marshmallows to their innocent bonfire, it probably would’ve been smart to toss them. Plotwise, this is a replica of the first movie with minor changes. What makes these stories amusing is how our comrades have to slowly piece together what actually happened in an effort to understand their current predicament. The difference this time is the lighthearted escapades have devolved into an ugly, horrific decent into hell, or more specifically Thailand. I generally feel movies have artistic license to stretch the truth, especially in the name of comedy. But seriously, if I was the minister of tourism in Bangkok, I would sue the producers. Never have I seen such filthy, disgusting squalor with no redeeming value whatsoever. It’s a truly unflattering portrait. Whenever someone goes missing, they’re casually dismissed with the phrase “Bangkok has him now”. I mean the city makes the Turkish prison in Midnight Express look like a stay at The Four Seasons. Isn’t this supposed to be a comedy? This is a grim story filled with unpleasant characters. Even the core circle of friends have lost their spark. Can I also add that I absolutely hate actor Ken Jeong as Mr. Chow? He elicits disgust more than laughs.

In conclusion, I’d like to take a moment to discuss the nature of humor. I think everyone has limits as to what should be ridiculed. Some things aren’t funny. I realized one of those taboos at the completion of this film. Remember those silly photos that popped up while the credits ran at the end of part one? The ones the guys discovered on a camera that documented the night they couldn’t recall? Well like everything else in this movie, the idea is recycled again. One photo offensively recreates the infamous Vietnam War close-up of the brutal execution of a Vietcong prisoner. Each picture is on screen for mere seconds. Some won’t even catch it, others wont get the reference. But I did and I see no justification in exploiting a powerful image like that for a gag.

4 Responses to “The Hangover Part II”

  1. I chuckled a bit, but was disappointed by this sequel . It seemed so scattered and unfunny. I don’t like when I get caught laughing at something disgisting just because of the shock value, rather than humor. That happened a lot here. ugh.


  2. Markus Robinson Says:

    LOVED THAT CONCLUSION!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah I am agree with eveything you said in your review. Much of this movie is disgusting jokes and nothing short of a carbon copy of the first one.


  3. So glad we share the same view of this film. I found it positively offensive and thought it was a very lazy piece of filmmaking for the reasons you outlined above – I guess its success represents the potential profit gained from pandering to the lowest common denominator……


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