There are maybe ten good laughs in this Hangover repackaging. But that’s no reason not to watch. Todd Phillips (Road Trip, Old School) returns to direct the crude, irreverent sequel to a picture of unmatched depravity. Get ready for some similar hijinks and fiascos; this time, however, the missing man won’t be found on the roof (don’t worry, they check).
To those who missed the original, The Hangover franchise centers around four extremely dissimilar boneheads (who have accepted their “wolf pack” status), with a penchant for delving into blackout drunk territory. “The Man Who Could Have Been Decent,” Bradley Cooper, leads the gang with levelheaded decisiveness and problem solving. This is one of the fun aspects of the two films: Cooper’s character solves the ridiculous issues and handles the talking, while Ed Helms (The Office, Arrested Development) whines and cries about how normal his life could be.
Waiting in the wings is Phillips’ secret weapon, Zach Galifianakis (Live at the Purple Onion, Tim and Eric, Between Two Ferns), who could make a coma patient laugh. Luckily, Zach G. has been penned some less obnoxious lines in this reissue. Finally, they are playing to the comedian’s strengths. Zach G. should be left to his own devices. The contrived absurdity he displays in the first Hangover and in Phillips’ flop, Due Date, has evolved into a more digestible, ironic humor that fits more smoothly with the comedian’s style.
The Hangover: Part II succeeds in upholding tone and character dynamics of the original. Nothing terribly important is necessarily missing from the sequel, but placed side by side with the first, this high-grossing comedy goes to show that the genre is on thin ice. Why not give the bearded weirdo (Galifianakis) a chance at scripting a comedy? His talents are obviously superior to a host of comedians.
The Hangover: Part II contains a hilarious sequence where Galifianakis’ character flashes back to the “forgotten night,” but children play all the principle actors. Also, there’s this really deft, swift car chase close to the end that deserves some extol. The cigarette-smoking, drug-pushing monkey sends this one over the edge. Not a bad flick to kick back to.