(Written for Boolean Flix)
Following the surprise success of 2009’s first outing, Todd Philips and the wolf pack return in this 2011 follow-up, The Hangover Part II.
Set amongst the backdrop of Bangkok Stu (Ed Helms), Phil (Bradley Cooper), Doug (Justin Bartha), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) return, who along with new comer Teddy (Mason Lee) venture on a whole new series of hangover antics.
On travelling to Thailand to celebrate Stu’s wedding to his finance Lauren (Jamie Chung), the five head to the beach for a quiet beer sat in front of a camp fire, roasting marshmallows and toasting Stu and Lauren’s future happiness.
Finding themselves in a beatnik apartment the following morning, the group soon start to put together the pieces of the night before, mirroring events that took place in Vegas only two years ago. As the group start to come to terms with what has happened, they soon realise one vital part of their entourage is missing, Lauren’s younger brother Teddy. Faced with having to find him before they can return for the wedding, the streets of Bangkok prepare to take on the newly reformed wolf pack.
Two years after audiences were introduced to Todd Phillips dark horse of a comedy, the return of The Hangover was evident. Changing little information, and structure of the plot, The Hangover Part II does not seem to offer a lot of change in this department. Beginning with a ‘We’ve messed up’ phone call, and ending with a collage of ‘never to be seen again’ photographs, expecting the expected is something that could easily make this second outing the first all over again, and for many sequels a complete flop. Yet for The Hangover it works.
Faced with a whole new set of problems, The Hangover Part II has seemed to have found its strengths. Whilst the characters have matured with time, and the gags provided become much more thick and fast, this latest instalment is far from Phillip’s comfort zone seen in 2009’s picture. The content is much broader and some could argue ‘controversial’, whilst Galifianakis’s portrayal of Alan highlights him as the laugh-out-loud, yet lovable character of the film that could end up tedious without him.
It will be hard to find a comedy that surpasses The Hangover Part II this year; yet a third outing could be a hangover too far.