|I didn't see THE HANGOVER when it was originally released in the theaters a few years back. My nephew Ryan turned me on to it on a visit to my sister's house not long ago. I thought the first film was fresh, original and funny as hell. I laughed my ass off.|
When THE HANGOVER PART II came out in the summer of 2011, I debated about going to see it in the theaters and for whatever reasons, chose not to. This past Christmas, my nephew Ryan once again came through by loaning me his copy of the film. I watched it the other day and while I laughed uproariously several times, I didn't laugh as loudly or as often as I did while watching the first film. Why?
Well, for one thing, THE HANGOVER PART II is THE. EXACT. SAME. MOVIE. Different locale this time with the so-called "wolf pack" in Bangkok and Thailand but the film has the exact same narrative set up and story beats. The guys wake up in a strange place with no memory whatsoever of what happened the night before? Check. One of their group is missing? Check. Body alterations to one of the guys? Check. A live animal in the room? Check, this time a chain-smoking monkey wearing a sleeveless blue jean vest and chewing on a human finger. An attempt to re-trace their steps through the streets of Bangkok and figure out what happened the night before? Check. Mr. Wong jumping out of an enclosed space to attack the guys? Check. Mike Tyson? Check. Photos of the events of the night before running under the end credits? Check.
THE HANGOVER PART II isn't a bad movie but if you've seen and enjoyed the first film you're likely to be somewhat disappointed by the total lack of originality in this effort. The locale is different and it is funny but boy, it's awfully damn familiar. I kept hoping for something, anything, different to happen to shake up the rigid and formulaic story-telling on display here but it never did. Skip this one and watch the first one. If you've never seen THE HANGOVER, you're in for a treat. If you've seen it before, it won't hurt to check it out again.
Come to think of it, that's kinda what I did by watching PART II.