The Hangover Part II [2011]

I can say, without hesitation, that this is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. As anyone with an ounce of movie-watching experience can attest to, sequels are seldom an improvement over their predecessors. There are, of course, notable exceptions such as Spider-Man 2, for example. The original Hangover was a stomachache-inducing, physically-exhausting laugh riot (at least upon first viewing). For this second outing of the franchise, I didn’t expect a comedy on the same level as Part I, but I certainly wasn’t ready for this underwhelming, disastrous chapter.

If I hadn’t gone to the movies with a friend (which I almost never do), I would’ve walked out of the theater. So, out of respect for her, I stayed and watched this piece of kee (that’s “crap” in Thai; see what I did there?) The Hangover Part II has led me to two important discoveries: first, that never before had I actually meant it when I used the term “painfully unfunny”, until now. Also, I now know that the average moviegoer will laugh at anything. Seriously, a display of comic talent is not necessary anymore. Only an unconventional (i.e. not particularly attractive) look will suffice. Anytime Ed Helms’ or Zach Galifianakis’ face would pop up on screen, the audience would erupt in laughter. That same thing, of course, didn’t happen when Bradley Cooper appeared.

What director Todd Phillips and his team of writers accomplished with the first Hangover, has been lost with this sequel. What was fresh, unpredictable, hilarious and even refined is now lazy, stupid, vulgar and trite. In fact, lazy is the key word when describing The Hangover Part II. Everything is so blatantly recycled: the gags, the soundtrack, even the shots. It’s as if they took the script from the last film and replaced “Vegas” with “Bangkok”. The actors, they don’t even make an effort anymore. Galifianakis is incredibly irritating.

The film’s most memorable sequence, perhaps, is a completely predictable (and unnecessary) twist à la Crying Game; a sad, crass cry for attention from a movie that, by then, has lost the interest of any self-respecting cinephile. I wish I was exaggerating, but I didn’t laugh a single time; barely smiled. One final note: why is nobody addressing the missing finger? There is not a party in the world so amazing that makes up for the loss of a digit. It cannot be dismissed as mere collateral damage and, in reality, it absolutely wouldn’t be assumed as breezily as it was in the film. The Hangover Part II is a cinematic tragedy and the only reason I’m awarding it half a star is its stunning cinematography.

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