It happened again…
After the surprise success of the original Todd Philips film, The Hangover Part II sees the return of Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zach Galifianakis), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) as they travel to Thailand for Stu’s wedding to Lauren (Jamie Chung).
With the memory of their previous bachelor’s party in Las Vegas still lingering, Stu is reluctant to take any chances. Two nights before the wedding Stu gives in, has a drink and wonders ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’
What’s surprising about this sequel is just how similar it is to the previous film. Alike in structure, content and in some moments, laughs, what makes this film ever so slightly different from its predecessor is the setting of Bangkok.
If you could imagine viewing The Hangover through a dirty, stained window then its sequel is seen through a dirty, stained and cracked one that revels in the depravity Bangkok offers, taking advantage of the numerous situations the city provides.
The set ups and pay-offs deliver in a manner you’d expect, meaning the novelty and surprise factor of the original’s narrative fade as the film rigidly adheres to the template set by the first film. It never surprises and conforms to the expectations that more of the same is adequate enough.
Is The Hangover Part II an unmissable sequel? Not in the slightest. For audiences who haven’t seen the original or those who simply enjoy seeing the shenanigans of the Wolf pack on the big screen again, then Part II fits the remit of a film designed to provide a familiar experience. For audiences looking for something fresh, you may feel you’re watching Déjà Vu: The Return.