What makes The Hangover Part II a poor sequel isn’t the fact it’s a mere retread of the original but that’s it’s simply not very funny and the void in laughs is filled with either obnoxious characters or lame ass plot devices and gross out “humor”. The Blu-ray at least is good on both the audio and video fronts but it does lack anything substantive with the features.
Warner Bros. | R – 102 min. – $35.99 | December 6, 2011
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Writer(s): Jon Lucas & Scott Moore (characters); Craig Mazin & Scot Armstrong & Todd Phillips (written by)
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, Justin Bartha, Paul Giamatti
Theatrical Release Date: May 26, 2011
Features: Featurettes, Gag Reel, BD-Live, DVD Copy, UV Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 2.25/5
There’s a reason sequels get a bad rap and getting one that’s on par or at least in the realm of the original is a rare occurrence. It’s even rarer that a sequel to a surprise hit comedy would be any good as demonstrated by Caddyshack II, Major League II, Porky’s II, Weekend at Bernie’s II (see a pattern with the “II”?) and now I can add The Hangover Part II to the list of craptacular sequels. Obviously Hollywood isn’t generally known for originality given the number of remakes that have been unleashed (and sadly successfully) and it’s even more common to go back to the well and grab an extra couple hundred million based off the good will (so to speak) of the original.
The “plot” for The Hangover Part II is almost a carbon copy of the original. Instead of waking up in Las Vegas, wasted with no memory of what occurred the night before, the self-proclaimed Wolf Pack (BRADLEY COOPER, ED HELMS, ZACH GALIFIANAKIS) wake up in Bangkok as the gang had travelled to Thailand for Stu’s wedding – yeah, this time he’s the one getting hitched. Oh and instead of Doug (JUSTIN BARTHA) being missing before the big day, its Stu’s future brother-in-law who has disappeared. Worse yet, inside the crap hotel room they wake up in, they find his finger severed off during the night of zany and wacky drunken hysterics. Not only do they find a severed finger, they also wake up to find a monkey and their old friend, and flamboyant criminal/gangster Chow (KEN JEONG) with them.
Chow is about to recount the night’s events when he overdoses after sniffing some high quality cocaine. Thinking he’s dead (spoiler, he isn’t as the trailers have shown), the trio set off through Bangkok retracing their steps and locations thanks to the carnage and destruction they bestowed on the locals. One stop took them to a burnt up club, a tattoo parlor where Stu got his Mike Tyson facial tattoo; a confrontation with a gang who owned the monkey, etc. You get the idea and if you’ve seen the first Hangover, it’s basically the same pattern with a few wrinkles thrown in.
I don’t have a problem with sequels the follow the same formula as the original, especially with the case of comedies. However, if that sequel is excruciatingly unfunny, then I have a big problem. That’s what bogs down The Hangover Part II: it’s simply an unfunny and at times obnoxious movie with characters that are either underdeveloped/bland or plain annoying as was the case with Zach Galifianakis. In the first movie (or part I guess), his character was a loveable dolt, a man-child if you will, but for this sequel they seemingly amplified the idiot quotient and added an intolerable streak in which I had a visceral reaction every time he opened his mouth.
Galifianakis’ insufferable character and performance aside, there’s nobody else in this film that really stood out save perhaps by Ken Jeong but even he wears out his welcome despite spending a good portion of the second act in a freezer (spoiler alert!). Otherwise, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms kind of meanders through the film either yellowing or crying but nothing very memorable despite the best efforts of the writers trying to duplicate the moments in the original.
The Hangover Part II was co-written and directed by Todd Phillips, who has had a decent history from the underrated Road Trip and Starsky & Hutch along with Due Date which, while not great, had its moments. Looking at his filmography, and given the fact that Part II raked in a healthy $467 million worldwide – the original made $581 million – a third part is probably in the works and like any money maker, Hollywood will bleed it dry.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5
Unauthorized Documentary (25:26; HD) – This is a mock-umentary hosted by a fake documentary filmmaker exploring the dark side of making the sequel. Fun interview sound bites include various people from Hollywood including J.J. Abrams, real documentarian Morgan Spurlock and others. I must say, they go all out with this given the running time. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
The Comedy Rhythm of Todd Phillips (6:59; HD) – Take a journey through the creative process of Todd Phillips. This behind-the-scenes featurette has interviews with the cast talking about Phillips and working on the sequel. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
Not Your Everyday Monkey (2:43; HD) – No set of special features would be complete without one on the exotic animal, this time Crystal the monkey as we get to see her interact with the cast. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
Bangkok Tour with Chow (3:03; HD) – Take a politically incorrect tour with the legendary “Mr. Chow.” Yeah, it’s Ken Jeong in character showing off the city. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
Gag Reel (4:53; HD) – As you can imagine, with this cast of characters, there’s plenty of line flubs and on-set stunts to be had.
Action Mash-Up (0:46; HD) is just a montage of scenes from the movie. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
BD-Live portal to check out trailers and other features from Warner Bros. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
This release also comes with a standard DVD Copy and an UltraViolet Digital Copy code where you can only view the movie with a tablet or on your computer online.
VIDEO – 4.5/5
The Hangover Part II wakes up in a fog to find itself on Blu-ray but no memory how. It realizes it’s presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and in 1080p high-definition. The transfer looks great and well detailed throughout. The beautiful cinematography of Bangkok shows up nicely in HD. I didn’t notice any flaws or imperfections which is not surprising for a new release, of course.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track meanwhile sounds fine and because there is a fair amount of action after the group wake up, it is a well rounded lossless track. Dialogue levels are also crisp and clear with no muddling.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, what makes The Hangover Part II a poor sequel isn’t the fact it’s a mere retread of the original but that’s it’s simply not very funny and the void in laughs is filled with either obnoxious characters or lame ass plot devices and gross out “humor”. The Blu-ray at least is good on both the audio and video fronts but it does lack anything substantive with the features.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2.