movie review: The Hangover, Part II

Unless moviegoers themselves are willing to shoulder some of the blame, it’s useless to try and figure out why The Hangover Part II is so bad. The film only exists because, after the hilarious 2009 movie broke box-office records for an R-rated comedy, its studio demanded a sequel. And if their instincts were correct, people will flock to see it this weekend. If your only arbiter of success is money earned, then the film will probably be considered a hit. If you factor quality into the equation, forget about it.

The Hangover caught lightning in a bottle, which is usually a one-time occurrence. That hasn’t stopped—

—director Todd Phillips (who cowrote this script with Craig Mazin and Scot Armstrong) from trying to replicate the setup and payoff of the first picture…but the spark is gone, and so are the laughs.

I can’t remember laughing harder at a recent film than I did at The Hangover, in spite of my usual aversion to raunchy comedy. Part II offers a great deal of tumult and incident but a notable shortage of laughs, as Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis head off to Thailand for Helms’ wedding and find themselves hung over one morning in a seedy Bangkok hotel, unable to recall how they got there.

There’s no point in my telling you more than that, because the plot doesn’t make a lot of sense, and its resolution is even harder to swallow. (By the way, why exactly is this movie set in Bangkok? It can’t be to show off the city’s scenic wonders, because most of what we see looks awful.) One can’t blame the actors, who do their best, but even they aren’t as appealing as they were the first time around, because their characters were paper-thin to begin with, and the material they have to work with here is hopeless. What’s more, yelling doesn’t make a line funnier.

In a more perfect world, customers who feel burned by second and third-rate sequels would be wary the next time a number 2, 3, or 4 came to their neighborhood multiplex. But you know what Barnum said…


  1. John A. Miller says:

    The first one was funny but very stupid. This one also can be funny but even dumber (if that's possible). Hollywood has no original ideas at all and are only interested in milking the public for as much money as they can get. They will make a third and maybe evne more and then a few more years down the road they will reboot it with younger actors and it will start all over again. Imigine The Hangover mach III part 5 it will take place in Mexico and Stu will perform a donkey show.

  2. dalitJones says:

    Come on BOCCA, cheer up. People need to vent. Life is dark and ugly at least as much as it's happy and exciting, unless you're a brainwashed fool. It's not all a young Anita Ekberg out there is my point. You can relate. I thought some of the comments were pretty funny. But I like dark humor. So lighten up you perv. Nobody jumped your ass for loving giant titties.

  3. Boccaccio70 says:

    After reading the first 14 comments, the only conclusion I can make is that the world is filled with hateful and cruel minded people, so much so that they pounce on a stupid and mindless movie, not in advocacy or demerit, for the opportunity to attack and demean others. The world is doomed, and it will sink under the weight of darkness.

  4. kc says:

    i've read some comments where people thought it was as funny as the first one. i realize people have different taste, but to say that this movie was as funny as the 1st is to have no taste. if that pile of crap tickled your funnybone half as much as the first one please dont kill yourself, just slap your mom for doing crystal meth while you were a fetus, get some counseling, read lots of books(ones with illustrations might help your enjoyment) and finally say a prayer to god that we never make it legal to kill ignorant tasteless pieces of crap

  5. kc says:

    i hate shitty movies, you shouldnt do anything unless you give it your all. this movie was like an autistic red headed step child that no one had enough compassion for. ABOMINABLE, enjoy your money Todd Phillips, you gigantic sack of crap. i rented it and i feel jipped, i can only imagine how movie goers felt, and if you bought this movie i'm so sorry for you, if u cant return it, maybe you could light it on fire, it would probably be more entertaining than this "movie"… hey and who doesnt like fire…… keep a pitcher of water nearby!

  6. Joey says:

    I already thought the first one was awfully unfunny. Maybe some 25 year old male laughs at stereotype characters, bad actors telling lame-joke lines and tasteless low brow comedy. For the people who need a bit more cleverness in comedies it was a 2 hour bore! And now the 2nd one is more of the same and then some – how lazy and arrogant must Phillips be!

  7. Suck it says:

    Those who can do, those who can’t critique.

  8. Jazz says:

    I think you take your job as critic way too far it doesn’t mean u should just negatively criticize everything…I know alot off people that have seen both and they loved it just as much as the first one!But then again we all have a different sense of humor and friends are usually like-minded but I still would take their words over yours anyday….Stop being so negative and just have a laugh without killing the movie for yourself by criticizing every detail…

  9. P.J. says:

    This suppossed comedy which is not appropriate
    material for younger audiences as it is very irresponsible
    in it’s message of glorifying childish behavior in trying to be cool.Too many young teens and young adults don’t understand the reprecusssions of this immature type of silliness.
    Are there any morals held in high regard to people who
    make this type of film or is it all about trying to shock the audience with crude, raunchy immorality to gain the almighty dollar? It is sad that our society has come to this type of shallowness.

  10. MIchael says:

    Hangover 2 is just as funny as the first! Of course, the element of surprise, which enraptured millions of us to the original, is gone, but for those willing to suspend being critical for a brief while, this is a comic jewel very much worth seeing. I saw Hangover 2 with a friend who did not see the original and she laughed her self silly (as did I) throughout.

  11. mike schlesinger says:

    Leonard, it’s set in Bangkok for one drearily obvious reason. Say it out loud–slowly. (You mean they don’t do that in the movie itself about a dozen times?)

  12. Vincent says:

    The sad thing is, given the sophomoric beer-commercial mentality of the young adult crowd who patronizes today’s multiplexes, it won’t matter how bad this is; it will make a mint. And with “Bridesmaids,” women can now debase themselves with similarly unsophisticated humor. Ernst Lubitsch, Preston Sturges and Billy Wilder are rolling over in their graves.

  13. Kevin says:

    Did Barnum _really_ say that bit about once-born-a-minute suckers? I understand there is some debate as to that assertion, but I do appreciate the sentiment. I haven’t seen the first Hangover film (but I have thought about it), but the trailer for the second makes me nervous. Reminds me of “Weekend at Bernie’s; (Spoilers follow for this late eighties film) that movie was popular enough somebody thought that they could bring back a dead body a couple years later for a second runthrough!

    Is it coincidental that today in the “You Might Also Like” section of the article’s page is a link to a page about the “9 Greatest Human-Alien Sex Scenes?” I can’t help but suspect that!

  14. Chris M says:

    “There’s a sucker born every minute” …?

  15. Maggiebma says:

    Loved the original Hangover, laughed all the way through. Hated this Hangover II. Teenager and animal abuse. Is that funny? The theater was packed, but no one was laughing except once in a while, not even when the credits rolled. The only word I can say about it is “stupid”

  16. Richard says:

    I went to see the first HANGOVER hoping for the hysterical movie that the trailers seemed to be advertising. What I got was spending nearly 2 hours with a group of people that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near. When the most interesting character in the film is the one that disappears for most of the run time, that is a serious problem to me. Nothing that I have seen or heard about this sequel is making me change my mind and your review has just kind of cemented it for me.

  17. Mark Polak says:

    And who says critics are unnecessary? Although I loved the Hangover, the critical consensus on the sequel has saved me time and money. Thanks for the service you provide for those of us who don’t make our living off the movies.

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