Movie Review: The Hangover Part II

Is this racial and raunchy comedy worth your money?

Posted: 05/26/2011 12:00 AM EDT

(Photo: Warner Brothers Pictures)

Summary: The “wolfpack” is back.  Similar to the plot of 2009's The Hangover, the BFFs are suffering residuals of a drug and alcohol filled night that they can't remember, but this time it's in Bangkok.

Review: About a quarter of the way through The Hangover Part II I thought to myself, "Did someone slip a pill in my Ginger Ale, or this the same exact film from 2009, but set in Thailand?"  Yes, sticking to a formula is important, but I've never seen a sequel that's an identical twin to the original. The Todd Phillips-directed movie might as well be called a remake.  Every single element of the original is in the sequel: the baby is now a monkey, the lost friend is now a future brother-in-law, a missing tooth is now a Mike Tyson face tattoo, etc.  If there is such thing as plagiarizing your own work, The Hangover Part II is the best example. 

Just like the original, a member of the "wolfpack" is getting married and the night before the wedding they have a smashing night on the town.  And once again, the boys wake up the next morning missing a member of their gang with no memory of last night's drama.  The original cast revives their roles, including Bradley Cooper.  It's a seamless fit the second time around, especially when there isn't much of a difference from the first time around. 

Due to the replica of the storyline, there is nothing unexpected or fresh about the sequel. However, the gross-out factor has been increased in this version. Trashy jokes, full frontal nudity and frat boy comedy runs rampant. Yes, there is some laughter, but it's shock for the sake of shock -- it would be like Lady Gaga with no talent.

Furthermore, while The Hangover Part II is an equal opportunity offender, the Asian, transgender and African American jokes were uncomfortable, and a few of them ended with a good laugh.  I'm of the belief that most topics can be dealt with if they're laced with witty comedy.  This is not the case for The Hangover Part II.  An Asian with a small penis dancing around in thug drag and spitting the word nigger was not comical.  Maybe I am just out of the demographic for The Hangover Part II.  In the way that Twilight films or Tyler Perry movies are for a particular demographic, this might just be the case for The Hangover Part II.  So, for those folks who drink to get plastered, fist pump at the club, splurge on a hooker and say racial epithets for fun -- you've finally found your franchise!

The Hangover Part II is in theaters today.   

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