If you weren’t among the masses that gave The Hangover Part II $186 million over the past two weeks and you’re still thinking about seeing it, don’t bother – especially if you saw The Hangover. It’s essentially the same movie; just swap Bangkok for Vegas and a missing little brother for a missing groom. The big problem is, the jokes that were unexpected and often laugh out loud funny in the first one are predictable and stale in the sequel.
This time around it’s Stu (Ed Helms) getting married. He and his improbably beautiful bride-to-be are having a destination wedding in her home country of Thailand. Of course, the other guys – Phil (Bradley Cooper), Doug (Justin Bartha) and Alan (Zach Galifinakas) – all make the trip for the wedding and of course, despite Stu’s attempt to just have a quiet bachelor brunch back in the states, things go horribly, horribly wrong in Thailand.
They gather on the beach for an innocent enough bonfire along with Stu’s soon-to-be 16-year old brother-in-law. The next thing you know Stu is waking up in a seedy motel in Bangkok with the now infamous Mike Tyson tattoo. Phil and Alan are there too but the kid brother is missing. Sounds familiar of course, only this time there’s a cigarette-smoking monkey instead of a tiger and “international criminal” Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) is along for the ride by choice this time. (His more prominent role is one of the more amusing aspects of the sequel in my book. “Holla! City of squalor!”) Once again, the boys remember nothing and must retrace their steps to figure out what happened the night before and track down the misplaced brother-in-law-to-be.
Their journey back through the previous night of debauchery is mildly amusing in parts, just gross in parts, and too similar to the original throughout. I know it’s a sequel so you can expect it to carry on the theme but really they could have worked a little harder to switch it up. It’s like one too many nights out doing tequila shots. The first time around you feel bad, but oddly satisfied by the good time you had. This time around the hangover really isn’t worth it.