If it's crap ... We'll tell you
The Hangover Part II centers on the wolf pack once again, consisting of Stu, Phil, Alan and Doug, who have gathered together in Thailand for Stu's wedding. The group, after going out for "one drink" just two nights before the wedding, wake up the next morning not knowing what had happened the night before and realizing that they are missing the 16 year old brother of the bride to be. If you are wondering why this plot sounds so familiar, it's because it is almost identical to the plot of the first movie. But the similarities don't stop there!
It's almost insulting how the writers of this "sequel" manage to shove in your face that this is practically the exact same movie, from start to finish. It's as if during the writing process they said to themselves "Lets change the setting from Las Vegas to Bangkok, then it's original! Right?". It's not, and they're not fooling anybody by doing so.
The film's flaws do not only lie within the fact that it's plot was both lazy and uninspired, but they also within it's inability to bring back that element of surprise which made the original so great. The first film had moments which were very unexpected, such as the memorable scene where a naked asian man jumps out of the trunk of a car. Whoever wrote this sequel failed to understand that you can't be surprising if you're repeating exactly what you did the first time, but in a different location. A naked asian man jumps out of an ice machine in this one! The amount of originality this movie lacked still baffles me.
The first film also focused on how these three very unlikely to hang out characters interacted with one another, but that isn't brought back in this movie. The chemistry that was had in the first one felt real whereas in this one it felt very forced. The film seemed to focus less on these relationships and more on shock value, thinking that the more they disgust you the funnier it is. They do a good job a making you feel disgusted but almost none of it is funny, with the exception of one scene involving a transvestite.
The movie is also much darker than the first, mainly since the stakes are higher, there seem to be actual consequences, and there's much more blood. But the dark humor just doesn't seem to blend in quite right and seems very out of place. Everybody and everything about this movie seemed very mean spirited as well, which also made the movie a lot less fun to watch. The character of Allen for example, has been degraded from lovable idiot, to just idiot with his new very rude attitude towards everyone and everything. And other characters who were relatively entertaining as well as comedic in the original, have become a nuisance and people who would've been better off with less lines of dialogue, this is referring to Ken Jeong's character in particular. However, the film did have a few characters that merited the film a few laugh out loud moments.
The one character in particular which I speak of isn't even much of a character, or even human for that matter, its the monkey. When a monkey is the saving grace of your movie it's usually not a good sign, but in this case the monkey is legitimately hilarious. This monkey does everything, ranging from smoking cigarettes, to dealing drugs, and even looking snazzy. He, or she, does it all, and is what saved this movie from being terrible.
The problems ultimately lie with writer/director Todd Philips and what appears to be his inability to understand the concept of change. This can most closely be associated with not only The Hangover Part II, but with his last movie Due Date as well. Both have very similar irritating central characters, as well as very low brow potty humor that would probably amuse children of the age of seven (and Todd Philips himself of course). He doesn't seem to realize that repeating the same jokes over and over again becomes very tiresome and very unfunny. Philips will also most likely continue to make "comedies" by using The Hangover as a reference for the jokes which he will be using again in those upcoming movies, until he finally produces a movie that bombs at the box office. It seems to be the "Philips Formula", judging by his filmography.
The Hangover Part II is ultimately an utter failure when being compared to its critically praised predecessor. It is not only lazy, it is also humorless, and lacking the chemistry between the central characters which made the first one so much fun to watch. Nobody should spend their neither their time or money on watching what is essentially the same thing you saw two years ago, except set in a location other than Las Vegas. Don't waste your time, which if your reading this entire article means you have a lot of.