It was two years ago this month that 'The Hangover' arrived on our screens. On paper, it looked like yet another fratboy movie about three goofball blokes heading for Vegas and the stag weekend from hell. As it turned out, Todd Phillips’ film proved to be one of the most original, endearing and genuinely funny films to emerge from Hollywood for years. Shot on a budget of $35 million, it recouped its entire budget just two days after its US opening. Good word-of-mouth and a slick marketing campaign eventually helped propel 'The Hangover' to an impressive global box-office tally of $460 million.
A sequel was always on the cards and, given the originality of the first film and the return of all the participants – Phillips, his stars, Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis, and scene-stealing Ken Jeong – there was every chance that this sophomore offering could be as original and funny as the first movie.
How wrong we were.
'The Hangover Part II' isn’t so much a sequel as a retread of the original film. This time around, it’s Ed Helms getting married instead of Justin Bartha but everything else is as you were. Substitute Vegas for Bangkok and off we go with a series of incidents that boringly mirror the original. The night that goes awry; the tattoos, the hookers, the recriminations; the race-against time to get to the wedding ceremony. It’s all here yet again. Throw in a monkey to replace Tyson’s tiger and you have the full picture. Even the (rare) original gags seem lame. They’re in Bangkok and the future groom hooks up with a gorgeous looking exotic dancer. Can you guess the pay-off line? Yep, the most original comedy of the age has resorted to repetition and 'Carry-On' gags to carry the sequel. Lazy guys, just lazy.
One star for the movie, and that goes to the monkey.