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The Hangover Part II - Blu-ray Movie Review

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The Hangover Part II - Movie Review

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2 stars

The Wolf Pack is indeed back.  Unfortunately, the originality of their first foray into super drunken and super funny territory does not return along with them.  In what goes down as a note-for-note retread of 2009’s The Hangover, director Todd Phillips (also returning behind the camera) dupes fans of the original into thinking there is something new to experience by slapping a ‘Part Two’ onto the end of this film.  With little surprises and a familiar storyline that tops itself only in its own general grossness and absurd meanness, The Hangover Part II disappoints because its aim is so incredibly low and the message from the studio so obviously transparent: we want your money.

Focusing on the upcoming marriage of Stu (Ed Helms) to his Asian honey, Lauren (Jamie Chung), The Hangover Part II sees the Wolf Pack - Phil (Bradley Cooper), Doug (Justin Bartha) and wacky Alan (Zach Galifianakis) - reuniting for a trip, not to Vegas (one of the only differences), but to Bangkok for another round of pre-marriage celebrating.  Waking up, nearly a full day later, the group discovers – while Doug rests peacefully in his hotel room this time – that Lauren's little brother, Teddy (Mason Lee), is gone (along with his finger) and Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) might be the only one to (maybe) help them remember exactly what has happened to him.  Yes, they check the roof first this time.  The rest of the film’s second verse – although slightly edgier and grittier in its chorus – is the same as the first verse.

The Hangover Part II doesn’t work because it feels so entirely forced from script to actor.  There is no spontaneity in its bones.  I’m not going to sit here and tell you it isn’t funny at times, but anyone expecting something different or more from the actors and the story and the director are simply wasting their time in line.  No expectations can be satisfied here – which is a shame – because the love for the original film is somewhat diminished by this simple retread.

The original worked because of its novel concept; one of simplicity made compacted by the circumstances surrounding it.  Here, the same concept is employed but with all too familiar results.  Instead of a tooth, Stu gets a face tattoo.  Instead of Doug being the missing person, it’s Teddy.  The characters are the same, yet the result of their sameness has Stu embracing his “inner demon” and exploits Alan’s quirkiness a bit more than before.  So, you see, the only real differences between the two films lie in how far the plundering of characters goes.

And Phillips doesn’t hold back.  Prepare to be grossed out.

Neither does the story.  Monkeys are crotch-obsessed animals.  Strip clubs reveal super uncomfortable discussions.    And our characters treat everyone like dirt.  Yet, even if we take into consideration its differences, the film feels completely flat.  The surrealism is gone.  The intelligence of the humor is also gone.  All we are left with are memories of the first.  In fact, the script – written by Phillips, Craig Mazin, and Scot Armstrong - is so obviously sketched from the original 2009 film that one can set a watch to its beats.  Yes, it’s that familiar.  The ending is loopy and a lot of the set-up doesn’t make any sense; this is a rental at best.

The writers don’t seem to care.  You shouldn’t either.  Although, most of you will find something to appreciate in this remake…because that’s what it is.  It’s truly a sad day when the best surprise comedy in the last three years gets sidelined by a sequel that has no interest in giving its audience any surprises.  For The Hangover Part II, it’s déjà vu all over again.

If anything, this film’s frustrating result will drive you to drink.

{2jtab: Film Details}

The Hangover Part IIMPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, strong sexual content including graphic nudity, drug use and brief violent images.
Director: Todd Phillips
Writer
: Craig Mazin, Scot Armstrong
Cast: Bradley Cooper; Ed Helms; Zach Galifianakis; Justin Bartha; Ken Jeong
Genre
: Comedy
Memorable Movie Quote:
"All I wanted was a bachelor brunch."
Tagline:
The Wolfpack Is Back.
Distributor:
Warner Bros. Pictures
Official Site:
hangoverpart2.warnerbros.com
Release Date: May 27, 2011
Blu-ray Release Date:
December 6, 2011

Plot Synopsis: In The Hangover Part II, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) travel to exotic Thailand for Stu's wedding. After the unforgettable bachelor party in Las Vegas, Stu is taking no chances and has opted for a safe, subdued pre-wedding brunch. However, things don't always go as planned. What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in Bangkok can't even be imagined.

{2jtab: Blu-ray/DVD Review}

The Hangover Part II - Blu-ray

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
2 stars

3 stars



Blu-ray Experience
2.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - December 6, 2011
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; DVD copy; BD-Live
Playback: Region-free

It received negative reviews from damn near every critic, garnered poor word of mouth from its fans, and still made half a billion dollars at the box office.  That’s an incredible feat for any movie to accomplish.  Warner Bros knows this and, as if rubbing it in, splurges on the beauty of their 1980p transfer with a beautifully detailed release.  The Hangover Part II’s primary location is Thailand and, dear readers, Thailand is not a place known for its beauty.  The hot, the seedy, and the dirty locations are revealed with fine detail and the unapologetic camerawork from DP Lawrence Sher.  Every detail of the movie, its location, its ongoing absurdities, and its shock value are accounted for.  The colors are heavily saturated and warm.  Skin tones are nicely realized and fine detail is keyed-up throughout.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is also full of fine quality that will have all five speakers suffering from a hangover.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Okay, okay, okay.  I was a fan of the original and disappointed by its sequel.  That being said, there is but one reason to own this blu-ray and it is for the Unauthorized Documentary feature that starts off the supplemental material.  It’s a full 25-minutes of prime hilarity.  Check it out.  I won’t spoil the fun, but it will make you laugh harder than the entire movie.  There are three featurettes – The Comedy of Todd Phillips, Not Your Everyday Monkey, and Bangkok On Tour With Chow – all of which are amusing, but only reflect the problems of the feature.  The five-minute gag reel is amusing and proof that at least someone had fun during the movie.

  • Unauthorized Documentary: The Documentary About the Documentary They Don't Want You to See About the Making of ‘The Hangover Part II’ (25 min)
  • Behind the Story (13 min)
  • Gag Reel (5 min)
  • Action Mash-Up (1 min)

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