The Hangover Part II

Unfortunately, my delinquency in composing this post is going to greatly diminish the argument I’m about to make, but if you have even a little bit of faith in me, you’ll hold fast. I have been madly in love with Bradley Cooper for some time now. Granted, I didn’t fall for him when he was in Wedding Crashers, and I didn’t even remember that he was McKinley’s gay lover in Wet Hot American Summer. That would have tipped me off right there. No, it was sometime after Crashers, and it was confirmed precisely in the first Hangover movie when he and the Wolf Pack were walking down the hallway of their Vegas hotel, and Cooper looked like a god compared to the other schmoes next to him. Black jacket, black shirt, black paints, gorgeous hair. Yes, please. So, before I even get to actually reviewing this film, let me just post what has already impregnated the nation:

Okay, good. Now you’ve all seen that, and you’ve changed whatever negative views of this man that you may have had. He is incredible, and not just because of this. I would even venture to say that he (and Ed Helms) were the only part of this valiant (but so-so) effort at a sequel.

Gushing is over. The Hangover Part 2 was basically a carbon copy of the previous (and far superior) installment, but it actually wasn’t the identical plot points that bothered me. In fact, I kind of liked that they paralleled the last film; it’s what everyone wanted, it’s what everyone expected, and it was a safer way of getting away with the even-grosser gross-out humor. It was a way of maintaining the franchise without completely mucking it up. In a weird way, I respect it. But back to my original point: The thing that bothered me most about this movie was poor Zach Galifianakis. His man-child character was perfect in the first movie, stealthier than the actual wolf he was trying to emulate. His humor came from his non-sequiturs, sure, but it also came from his physicality. He was awkward to watch, and he let his awkward actions speak for him. It was a subtle performance and, bummer for us, it was the last time we’d see such subtlety. Allan, Galifianakis’ character, was basically a one-man one-liner machine, with uncomfortable statements peppering every scene like, well, unwelcome bell peppers in most meals. Obviously the writers knew that Galifianakis was the main draw, so they tried to milk his character’s weirdness for all his worth, but he came across like a completely different breed of asshole. It was sad, really, because the first movie did have this tinge of innocence to it that was completely lost on this one.

But I still laughed. I laughed a lot, in fact. I laughed at Ed Helms’ Mike Tyson tattoo, I laughed at the monkey, I laughed at the tranny prostitute, I laughed at Ken Jeong’s naked body, and I laughed at plenty of other things. So even if this movie paled in comparison to its original, it still did what it set out to do. And funly enough, I kind of want to go to Bangkok now.



  1. CMrok93 · June 12, 2011

    What’s missing is a huge part of what made the first film so good: the element of surprise and the actual joy of having all these crazy situations happen. This is a dark and morbid cash-in and nothing more, except with some chuckles. Good review!

    • stef · June 16, 2011

      Agreed, the “thrill” was indeed gone. We’ll always have Vegas… and the stripper’s baby.

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