Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Hangover, Part II

The original "Hangover" was clever and very funny and of course made a ton of money which made a sequel inevitable. "Part II" takes us to exotic Bangkok for basically a retread of the first film. The filmmakers needed an exotic location to hide the fact their script is weak and their actors are lazy.

Ed Helms is back as Stu and his wimpy, screaming tantrums are funny the first time but become as tedious as Bradley Cooper's Phil who's dialogue consists of cursing in every situation. Zach Galifianakis plays the very strange, Allen who's man-child schtick also grows old. A golden opportunity is missed by not giving Justin Bartha more to do. Understandably he was the missing groom in the first film but here is wasted as a minor character on the sidelines. I've seen Mr. Bartha do comedy live on Broadway and he can be very funny. Leaving him on the sidelines was a big mistake.

Ken Jeong is back as the maniacal Mr. Chow, an even more embarrassing stereotype here but effective as the driver in a well done car chase. A two scene cameo by Paul Giammatti just gives him an excuse to mug for the camera and forget he can act. The best actor in the film is the drug dealing monkey who becomes central to the story. I loved his Rolling Stones vest buy scenes of him smoking a cigarette border on animal cruelty.

No one in the film really exerts any effort. Even when a character loses a finger, it doesn't even garner more than a shrug from anyone including the character himself. There are a few funny situations and one or two great lines but they are far and few between. The audience laughed more at the trailer for "Horrible Bosses" than all of "The Hangover II". Pack it in, Wolfpack.

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