By Carter Friend
Two movies came out this Memorial Day weekend, both sequels. One was the sequel to an animated Dreamworks movie and one was the sequel to the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time. Needless to say, The Hangover Part II was more anticipated than Kung Fu Panda 2. In my review of Kung Fu Panda 2, which you can read here, I talk about how it was enjoyable yet not as good as the first one and just not very necessary. I gave it a 3 out of 5. However, after seeing just how much worse The Hangover Part II was in compared to the first film, it made me appreciate Kung Fu Panda 2 so much more. Sure, it was worse than the first Kung Fu Panda, but at least it did not take everything that was good about the first one and copy it exactly in a poor effort to strike lightning twice. But don’t get me wrong, the fact that The Hangover Part II is similar to the first film is not why I
wasn’t fond of it hated it. It’s because it’s just not a good movie. End of story.
The movie follows Phil, Stu, and Alan as they go to Bangkok for Stu’s wedding but end up getting hungover without any idea what happened to them or where Stu’s fiance’s little brother is. If you want a better synopsis for the movie, go watch the first one. While it wasn’t my main problem with this movie, I was irritated by the fact that this movie was in retrospect an exact replica of the first one. It felt like lazy storytelling and made none of the twists and turns remotely surprising or interesting because we had seen it all before. But even if this movie had come before the original Hangover, I would have hated it. The movie itself is just boring, unfunny, over the top-acted, and an overall mess.
I like pretty much everybody in the cast of this movie but I did not like a single one of their performances this time around. Bradley Cooper seemed bored the whole time like he didn’t even want to be there. Zach Galifianakis was way too over the top and got very annoying very quickly. Ed Helms, who is my favorite actor of the bunch (vote for Andy!) and came the closest to having a good performance in this movie, was just too much of the same schtick throughout the whole movie. Ken Jeong was similar to Galifianakis in the sense that he was playing it too over the top. Paul Giamatti, an actor whom I love and respect and know is capable of so much better, added nothing to this movie. His character and storyline was pointless. So many ridiculous turns and subplots were happening in this movie and none of it served any purpose (see: monkey, kidnapped monk, Mr. Chow). I would have been okay with it if any of those particular things were remotely funny. It was just plain boring and unrealistic even within the realm of the movie. Another thing that I really hated about this movie was the completely over the top level of raunchiness and inappropriateness. You know how in some comedies there will be one scene or one moment where something really inappropriate is said or done and it comes as a total surprise? It only lasts for a brief moment but it was really funny because it was so out of the blue and over the top compared to the rest of the film. Well this whole movie is made up of only those scenes. It is a constant stream of wildly raunchy, shocking moments that are there just for the sake of being over the top. They try to have that one funny, crazy scene over and over again throughout the whole movie and it becomes less and less shocking and less and less funny each time. Oh my gosh, he said the f-word! Oh no, wait a minute, he actually said it 90 times (that is the actual number of times they said f*** in the movie). Oh, and there was constant full frontal nudity throughout the movie! How…funny?
Overall, I think that The Hangover Part II was not only one of the most disappointing sequels I’ve ever seen, it’s also one of the worst movies in recent memory.The first Hangover was a very funny comedy that pushed the limits in all of the right places and never got boring. The sequel, on the other hand, recycled the exact same plot but decided to use juvenile, ridiculously over-the-top raunchy humor throughout and throw in ridiculous, unneeded subplots. I know that I am coming across as very harsh with this movie, and that’s because I really, really did hate this movie, but I do have to admit that I can see how some people would find it funny. Some people just really like movies that are constantly over the top and inappropriate. It’s all about taste, and I’ve got to say this is about as far as a movie can get from being my cup of tea. Maybe I’m alone here because everybody else in the theater was howling, but when push comes to shove, I do not remember leaving a theater more angry or disappointed in a long time. I disliked it even more than Due Date, also directed by Todd Phillips, and I really didn’t like Due Date. I implore you to see the movie about the panda instead. This movie was awful.
The Verdict: 1 out of 5