The Wheel and Axle

Time For A Hanging

by on Jun.26, 2011, under Film & TV

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“The Hangover II” was basically “The Hangover” minus the humor. It’s quite disappointing because “The Hangover” is one of my favorite comedies ever, a delightful surprise I almost hadn’t watched had there been anything else I wanted to see at that time. The sequel retreads the original, going down the same path of plot structure, shenanigans, and such – except for being hardly funny (and for being transplanted from Vegas to Bangkok).

The writers of the sequel seem to think that escalating things from the original by making the jokes more risque, more disgusting, and more offensive would be the ticket towards an awesome comedy. They forgot that subtle comedy always works best, and even the original – despite being raucous, crazy, and even slapstick – had nuances that made for a great movie. “Know when to stop” is good advice in creating a comedy that the sequel does not heed. Dick jokes, sodomy jokes, tranny jokes, monkey jokes, violence jokes, what have you – they all fell flat and were just distasteful, not amusing. It could have worked if this was a black comedy – I love black comedies – but this was created as a straight comedy.

Oh, there were golden funny moments, but they were too few and far between. Instead of focusing on humor, the writers seemed more interested in seeing how far they can push the envelope. Well, they pushed it over the edge of Mt. Everest, and the envelope has caused an avalanche of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Filmmakers who push the envelope typically are trying to make a statement, or challenging the establishment, or simply making art. The filmmakers of HO2, in pushing the envelope, seem to just enjoy being juvenile. Mind you, I appreciate juvenile comedy a lot, but this film is plain juvenile without the comedy.

The only good thing about this film is Bradley Cooper, who probably can’t do any wrong in my world ever, and Ang Lee’s son – who actually was not given to do much, but was easy on the eyes. Zach Galifianakis, who was endearing in the first movie, was downright intolerable in this one, and Ed Helms was just blah. Justin Bartha, another piece of eye candy, was just there for no apparent reason other than – I guess – to show they were a complete group of friends. Ken Jeong, however, takes the cake for being the most insufferable piece of crap that has ever graced the big screen in the last decade or so.

All in all, “The Hangover II” wasted the opportunity of correctly banking on the success of the classic original film. Instead of extrapolating and creating a new and fresh comedy, while taking advantage of the awesomeness that is Bangkok, they shat out a carbon copy of the original film without actually having the charm of the original film. How they managed to do that, I’m not sure; it must be some kind of talent that no one has a name for yet.

My Rating: 3 out of 10 Stars

Directed By: Todd Phillips

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong

With: Paul Giamatti, Mason Lee, Jamie Chung, Jeffrey Tambor, Bryan Callen, Sasha Barrese, Gillian Vigman, Yasmin Lee, Nirut Sirijanya


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