By Christy Lemire, The Associated Press – 3 hours ago
It's hard to imagine a more half-assed attempt at cashing in a second time than "The Hangover Part II."
Seriously, it feels like the script was pieced together with the help of Mad Libs, with only slightly different and raunchier details replacing those that helped the original "Hangover" from 2009 become the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time (it made more than $467 million worldwide).
But so much of the allure of that first film was the novelty of the premise, the unpredictability of the adventures, and the sense that we, too, were wandering in a daze, helping solve the mystery of the debauched night before. Despite their throbbing heads and increasing sense of panic, these guys clearly had a blast, and they made us wish we could have joined them. That sequence where the motley group of friends wakes up in a fog and surveys the damage in a trashed Las Vegas hotel suite is a brilliant and efficient little piece of storytelling, full of clever details and meticulous production design.
Director Todd Phillips, who also co-wrote the script this time (along with Craig Mazin and Scot Armstrong), apparently thought so, too. That's just one of many gags from the first film that are repeated in "The Hangover Part II." Giving the people what they want is one thing. Making nearly the exact same movie a second time, but shifting the setting to Thailand, is just ... what, lazy? Arrogant? Maybe a combination of the two.
Instead of finding a baby in their hotel room, the guys find a chain-smoking, drug-running capuchin monkey. Instead of waking up with a missing tooth, Ed Helms' mild-mannered dentist character, Stu, wakes up with a facial tattoo. Instead of bursting into song at the piano to sum up how horrible the situation is, Stu bursts into song with an acoustic guitar. And instead of having sex with a hooker with a heart of gold, Stu... [continues]
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