The Hangover Part II

Director: Todd Phillips
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis
Runtime: 102 mins
Rating: ****

The Hangover: Part II is very similar to its predecessor. It starts half-way through the story with the same “we messed up” phone call before skipping to One Week Earlier. There’s a bit of build-up before the bachelor party, and then suddenly the morning after hangover is here, requiring the rebuilding of the previous night, which then makes up the majority of the movie.

Most critics have hated this. Not only have they accused the film of being unthinking, uninspired and crude, but most of all they felt it was the same film in a different part of the world, i.e. Bangkok instead of Las Vegas.

I couldn’t disagree more. Whenever yet another cheesy rom-com falls out of Hollywood, no-one ever complains that the guy and the girl usually end up together. So why complain about a comedy with a familiar plot? Part II’s strength is that it not only emulates everything that was good about the original, but that it uses the formula in a self-referential way, with a knowing wink to the audience and several occasions of “I can’t believe this is happening again!”

You don’t watch a comedy for the plot progression; you watch it for the laughs, right? And thankfully, this is a very funny film. Zach Galifianakis returns as Alan, the worrying but enjoyably insane man-child, whilst Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms are his fellow misfits. Ken Jeong’s Mr. Chow makes a welcomingly degraded and disgusting return, but the scene is always stolen by a chain-smoking monkey wearing a Rolling Stones denim jacket.

Along the way, the Wolfpack encounters ladyboys, Russian gangsters and partying Buddhist monks, all while trying to find one of their lost friends. It may not be original, but this film will have you rolling in the aisles from start to finish. Prove the critics wrong: go and see it.

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