The Hangover 2: A cliched and watered down bomb

ImageThe Wolf Pack returns in this 2011 sequel to Todd Philip’s surprise hit that skyrocketed Bradley Cooper into the Hollywood A-list. This time, Stu (Ed Helms) is getting married to Lauren (Jamie Chung), A Thai woman whose father thinks he’s a spineless, worthless piece of the rice cake.

Against their better judgement, Doug (Justin Bartha), who is now happily married despite the first movie’s fiasco, talks the gang into inviting Allan (Zach Galifianakis), his weirdo brother in law to the wedding and the wolf pack, led by Cooper’s character Phil, set off for Thailand with Lauren’s little brother — 16-year-old Med student Teddy in tow. All hell breaks loose when they wake up in a seedy motel complex in the heart of Bangkok’s red light district with no recollection at all of the night prior. As with the first movie, one of the gang is nowhere to be found, and this time it’s Teddy. And he’s not on the roof.

Sequels are really hard to pull off, mainly because it always gets compared to the original. The Hangover is no different. The original was such a riot but sadly, despite the panic of being on foreign soil and encountering mishap after mishap in trying to piece together the events of the night before, the movie just felt like a recycled version of the first movie, with gags and characters simply transplanted to an Asian setting. The gags also felt very cliched, as if the scriptwriters did surface research of Asia and its culture and decided to sew together an entire screenplay based these common associations — the heat, the monkeys, the drugs and the trannies. It was also a puzzle why Lauren’s father (or any father for that matter) would suddenly willingly turn over his daughter to a man who claims to have a demon inside him, especially since his first impression was originally not too good already.

I did appreciate some of the gags enough to crack a laugh here and there, but in totality, this sequel was leagues behind the original. Major fail.