Before we start, there are some ground rules that need establishin’. Like the fact that there are sequels and there are sequels. A sequel is fun; it reunites you with your silver screen pals of yore (and by “yore,” I mean “18 months ago”). A sequel gives you another good-time jaunt through a well-traveled plot, with a slight change of scenery. A sequel is déjà vu in, most likely, a different movie theater. Like Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. A sequel is The Godfather Part II. For all intents and purposes, when referencing The Hangover Part II, just know we’re talking more Kevin McCallister than Vito Corleone.
Try as I might, there’s not a bad word I can say about The Hangover Part II – this most over-the-top of summer roadtrip blockbusters. The Wolfpack is back…with a passport. Vegas gives way to Bangkok (the capital of “Thigh-land,” as pronounced by Zack Galifinakis, in one of the funnier repeated bites), and as the details of the previous night fall into focus, our favorite uncool trio…and Bradley Cooper…spirals into another wild and wacky session of amnesia recovery.
Having gotten the plot details out of the way, let’s return to the ground rules: there’s nothing wrong with this scenario.
Sure the image of the gang waking up in an unfamiliar hotel room evokes a feeling of “Didn’t I see this once before?” Yes, they’ve swapped the tiger for a monkey, the baby for an Asian brother-in-law-to-be, and Heather Graham for Paul Giamatti (sorry, dudes). And of course there’s more Mike Tyson. But who didn’t love it all in 2009? It was decent the first time, it was decent the second (which is much more than I can say for some sequels…ahem, Ocean’s Twelve). It’ll get no “A”s for originality, but on the fun-o-meter of Summer 2011, The Hangover Part II scored…uh-gain.