It sucks to say this, but: The Second Hangover was unnecessary. When I left the movie theater on Memorial Day Monday afternoon, that’s how I felt after sitting through a funny movie that I felt like I saw before. On its own, the film is not a bad one and it’s one that I will probably will watch again if sheer boredom necessitates it. However, a classic comedy’s legacy probably gets besmirched a slight amount only because The Hangover II really didn’t need to happen.
Like most things in life, we get hooked in because of the story. If the story is well-told and it can be entertaining or thought-provoking and we’ll keep coming back for more. The people who made The Hangover knew this fact all too well as they decided to make a sequel here because they can make money. Zach Galifianakis’ schtick is getting old and it showed up as he was funny in spots (esp. at the beginning), but his character (and the general plot) was a lot darker and creepier here. There were times when I just couldn’t laugh because Alan Garner had few positive intangibles to bring to the table aside from being a sideshow freak. Important to note here: Bradley Cooper (a real movie star who can carry scenes), Ken Jeong (hysterical, steals scenes), Jamie Chung (watch out for her) and Ed Helms (did a nice job here as his character grew and you believed it) all did admirable acting jobs here, but the material they had to work with was much darker this time out (blatant drug use, people getting shot, and some mildly funny ‘we play both ways’ examples played out). The second trip was funny, but it just was not as fun as the first one because this trip felt angrier and it’s hard to grasp why.
The guys who produced The Hangover II cannot be faulted for making a sequel to an American classic film that was guaranteed to make money when the idea got pitched around first. I really wish they took some more creative liberties here as the plot could have had a few more deviations to make it interesting for people with brains. You’ll definitely laugh if you watch this movie, but again, it’s just not as good as the first one (a landmark comedy that can never be duplicated for its outlandishness and its originality, on the same par as Animal House or Wayne’s World ). If you want to save two hours and ten dollars, wait until The Hangover II hits the rental market before viewing it out.