The Hangover Part II (2011)
The Hangover Part II
Originally posted May 25, 2011
Two years ago, the surprise critical and popular success of The Hangover led you to believe that Todd Phillips – a journeyman comic writer/director who was best known for mediocre fare like Old School, School For Scoundrels and Starsky & Hutch – had significantly raised his game. It looked like he was a comic voice to be reckoned with.
In the time since, he has helmed the two high profile projects, both co-starring the breakout Hangover star Zach Galafianakis. The first volley was the often painful Planes Trains and Automobiles rip-off Due Date. Several months later, this sporadically funny sequel to his magnum opus comes along. Actually calling it a sequel may be a bit of a misnomer. It is much more like a blatant remake of the original – a tiny bit wilder for effect, but also much less fresh and interesting than its predecessor.
Suddenly, the thought occurs: maybe The Hangover was an anomaly, not a sign of greatness to come so much as a happy accident of concept, cast and script.
The Hangover 2 strains mightily to recapture the magic of the first chapter – and it even periodically does – but in the long run there is a desperate sense of been-there, done-that to the proceedings. The first film was so memorable because the film had found a unique way to glimpse some pretty common bachelor party movie tricks.