THE HANGOVER PART II

00:00 June 01, 2011
By: David Vicari

BY DAVID VICARI

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[Courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures]
The title of this movie isn't Hangover 2. No, the official title is The Hangover Part II as if it is a continuation of a saga, making the characters and story richer and more complex since the fist time we met them. No, this is your average money grubbing rehash made in an attempt to rekindle the box office magic of the first film. Let's face it, there were no questions left unanswered in the first Hangover, but is this follow up any good? Actually, it is pretty funny and delivers exactly what fans of the original expect.

Part II follows the same trajectory as the first movie. Dentist Stu (Ed Helms) is getting married to a lovely Asian girl, Lauren (Jamie Chung), and the wedding is going to take place in Thailand. A few days before the nuptials, Stu and his friends Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis), along with Lauren's little brother, Teddy (Mason Lee), have a small campfire celebration.

Then, the next morning they wake up in a toilet of a hotel in Bangkok. They all have hangovers and can't remember the night before. Stu has a fresh facial tattoo just like the one Mike Tyson has, they are in possession of a small monkey wearing a denim vest with the Rolling Stones emblem on the back, and Teddy is missing...but his severed finger is sitting in a cup of ice. So, the boys must retrace their steps to find Teddy and make it back in time for the wedding.

It takes a while for the movie to really get going, and there are a few dead spots here and there, but once it cuts loose it's pretty amusing. The funniest scene for me is when Stu flips out in the street after he realized something he did at a strip club during the night. Ken Jeong returns as international criminal Mr. Chow to supply some big laughs. And of course the cigarette smoking monkey is a scene stealer.

What holds it all together is the core group of Helms, Cooper and Galifianakis. They have a easy chemistry together. As for the characters themselves, I think we've all known a lovable pain-in-the-ass like Alan or an uptight milquetoast like Stu. So, this is kind of like visiting with old friends...and then having too much to drink.

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