Unreal Movie Review: The Hangover Part II

1.5 out of 5 stars

Terminator 2, in my estimation, is one of the best movie sequels ever made. It’s a remnant of a time when sequels weren’t an expected necessity, but a real challenge to be taken on. How do you keep something fresh, while still retaining everything beloved about the first installment?

T2 did this expertly. It turned the entire series on its head by having the villain of the first film, Arnold’s Terminator, come back as the hero in this version, and instead of trying to kill John Connor, was there to save him from an even more terrifying foe. Even if the general premise was the same, escaping from a dangerous Terminator, the flip made the new film arguably even better than the original.

After watching The Hangover Part II, I’ve come to think that if the Terminator franchise had followed their idea of what a sequel should be, T2 would have had Arnold storming back through time to try and kill Sarah Connor again a few years later, but this time, it’s in NYC!

This is about how I felt watching this.

There is not a goddamn thing that’s different about this movie from the original save the environment, and because of that, it’s a failure on almost every level.

The Hangover was a brilliant comedy because it came up with an entirely new and unexplored premise, and put together a relatively unknown cast into something that would become a classic. But now the premise is known, the cast is famous and there’s nothing fresh about it. Tell the same joke twice, and see if you get everyone to laugh as much the second time.

So what is different? Now it’s Stu’s (Ed Helms) turn to get married, to the lovely Lauren (Jamie Chung) but we don’t have time to figure out how exactly they met, or why it didn’t work out with him and Heather Graham from the first film. Rather her presence is merely a plot device to get the boys to Thailand, where her family wants her to get married in the “land of her ancestors.” Sure, OK.

Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Doug (Justin Bartha) are naturally invited, but it takes a lot of prodding to get Stu to give Alan (Zach Galifianakis) a call after what happened last time. He’s been sitting by the phone, waiting for an invite, and when the trio finally shows up at his door, he’s as happy as a schoolgirl.

I think the scenes before the crazy night are actually funnier.

The day before the wedding, Stu is taking every precaution to make sure there’s not a repeat of last time. Beer is kept sealed, everyone is only allowed one drink around a campfire, and nothing could possibly go wrong, right?

Phil wakes up with a headache and staring at a finger in a bowl, Alan rises with his head shaved and Stu finds himself in a bathtub with a permanent Mike Tyson face tattoo. Uh oh, it happened again, they non-ironically exclaim.

So whose missing this time? That would be Teddy (Mason Lee), Lauren’s little brother and teenage prodigy, about to enter Stanford medical school at 16. He was part of the forgotten party the previous night, and now Stu can’t have the wedding without him, lest Lauren’s father murder him in cold blood. The trio sets out to piece the night together, discover why they forgot everything and figure out where the hell Teddy is.

The similarities don’t stop with the general plot outline though, it’s like they barely bothered to change ANY plot points. Phil gets hospitalized once more, Alan makes a new tiny friend in the form of a monkey, rather than a baby. Stu stuffers from some sort of facial deformity, and once again has an unfortunate encounter with a uncouth lady. The movie even starts with the same weary phone call that relays how messed up things have gotten, and when the movie finally reaches that point, once again pieces are put together that discover Teddy’s location in a relatively mundane place.

And don’t worry, Chow is back to Jango Fett it up and completely overwhelm the narrative.

It’s the same damn movie. Yes, there are different individual jokes, and more penises than I was prepared to see, but it’s just so dull and unoriginal it almost taints the first film. The only moments that are inherently funny are the little quips Galifianakis’ Alan says, but everything I’ve mentioned from finding clues in their pockets to freaking out in the streets has been done before, and when it’s all said and done, it only feels like about 20 minutes of new footage in the whole film.

One “new” scene involves the boys tracking down the tattoo artist who gave Stu his new ink. It’s a role that was supposed to be filled by Mel Gibson, until Zach Galifiankis objected on “moral grounds,” then was supposed to be Liam Neeson until he dropped out. Who do we see when we open the door? Why it’s Nick Cassavettes. Who? Exactly. The man directed Alpha Dog and The Notebook, but I’ll be damned if there was one iota of reaction from the audience when he came onscreen. I do this for a living, and even I didn’t recognize him. You couldn’t grab ONE of the thousands of actors roaming around Hollywood that people actually know to fill that role?

That one joke pretty much encapsulates how much of a missed opportunity this movie was. Fans of uber gross-out comedy may appreciate separate parts of this film, but in terms of being legitimately funny, there is a ton of potential wasted here as the film decides to just lay comfortably in the shadow of the original.

And now, there’s no reason to do it again. No reason except a record shattering $105M haul this weekend. Sigh.

1.5 out of 5 stars



Similar Posts


  1. My brother and i went to see it and both agreed that it was funny in and of itself but was a bad sequel. It felt more like a reboot. Yes the name of the movie is Hangover but could they have gotten away with just showing what they actually did while high? I think that would have been a better movie. Condense the hangover part to the first or last twenty minutes of the movie. I don’t know….

    I really don’t know how I feel about this right now. It still hasn’t sunk in yet.

  2. I was disappointed by T2. I liked Hamilton’s grim portrayal of Sarah Conner, I liked the twist of the original Terminator model coming back to help, and Patrick was a fantastic new villain, BUT the whiny young John Connor and the stupid banter/after school special moralizing with the Ahhhhnold Terminator just had me puking in my popcorn. The humor in general seemed more forced, like they were looking for that “I’ll be back” tagline over and over… (and failing).

    It’s not a bad movie, but I wouldn’t even put it in my top 25 sequels.

    Of course, no one really cares what I think. 😉 Each to his own.

  3. A penis is a penis. Get over it, you prude.

    At the moment chances are that the third one is going to be in Amsterdam. Not that I am really waiting for no. 3 (didn’t need this sequel either, already found the first movie quite overrated), but if they come here to film it, awesome! Really am curious how that turns out. Makes you wonder if they show the city how it actually is, or if they show the spiced up, exagerated, mythical American version of it.

  4. Argueing opinion is stupid since you cant account for taste but I love T2 and would also probably call it my favorite movie sequel of all time. Even if you dont like the movie, the fact that they tried to improve every aspect of the original without just rehasing the same ideas is great and hardly done at all anymore.

  5. I love T2, but yeah, Eddie really brings the movie down. He was basically the live action version of Bart Simpson (for the first half of the film anyway). But I understand that it was necessary for his character to change and grow as a person, so it works for the story. Also I feel the movie slows down to a crawl during the middle portion of the film. I suppose it’s necessary for an action film (there really isn’t any action in Aliens until after the first hour), but maybe it’s because the film is so long.

    Either way, I’ll always love the first Terminator the best.

    Oh and I saw the first Hangover with some friends a few months ago and while I thought it was funny, I think it’s over-rated.

  6. Sounds like an expansion pack to the original. First things first, Zach Glaifanakis (spelled right? who the hell cares) refused Mel Gibson’s cameo on “moral grounds?” Whata piece of human garbage. I don’t think I really have to explain how backwards that is. The man’s made his a career on toilet jokes and shooting up on TV.

    Anyway, your review sounds spot on. Pretty much played out exactly as it seemed like it would. I for once did not contribute my money to this schlock fest. Record breaking just like Fast 5. Yuck. On the other hand I did contribute a good $16 to Scream 4 and now they said they might not even make a sequel. But I bet we will see the Hangover 3: Amsterdam in 2 years…. And closing out the series in the 9th installment…. The Hangover 9: In Space. It worked for Jason.

  7. He objected to working with Mel Gibson on moral grounds but apparently working with a convicted rapist for the first movie is perfectly fine.

  8. @Tim
    Shooting up on TV? Really?
    Heroin and weed, pretty big fucking difference, chemically and psychoactively. [/Bill Hicks]

    As for toilet jokes (because these are all the rage), watch his stand up. He’s not great, but certainly isn’t all toilet humor (more non-sequitor ramblings).

    Your Mel Gibson defense is inane, without having to add that you’ve been objectively wrong twice. So are you saying moral rationale makes people garbage?

    Your last paragraph makes you sound like a miserable human being. It appears that you believe that your choices are all important and should dictate how studios run their schtick.


    The 1st movie is nowhere near the classic status that some people hold it to. Having high expectations for a low brow, crass comedy is very foolish and nonsensical.

    For anyone complaining about this movies heavy lifting from the original, the trailers gave away the fact that it was gunna be a carbon clone. Hating it on those merits makes you look like ass for having even the slightest hope that it wouldn’t be the same movie.
    Hating Hollywood for lazy retreads is a different story.

  9. I went, I chuckled…I enjoyed Bridesmaids a lot more (I don’t know why the 2 were compared so much to eachother tho, one’s a romantic comedy and the other is The Hangover).

    I thought ‘maybe’ Hangover 2 was being I dunno…clever? in recreating basically the same jokes again from the first one. How do I explain…like it knows it’s making the same jokes because it knows already it’s going to make millions on those jokes and is upfront about it. Inferring the audience doesn’t need new jokes when it can keep laughing at the same ones the first movie made a few years ago.

    P.S. T2 was awesome, as someone who watched it over 120 times it is in my list of best sequels (I was a pre-teen when it came out and my love for Edward Furlong knew no bounds)

  10. man this movie sucked ass..i wanted to beat the shit out of zack in the first five minutes he was on film..he wasn’t even trying to be funny he was just being retarded..and no one in the movie had any balls ( only the ladies ) and then the kid loses a finger and never seems to mind..wtf..somany things wrong in this movie..i think the only time i laughed was when stu was screaming fuck the police!!! fuck the police !!!..and i agree if they woulda put everything that happened when they were fucked up in the movie it woulda been better..and then the crappy cameo by mike tyson..it woulda been better if they actually put tyson in the whole movie just punching random people that woulda been funny…

  11. My audience was DEAD. Not a single laugh during the soldout crowd. Killed any enjoyment I MIGHT have found, but yeah, a shameless rehash. Possibly the worst I have to recent memory.

  12. @JohnC — Simple research before you speak might do you some good. He did BOTH on the Bill Maher show (smoked pot AND shot heroin). A simple google search would yield you that result, I got it in 3 words – Maher Zach Heroin. Easy.

    Toilet jokes are toilet jokes. I don’t really understand how you can defend them. I’ve seen his stand-up, you’re correct. Ramblings, some funny, some not.

    I’m not defending Mel Gibson, although somebody needs to, his only real crime is being human and getting caught for it. Haven’t we all said some absurdly mean things in our lifetime? Most of us just don’t have people secretly taping us when we do it. Also, most of us aren’t under a giant microscope and scrutinized for every action we make.

    I just think its flat-out wrong for a dude who has, no doubt, questionable moral standards himself to bar someone from making a living based off of their own judgments and biases. And as another reader pointed out, he had no problem working with a convicted rapist.

    I really didn’t make any harsh statements in my original post and definitely wasn’t trying to be miserable. I pretty much stated that I thought Paul’s review was spot on and could have guessed that (as I did) without seeing the film. The stuff about Galifianakis was simple honest. If by being a realist makes me a miserable person, well I guess I’m destined to be a miserable person for the rest of my life, because I’m not drinking whatever Kool-Aid it is that you drank and I’m sure as hell not changing my simple, well-stated, honest opinion just because an internet troll tried to pick a fight.

  13. Gank,
    Where do you live? I’m not saying it was a great movie, but the audience in the showing I was in laughed a good amount (myself included). I’m just curious so I can know never to move to such a dreary, uptight place.

  14. hey paul, im a big fan of you, and unrealitymag.com, i love every bit of it, and i Also agree with you most of the times on movie reviews, im a screenwriter from toronto, and i went to school for it (masters) so i know a thing or two,

    and YES for the record, T2 is my fav action movie of all time (ANd sequel of course)

    but you’re making one big mistake dude:

    hangover 2 is a comedy, and you know what the number one most important thing for a comedy is? “is it funny?” THats IT..it really is,

    hangover 1 is a msterpiece for all the reasons you provided,
    but you cant compare it to any other genre, (you cant compare it to T2 or LOTR or whateveR)

    AND heres the nutty part, I actually AGREE with you and DID NOT LIKE HANGOVER 2 , but NOT for the REASONS You provided…

    the movie is called the HANGOVEr PART 2, if you were expecting an entirely NEW STORY…well i dunno why…

    it was funny…but not funny enough, and thats whyi didnt like it, but you cant compare a COMEDY SEQUEL for its PLOT devices or story structure, Airplane 2 was called “airplane 2 : the sequel” for a reason

    and its like arguing that Frank had to deal with the same exasperated crime plot in Ever Naked Gun movie, when REALLY, thats NOT THE REASONS YOU ARe watching the film…

    dude trust me, comedy only needs to be ONE THING….Funny…
    if it succeeds in that, nothing else matters, (that why people hold movies like zoolander or Napoleon Dynamite in such high regard) there isnt much of a plot there, but the jokes are there…

    sorry about the rant.

    unrealitymag.com rocks!
    huge fan!
    (little drunk when writing this)

  15. I couldn’t agree with you less on the T2 analogy. The young John Conner in that movie grated on me like Jar Jar Binks. Having Arnold be a good guy was not a clever plot twist, it was just that Arnold refused to play the bad guy so they had to make the script fit his whim. Making a movie based around time travel is always difficult but this movie was incredibly sloppy. I could go on and on but you get my point.

    Anyway I thought it was generally accepted that Aliens was the best sequel ever. Or if you want to go in order of release Empire Strikes Back was a pretty amazing sequel. Sorry to go off on a rant but man I really don’t like T2.

  16. I’m definitely in the minority, but believe me when I say, I enjoyed the hell out of H2. However, I have been to Thailand several times, and not for business trips. I was in the Navy, and when we went to Phuket, we went to blow off some steam and get fucked up. And get fucked up we did. The street the White Lion was on looked exactly like the Combat Zone on Patong Beach. For almost a week straight I drank so much I didn’t remember half the night before. We saw all manner of things, ladyboys included, although I don’t recall anyone getting fucked in the ass by one. But the ping pong tricks and the string of pearls they show in the end photos (some of the tamer shows, btw) brought back some memories of some crazy nights. I have nothing but fond memories of Thailand, so perspective definitely played a big hand.

    Of course, I’ve not watched the original 1,000 times either, like some folks have, so that helped. I never thought it was the end-all, beat-all comedy either, and would rate the two films as virtually identical. In fact, were this the first film, I bet people would give it a good review and say it was hilarious. I also saw a midnight show, in a theater full of people who were as excited as I was. Plus, they were selling $2 cans of PBR down front. So do I regret spending the cash to see a film that I honestly thought was entertaining and nostalgic? Not one damn bit.

    By the way, the best sequel of all time is a tie: The Empire Strikes Back and Godfather pt. II. Just sayin’.

  17. Movie was entirely lame and very unfunny. The audience and I laughed three times–no joke. The acting seemed so over the top and feigned a la Saturday Night Live let’s make fun of ourselves type of way that I could not enjoy myself. I’m angry that my money contributed to their opening weekend success and just wish that all involved in this project had tried. Lastly, I was embarrassed and offended on behalf of the Asian population. To think that in 2011 the same images and stereotypes of Asian-Americans keep on being perpetuated made me SMH…and the dude who played the fiance’s brother could not act.

    The Hangover II did not make me feel nostalgic, for it was completely derivative–an almost exact copy, really, with not much being new. Authenticity brings about nostalgia and this film just didn’t have that.

  18. This movie just pissed me off. The only redeeming quality was the ending just to see Stu truly stand up for himself instead of just acting like a spaz like he did in the first one. However, believe it or not, Zach’s performance is what irritated me. Allen in this movie is a fucking unlikeable prick compared to the lovable human stuffed animal he was in the first. The first incident was caused by him wanting to spice things up. This time, it was caused by him being fucking spiteful. Not only that, but the entire movie seems like one big cop out. At first, it looks like things are desperate (Chow seemingly dying, the reasons for the “Hangover”, etc), but then they pull one over on you with the same old shit from the first movie. Seriously, if Chow had died, that would have been interesting. And once again, they had a dumbass hostage situation that was all a ruse. And the end result of all this just makes you want to put a bullet in your brain for ever thinking they would try something different.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.