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.