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Hangover 2 ruder and louder – but Mr. Chow’s back

I loved the original Hangover, last summer’s break-out hit and one of the funnier films to come down the pipe in quite a while. More pipe references later.
It was smart funny and charming and it was fresh.
They walked a really fine line because at any point it could have lapsed into cliched nonsense, but the acting, directing and writing combined to make it something better than I expected.
Mind you I love watching others suffer, especially from a big head the morning after. Seriously, if there were an Olympic event for making already ill people sicker, I would finally get my gold medal for lines like ‘Here’s a cold pork sandwich. That should absorb most of the tequila but if not here’s a glass of milk.’ Ed Asner as Lou Grant had the best hangover line of all when he raised his head just high enough off his desk and told Mary Tyler Moore that he “would have to rally to die”.
But I digress.
Or maybe I don’t. All I know is I was disappointed in Hangover 2. It’s ruder, louder and has a dangerously high amount of full frontal male nudity. Well, technically one scene of male and one half and half.
Oh the horror. I’m still not right.
This time Stu’s getting married and the road trip is to Thailand. Phil’s in, Doug and his wife are in but they need Alan to be in to keep harmony in the family. Here’s our first warning sign. Alan has an attitude. His mom brings him breakfast and he’s surly and rude to her. It makes no sense and feels crowbarred in. My guess is that Zach Galifianakis is getting a little too big for his already sizeable britches. He got Mel Gibson fired from the project. So he does this weirdness with his mom which just didn’t make sense and then he carries on with this oddness when he meets Stu’s future brother-in-law. He’s cold and petulant and even though it’s the vehicle that moves the story along it’s awkward. And not the good socially awkward that was in the first one. There are no wolf pack speeches, no three best friends songs, although there is a nasty hug with Mr Chow who isn’t packing but is presenting.
Yes Mr. Chow’s back, and so is his antenna. In a who-gives-a-crap aside, the actor who plays Chow is a real-life doctor with a real-life practice, but the movie bug got him and now that’s his full-time gig. Go figure. He was kind of funny as Dr Kuni in Knocked Up.
Back to the review.
It’s not that there aren’t funny scenes. There are. The recovery scene as they realize they have once again succumbed. I really do like Stu (Ed Helms). This time he has a Mike Tyson tattoo on his face. It’s lovely. I’m pretty sure chicks dig that So they shake off their fog and it’s a mad dash to recreate the night before and find the now missing future brother-in-law, the omnipresent Teddy.
This is where it gets totally cliched right down to the Quincyesque epiphone regarding where the kid might be.
Turns out Alan drugged Teddy’s marshmallows which then led to them partying with Mr Chow who we think is dead but just coked out for a bit They recover a false Teddy but get beat up by monks, find out who Stu had sex with, run afoul of gangsters and steal a monkey.
Go figure. Sounds like a day in the life of a national research council purchasing agent. Now they know how to party.
Hangover 2 came in 18A for a reason. It’s crass with a touch of nasty.
What it really is, (if you’ve read this column before you know where this is going) is Hootie and The Blow Fish Album 2.
That first record sold a gazillion copies but it was written over 10 years of touring. The second one sold like, 37 copies. They had a year to crank it out. Hangover cashed in on the first one so they had to crank out number 2. I’m pretty sure they used Screenwriter Connect the dots.
It suffers.
Really want to see the funnier version of Hangover 2? Check out Bridesmaids. It’s Hangover on estrogen. It’s funny. Big funny. But don’t take my word for it.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Save the dates…

  • June 29th: This week’s carload night (as all nighter will be the Thursday)
  • June 30th: All Nighter
  • July 23rd: Pajama Party

Filed Under: Paul Peterson

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