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The Hangover Part II


The wolf pack is back. Plus, a monkey.

Rod Lott December 5th, 2011

Considerable criticism has been lobbed at "The Hangover Part II" for essentially resurrecting the story template of the first film. Yeah, but really, what else could you expect them to do? Besides, it's not like director/co-writer Todd Phillips just used the same jokes.

thehangoverpartii

Bottom line: While this sequel doesn't offer the surprise factor of its big brother of two summers ago, I still laughed. A lot.

The "wolf pack" reassembles — somewhat reluctantly — for the wedding of mild-mannered dentist Stu (Ed Helms, TV's "The Office") to a lovely Asian woman (Jamie Chung, "Sucker Punch"), whose father hates him. In hopes of appeasing his near-future in-laws, Stu agrees to hold the nuptials in their preferred Thailand.

This simply allows our crew — including hothead Phil (Bradley Cooper, "Limitless") and airhead Alan (Zach Galifianakis, "Due Date") — a place other than Vegas in which to experience a mind-wiping blackout of debauchery. Instead of losing the groom this time, the guys lose the groom's underage brother-in-law-to-be (Mason Lee, "The Wedding Banquet"); instead of finding a baby, they find a monkey. The elements change, à la "Mad Libs," but the gist remains the same, right down to the riotous tell-all photographs of the closing credits (with one so politically incorrect, I think my bladder would've burst, had it been full).

The Thai setting puts our heroes way out of their element, and into even more danger (and not just from the ladyboys). If you enjoyed the hard-R romp the first time around (and record millions did), just temper expectations that it could be topped, and you'll enjoy this one, too. With Galifianakis' man-child act again in full force, speaking P.F. Chang's and Doogie Howser, it's damned hard not to.

Warner Bros.' Blu-ray has a gag reel and a half-hour mockumentary featuring the likes of filmmakers J.J. Abrams and Morgan Spurlock, but strangely does not hold deleted and/or alternate scenes. Don't tell me Galifianakis stuck to the script. —Rod Lott

 
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