So I’m standing in the midst of the enormous cluster-fuck of a situation that is the Hangover 2, 12:00 movie showing. People chugging beers and liquor bottles under their coats, think I saw someone pull out a joint at one point, and the dude standing behind me used the word “Dumper” more than any intelligent human being ever should. None the less, there was a buzz about the Hangover 2 and you could feel it in the smokey air. How could this movie be bad? The whole cast was back (including Mike Tyson) and the first one might just be the closest thing to a Comedy Classic we’ve had in the last decade. Was it bad? I laughed a lot so I guess that’s saying something. The thing is, it was just, well..the same. Not just kinda the same. Exactly the same! Is this acceptable film fans?
Right from the opening of The Hangover 2, it was pretty obvious what I had signed up for. Spent $11.50 of my hard-earned money on as well. The movie opens with a deep, somber, country-esque song, while the camera pans a metropolitan yet somehow desolate landscape. If you can recall the first movie, the one you’ve seen 3 times sober and 4 times stoned, you will take note that this is the exact same opening as the first Hangover. And what happens next? The now wife of Doug (who’s name is not important enough to recall) receives a phone call from Phil (Bradley Cooper) regretfully informing her that the wedding, this time Stew’s (Ed Helms), will not be going on. This time, however, it is more plainly stated. Phil simply states “It happened again.” That word, “again,” will prove to be the plot-driving theme of this so-called “sequel.”
So yeah, every sequel recycles jokes to some extent. But Hangover 2 is over the line of ridiculousness. Just to illustrate, I will sum up the plot for you right now: Stew is getting married, the “Wolf-pack” (Phil’s brother-in-law Teddy added) has a toast on the beach, they wake up in a hotel not remembering anything, Teddy is missing, they search the city, find some clues, get attacked, find out Stew has had an encounter with a prostitute, find out Alan (Zach Galifianakis) was the one who drugged them, get attacked again, are told Teddy is being held hostage, find out Teddy is not actually being held hostage, figure out where he is, find him, go back and get Stew married. Sound familiar?
The Hangover 2 has it’s merits. For what it’s worth, it was really funny. Alan is his usual awkward, weird self, rambling on like a crazy person, never really seeming to understand the severity of the situation. The focus of Hangover 2 shifts more to Stew though, since he is now both on the hunt and the one getting married. As time goes on, Stew begins to realize that his affinity for prostitutes, self-mutilation, and general mayhem were not just a one time thing but rather an inevitable result of drugs. I won’t ruin the surprise, but this particular paid-sex experience has an added bonus. Stew is forced to face the facts that there is a “Demon inside him,” and he is not the boring dentist he and his father-in-law think him to be. This plot-line was probably the only thing that set the movie apart, and for what it’s worth, it was interesting. Has a happy ending too.
All in all though, this movie was a shot-for-shot re-purposing of The Hangover 1. Actually fuck that, The Hangover. Remakes can be charming. Re-doing a classic film or even a book sometimes produces a better product than the first edition. But completely ripping off a 2-3 year old movie (might be a classic one day) and calling it a sequel? That’s just highway robbery. Maybe I’m alone here, but movie prices keep sky-rocketing, and frankly, it’s not worth my buck to laugh a couple of times.
Movie studios should be putting the work in, and putting forth the best possible movie, but instead they take advantage of us by shelling out the same movies over and over again and reeling in the dollars, while putting forth no effort what-so-ever. With the amazing cast and obviously brilliant writers that the Hangover franchise has at it’s disposal, they could have done something fantastic with this movie. Instead they just subbed a slightly different story into the same outline and sold it to us has something new.
What do you think everyone? Does this bother you? Do you feel cheated by Hollywood’s lack of integrity or is getting to see Zach Galifianakis be fat worth the $11.50, regardless of effort or quality? Would you still see The Hangover 2 if someone told you you could rent the DVD of The Hangover for $4 and laugh harder? I would love to hear your feedback. Thanks everyone.