Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Paul Giamatti, Mike Tyson
Directed by Todd Phillips
There are multiple things that can ruin a movie-watching experience. A relentlessly howling baby by your side, a phone that rings loudly and is then answered by an even louder person etc. But while watching Hangover 2, one will be bothered by something entirely different: the unwarranted hoo-hah over the most unfunny scenes. So each time the bald, bearded and portly Alan (Zack Galifianakis) does as much as twitch his nose, certain quarters of the audience burst out laughing like it's going to be their last. And this puts you off more than the witless wonder called American humour that is manifested on the screen.
For those who've seen Part 1, you know what to expect (not much!). Yet, this film will surely kick back your limited expectations from the movie by a peg or two. This time around the boozy foursome, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zack Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) land up in Thailand to attend to attend Stu's wedding. Why? Because the bride is Thai!
After brushing through every possible Asian stereotype (an elephant on the road, every stripper is a lady-boy, Bangkok: a ramshackle city that breeds on filth etc), Stu, Phil and Alan wake up after a night they can't remember but would want to forget. The film unfolds like an interestingly daft suspense sketch, as the three pick up one inane clue after another in their quest to find the missing Teddy (Mason Lee), the bride's 16-year-old brother who partied with them the previous night.
Now, when four heavily-intoxicated men are left to their devices in Bangkok, they'd do what they did in Part 1, only with South-east Asian women and minus the gambling. Fair enough. But the one who disappoints and even irritates the most is Alan, whose character drifts between borderline-quirky and down-right demented. His sense of humour is reduced to what seems like SMS jokes, for instance, "I once met an albino Polar bear. He was black!" Then just to amplify the fun, he has been chiseled into a person who is ridiculously rude, disgustingly brash and even selfish. Because that is funny?
To the film's credit, it offers a smoking monkey who's a drug peddler, a bamboo-whacking-monk, Mike Tyson as a wedding singer and some other people who seem appropriately misplaced. These elements may not amuse but have sideshow value which apparently appeals to many. A lot has been taken for granted, assuming the audience is so truly-madly-deeply over the first part, that they would gulp this down with a pleasant face, despite how they really feel about it.
Hardly a laugh riot, this film takes one on a wild goose chase, which will leave one exhausted at the end. Surely a hangover that will take some time to wear out.
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