When The Hangover came out some two years ago it took most people by surprise. In a time when the genre was made up primarily of stoner comedy and spoof films (as well as the ever present romantic comedy) it was refreshing to see such a unique and well produced movie. Equally as refreshing was that it didn’t sneak under any radar; doing quite the opposite in fact. Word of mouth meant that this humble film would go on to gross over $450m worldwide. As is the fashion, a sequel was inevitable. However, this time around the movie would not be released under the same expectations: The budget more than doubled, Zach Galifianakis became known in much wider circles than the alternative comedy scene and the age old problem of sequels never living up to the originals would all weigh heavily on director and co writer Todd Phillips’ shoulders. Would the film be able to stand on its own two feet or would it be a shadow of its predecessor, riding its coat tails to success? After seeing the movie this question becomes less straightforward as The Hangover Part II manages to be both original and a clear sequel at the same time. A simpler question to ask is will it be an entertaining movie, and the answer is definitely yes.
Before the credits the movie opens with Phil (Bradley Cooper) on the phone in a foreign land. We are immediately reminded of the first movie, and in similar fashion it sets up the premise that something big has gone down. The opening credits roll and we are then taken to a week earlier where the story begins. This time around Stu (Ed Helms) is getting married. Back to his clean cut ways, Stu has found a sweet Thai girl to marry, and before the trip to Thailand for the ceremony he organizes a bachelor brunch at the International House of Pancakes with Phil and Doug (Justin Bartha). Unlike the pancakes, this does not go down well. What is even harder to swallow is Doug’s campaign for Stu to invite his brother-in-law, Alan (Galifianakis), to come to the wedding. The crew flies out to Thailand and although any plans for a true bachelor party have been thwarted the wolfpack has finally been reunited. Two days before the wedding the gang, along with Teddy (Mason Lee and Stu’s 16yo soon-to-be brother-in-law) set up a nice bonfire with marshmallows and one beer each. Just one beer.
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