: The Hangover: Part II
I was not a big fan of the original, which, while it had its moments, seemed to go out of its way to be crude and socially unacceptable (to the detriment of the film). Perhaps because I knew more what to expect this time, I was surprised by how much I liked this one. It’s basically the exact same plot — drunk guys black out and can’t remember their night and have to piece together what happened — though this time it’s set in Bangkok instead of Las Vegas. It’s a little slow to get going — the early workings aren’t too funny — but once the guys wake up with the hangover it starts to get good. Oh yes, it’s still full of the socially unacceptable, and there are a several cringe-worthy moments, but except for one or two they are mercifully quick. What I liked far better was the nice blend of characters who are each pushed out of their element by circumstance (and the liberating influence of alcohol and drugs) and the excellent plotting, which never felt contrived or forced and came across as an outrageous but believable series of unfortunate events. The deadpan reactions, the unexpected oddities (I loved the stick attack by the monks, for instance), the way the characters stayed true to their personalities, the solving of the “what the hell did we do last night?” mystery, and, of course, that hilarious (and cute) monkey are all highlights. While the ending (where everything works out fine, of course) was a little too smooth and convenient, the whole thing was a fun, wild ride. While I could do without some of the shock/crude humor, I guess that’s part of the whole point of this series (I mean, a hangover without shame and mystery isn’t worth the trouble, right?). Not for everyone’s taste (to understate it), but if you can handle this kind of thing, this is a quite funny and entertaining movie.