MOVIE REVIEW: The Hangover Part II
Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and a little Jim Croce
If someone would’ve sat there and watched my face during Hangover 2, they could argue I liked it. They’d say “I saw you laugh a few times.” They might even say “You smiled a lot during it.”
Well, it’s hard not to smile when anticipating certain things. Sure, it’s cute when Bradley Cooper tells Zach Galifianakis he doesn’t have any hair – and he immediately touches his beard with both hands, like an older fat Macaulay Culkin. Is it cute that Galifianakis has Billy Joel posters all over his bedroom wall? No, it’s not…but it made me smile later when we see an airplane taking off for Thailand, with Downeaster Alexa playing. It’s mildly amusing when Ed Helms is on a boat, furious at Galifianakis, and he sings Allentown, changing the lyrics to be about Alan (Galifianakis).
One scene that made me laugh was a cheap joke for a screenwriter. The guys are in an elevator and Jim Croce starts playing. First Ken Joeng starts singing along to Time in a Bottle, and the rest join in. It was funny when the news team sang Afternoon Delight in the film Anchorman, or the group at the bar singing Sweet Caroline in Beautiful Girls... and it’ll be funny in the next movie that has characters sing a song together.
Joeng, who stole the show in the first Hangover when he jumped out of a car trunk naked and ready to fight, is given a lot more to do in Hangover 2. Since so many people talk about him being naked in the first one, I guess having him stand there nude for a three minute scene is what the screenwriters thought would be three times as funny.
Every joke in this movie seemed recycled from the first, and not done as well. When a car hits a fruit stand on the side of the road during a chase scene, I thought about how Roger Ebert mentioned in one of his books – 'if there’s a fruit stand, it will be hit.'
We have Ed Helms getting married this time, and going to Thailand (Galifianakis pronouncing the way it’s spelled is a joke the movie that surprisingly never got old for me). The in-laws hate Helms, and when having a few beers by the bonfire, they group wake up in Bangkok, again not knowing what happened.
Paul Giamatti is brought in to play a gangster they cross paths with, and there’s a nice cameo from Mike Tyson’s tattoo. The artist that created it had threatened to sue the studio, because he didn’t give permission for it to be used. Who knew you could do that with ink? Apparently you can’t, because the studio didn’t bat an eye and merely got a lot more press out of the whole thing.
There’s a monkey that’s brought into the wolf pack, and he’s used well. How can you not laugh when a monkey is smoking cigarettes, wearing a miniature Stones jean jacket, and helping his dealer bring coke to the vehicles that pull up? Not as funny when the monkey grabs various body parts.
This is the weekend of the sequel. Kung Fu Panda 2 was released and this is the second Hangover.
If you want to be able to keep up with all your co-workers that saw this over the weekend, you better go. I’m guessing most people will be glad they did. I just wasn’t one of them.