I’ve seen remakes of foreign films that were ‘Americanised’ to cater to a broader market, some of them even used the same director and occasionally some members of the cast from the original film.
The Hangover 2 is the first time I have seen an American movie taken to Asia to be remade in a new locale, albeit with the same cast and director.
For anyone who has seen the original I’ll fast forward through the backdrop – it’s the same. Phil is still slightly cavalier, Alan is still socially inept (I resent the fact that this is highlighted repeatedly through his love of Billy Joel – I like Billy Joel… went to his concert a few years back and everything) and Ed is still worried about what ‘others’ will think.
A wedding is looming, the trio of buddies get together for a pre-wedding drink (this time not a bachelor party as such), Alan is again a grudge invite as the ‘relo of a friend’.
It is Stu that is being married, and the fact that he is marrying a Thai hottie (Jamie Chung) justifies the Bangkok location, which lends itself well to debauchery and all round seediness, (something only exacerbated when helium voiced Mr Chow inexplicably arrives on the scene).
After a seemingly innocent ‘one beer’ the night before the wedding, the trio wake up in unfamiliar surroundings with no recollection of the previous night. They find themselves… changed.
Alan (Zach Galipoliticalfinance), Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) must spend the short time left until the looming wedding to locate a missing individual.
This time round it is the brother of the bride who has gone, a 16 year old genius named Teddy…
- who also happens to be the favourite of his father…
- who by the way thinks precious little of Stu…
- who is extremely worried that the fact that this (now) 9 fingered boy being lost on his watch might count as a minus with the new in-laws…
So in these familiarly unfamiliar circumstances there seems to be little option aside from empty the pockets, check the phones and let’s go round again. Along the way the trio run into a stolen monk, Russian gangsters, ladyboys, a tattooist and a monkey drug mule, and at every turn they leave a trail of damage somewhat akin to a touring AFL footy team on an offseason trip.
The situation becomes so ‘samey’ that they might well be working from the same script, anyone who cadged a laugh in the first film returns, the afore-mentioned Mr Chow (Ken Leung), Mike Tyson and many of the events and hijinks are merely tweaked variations from the first film.
My wife rightfully pointed out the fact that somehow a 16 year old Thai boy being lost in Thailand isn’t really that big a dilemma. I mean you would hope that the Thai language and customs might not be such a stretch for him…
I also wonder how the same three guys end up in the same spot after being absolutely black-out drunk on two separate occasions in two entirely separate continents. I recall when I was younger I had difficulty locating my shoes when awakening from a period of alcohol induced time travel, let alone my mates.
Other flaws include the fact that Alan is leant upon for laughs at every occasion simply because he reacts illogically at every turn, yes it was funny a couple times, but the thirty-fifth time he says something dumb is loses it sheen somewhat. On a related note; Zach G, if you keep on recycling the same character again and again your 15 minutes will soon expire.
Final Rating – 6 / 10. Despite all this I kinda enjoyed The Hangover 2 despite myself, probably because it was in reality a watered down version of itself, but if they try to pull this shit again I will have to draw the line.
P.S. To whoever put the soundtrack together: Even one Kanye West song is too many, two Kanye West songs are way out of line, and you only compound the misery by callously including a Black Eyed Peas song to heighten my misery. I’mo be, I’mo be, I’mo be out of patience very soon with this blatantly commercial pseudo hip-hop with no redeeming qualities.