Here is a just a small sample of my thoughts on the first Hangover, which can be read in full at my old blog.
The lovable nature of the original ‘brat-packers’ has transformed into something much more exposed; a fear of losing an innate male freedom which is under constant threat of a feminised attack. The Hangover doesn’t just fail on the misogyny front, there is also the fact that an overweight bearded man pretending to masturbate a baby, is humourously inept.
My vague justification for seeing the second feature follows my surprise enjoyment of Due Date, a film I’d previously cast aside as a similarly crass interpretation of the ‘modern man.’ Quite simply, The Hangover: Part II didn’t make me feel as angry about said interpretation. In a plot which signifies more a remake than a sequel, ‘The Wolfpack’ are (painstakingly slowly) reunited for another accidental night of depravity, with the added addition of Stu’s brother-in-law to be, Teddy. One Mike Tyson tattoo and a monkey later, and the trio realise that Teddy is missing. And so begins The Hangover: Part II‘s transition into Part I. Swap a baby for a monkey, a stripper for a ladyboy, and at times you’re on your way to a shot for shot remake of the first film.
Part II is an altogether darker film, and although the plot is splayed out in an obvious fashion, it’s an enjoyable ride. Zach Galifianakis shines in a script which is light on belly laughs, his camp physical comedy carrying the film, along with Ken Jeong’s hilarious Mr Chow. The film takes it’s time to build up even a moderate pace of humour, and any scenes which do sustain The Hangover’s reputation revolve mostly around jokes about the male genitals. High brow comedy this ain’t.
The sheer amount of scathing reviews for a film which so closely resembles it’s critically acclaimed predecessor, is baffling. To me it seems quite simple; if you were a fan of the debauched high-jinx the first time around, the Wolfpack won’t disappoint a second time.