If you want to have The Hangover 2 spoiled, just watch The Hangover. Like, just watch it before you go to the theaters. The two films are identical, note for note, but this grotesque sequel trades the bright and slightly more American Las Vegas setting for the dark and dingy slums of Bangkok. This film’s already made a trillion dollars so who cares what we think, but let’s be fair here, because we paid good money to see this in a movie theater: this movie is awful.
Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifanakis are the Wolfpack. They’re best buds, although Galifanakis is brought on begrudgingly after his mishaps in the original film. The premise is mind-blowingly simple: the Wolfpack has an extreme night on the town and wake up with a missing friend, no idea how their debauchery unfurled, and thirty-six hours to solve all these things and experience male bonding before a wedding. There aren’t really any funny moments per se (although Galifanaki’s ‘stay at home son’ works well) but rather a series of grotesque escalations that somehow fit within the MPAA’s R-rating criteria.
And fit them in they do! To its credit, the film is gorgeously shot, but we have little reason to see any of it except for the fact that their budget was higher this time around. The writer/director/producers work so damn hard to push the boundaries of tastelessness that a lot of time, it’s just a messy series of consecutive events. I’ve seen the original film once and watching this was like watching the two films simultaneously because there’s nothing new here. It’s more Hangover and rather than try and make a better, original sequel, they’re just milking the well. Shame on everyone involved, as you writhe and suffer on your piles of money and golden jewelry.