The Hangover Part II (review)

“I can’t believe this is happening again,” laments Stu… and he’s not the only one. You cannot even honestly say about The Hangover Part II that it’s a matter of “same shit, different movie”: it’s pretty much the same movie as The Hangover, from setup to pacing to plot points to resolution. Stu (Ed Helms: The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard), Phil (Bradley Cooper: Limitless), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis: Due Date) are like the Three Stooges: the backdrop may look a little different, but it’s the same ladder to the gut and poke in the eye again. This time they’re in Bangkok for Stu’s wedding when they wake up the morning after what was supposed to be “one beer” to discover that Alan’s head is shaved, Stu’s face is tattooed, they’ve lost Stu’s little brother-in-law-to-be, Teddy (Mason Lee), they’ve acquired a small capuchin monkey, and they can’t remember a damn thing about how it all happened. (Phil, as per the last movie, gets his ladder in the gut and poke in the eye later on, this time in a form of a gunshot wound. Oh, stop it, that’s not a spoiler: Of course he’s fine.) One major difference between Part I and Part II: I hate every single one of these characters with a passion, which I did not do during the first film. (Well, I didn’t hate Teddy, who is a put-upon sweetie, but I do hate that the movie skips right over the one chance he had to make a stand for himself.) Alan is a reprehensible monster who, in one vile scene, treats his mother worse than a slave and, throughout the entire movie, his so-called friends worse; Phil is an obnoxious, entitled asshole; and Stu reeks of a sort of smug self-satisfaction that reaches a particularly appalling pinnacle when he concludes that running with drug dealers and engaging in a bit of sex tourism makes him a better man. That the movie applauds him for this is even worse. Hoorah for director Todd Phillips! He made the most obnoxious movie ever about ugly-Americanism.

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