26/05/2011

The Hangover Part II


Two years ago I was sent to a screening of a film I was desperate to avoid. The posters left much to be desired, the premise seemed ludicrous and it was directed by the same guy who made Old School which I'm sure we'll all agree is not exactly a ringing endorsement. Despite all that, I fell in love with said film so much I caught it again at a See Films First screening, paid to watch it a third time with friends and then abused my position as DVD editor of Little White Lies to wrangle a shiny new copy weeks before its release. Seeing as The Hangover Part II is more of a shot-for-shot remake of the far superior predecessor than an actual sequel, you'd expect me to love it seeing as I still count the original as my favourite film of 2009.

Well you thought wrong because as I stumbled into Leicester Square after the screening I felt nothing but disappointment and annoyance at what can only be described as a bit of an insult. Director Todd Phillips clearly knew that The Hangover was far too self-contained to warrant a sequel and as there's nowhere to go, they decided to do the same thing again but this time taking the action to Thailand and turning it up to 11 which basically means more swearing, more cocks and less charm. There's nothing wrong with making things a little dark but the complete shift in tone was an unwelcome surprise and turned the previously likeable characters into people you wouldn't break for if they were crossing the road.

The first part had its moments but there was a goofy charm and freshness that helped it get away with it but here it just borders on offensive. Phil (Bradley Cooper) in particular has become such an absolute cunt I found myself wondering why anyone would want to be friends with him at all. Well, apart from this:

I'd like to say that there are enough belly laughs to warrant its existence but since I took advantage of the free beer on offer I have no idea if my giggles were genuine or not. There were a few moments of greatness and the three main boys have such great chemistry it genuinely feels nice to see them together again but overall The Hangover Part II is a shameless attempt to recreate the magic of its predecessor while raking in a fuckload of cash. They'll definitely be a third part made to 'right the wrongs' of this one and I'm certain some of the cast and crew will do a Shia and apologise for it being crap in a few months time but unfortunately, that's just not good enough for me.

Oh well, we'll always have Vegas.