THE HANGOVER: PART II
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
When “The Hangover” came out two years ago, I was on board with how funny it was. I was also somewhat thrilled to see a movie become so successful without the aid of star power. Of course, after it made hundreds of millions of dollars, it made everyone stars. This meant that the inevitable sequel would no longer have that charm.
Of course, the filmmakers tried their hardest to not deviate from the formula that worked the first time, so much so that “The Hangover: Part II” was practically a carbon copy of the first film with repeated jokes, storylines and even snippets of dialogue. When I saw the film this past summer, that bothered me because as original as “The Hangover” was, this sequel was needlessly derivative. Of course, this didn’t stop it from becoming one of the biggest hits of the year.
Now that my initial disappointment with the film has worn off, I can watch it again fresh on Blu-ray. And I’m happy to say that it holds up better than most films do on a second viewing. I think this was partly because I was expecting the repetitive nature, and I found myself focusing on the differences rather than the blatant duplication.
This film finds the Wolf Pack traveling to Thailand for Stu’s wedding. After another night of accidental drugging, they find themselves in Bangkok trying to find Stu’s would-be brother-in-law. More shenanigans ensue with plenty of R-rated humor that includes a drug-dealing monkey, plenty of nut shots and back-room ladyboy sex.
Fans of these movies will enjoy this one again on Blu-ray. While it is still unnecessarily copying the first film, at least it’s professionally made. In fact, the look of the movie is quite impressive on Blu-ray, forgoing the rather standard shots of Vegas in the first film for sometimes brilliant and crisp yet often grimy look of Thailand.
Packaged with the DVD, the Blu-ray comes with a gag reel, which is also available on the DVD. Features exclusive to the Blu-ray include the short featurettes “The Comedy Rhythm of Todd Phillips,” “Not Your Everyday Monkey” and Ken Jeong’s comedy brilliance in “Bangkok Tour with Chow.”
There’s also a mockumentary, which is labeled an “Unauthorized Documentary.” It’s obviously self-deprecating and falsely painting the cast and crew as enormous and egregious assholes. This runs a bit long and would have been better had a recognizable actor not have been cast as the lead documentarian. Still, for die-hard fans of the series, this might get a laugh.
The Blu-ray also includes the UltraViolet Digital Copy feature which allows streaming via Flixster.