I liked The Hangover. That's all, just liked it. I didn't think it was amazing like a lot of people do, but I'll put that down to the fact that I am an Apatow production fanboy. Sure, it was funnier than a lot of movies, but it wasn't amazing. Then the sequel came around, and while I certainly didn't mind the news, I was a little apprehensive.
The story picks up two years after the events of The Hangover. Stu is now set to marry a Thai lady, who is definitely not a stripper, and despite protests, ends up having a drink with the old trio a couple of days before the wedding. Of course, things go wrong again, and they wake up in a hotel in the middle of Bangkok with no idea what happened. Alan's hair is gone, Stu has a tattoo on his face, and the bride's brother is missing.
They've certainly stepped up the game with the sequel. The location and events that unravel during the movie are larger and more extreme, and the addition of a smoking monkey is a nice touch, in keeping with the tone of the movie. Sadly, the tone is that it's pretty much a man's movie. The comedy is partially drawn from shock value and ridiculous situations, and I didn't really find myself laughing at much of it.
I think the main problem with The Hangover Part II is that it's too similar to the first. I understand that the first was a financial hit, as was this one, but when you use the same amount of people, following the same kind of clues in the same way and going through the same kind of scenarios, the whole thing seems a bit stale, like you've seen it all before.
The actors all do pretty well in their roles, the main trio had quite a bonding experience while filming the first movie, and it shows, as they settle well into their characters and have a certain carmaraderie between them. The Hangover Part II is a good movie, but only in the same way that The Hangover was a good movie. What seems to be a new direction quickly becomes formulaic and familiar, which really dampens the experience.
My rating: 3/5