What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. What happens in Bangkok, however… well, all bets are off.
"The Hangover Part II" hit theaters this week and is already on track for a monstrously successful Memorial Day weekend. But put the commercial victory on the back-burner for a moment… how does it stack up creatively? Is Todd Phillips' second voyage with the ill-fated wolf-pack worth your hard-earned ticket money?
Well, that depends upon who you are and what you thought of the first "Hangover" movie — but for my money, I can think of at least five reasons you'll want to see this latest outing. Check 'em out after the jump.
If It Ain't Broke
Did you enjoy the first "Hangover"? Would you change a single thing about it? If your answers are yes and no respectively, you'll have a great time with "Part II." Yes, the structural similarities between the two movies are impossible to ignore; the second "Hangover" unfolds almost exactly as the first, albeit with a brand new setting, a deeper understanding of who these guys are, and some hilarious new gags. If you were looking for something a bit more complicated, you're in for a disappointment. But "Hangover" fans looking for another familiar round with their favorite "Hangover" pals should be more than entertained by this latest effort.
Let's revisit that "brand new setting" I mentioned: say what you will about the content, but Todd Phillips knows how to shoot a beautiful movie. It doesn't hurt that he selected a gorgeous landscape in Thailand, but Phillips shoots the country with more TLC than you're bound to find in most mainstream comedies these days. That's not even mentioning his knack for shooting action; Phillips captures one of the very best car chases of the entire 2011 movie season thus far in "Hangover Part II," and it's well worth the price of admission.
Stu's Time To Shine
Everybody in the wolf pack gets his moment in the spotlight, but make no mistake: this one's all about Stu. Ed Helms gets the front-and-center treatment in the second "Hangover," not just because he's the character that gives the movie its purpose, but also because he's at the center of most of the film's funniest gags. You already know about the Tyson tattoo, but do you know about his latest stripper tryst? Do you know about the
sem-- err, the demon inside of him? You will soon.
Living Here In Alan Town
Zach Galifianakis is predictably genius as Alan, the compulsively self-destructive member of the wolf pack. He has many excellent moments in the film, many of which involve that pesky monkey you've heard so much about, but none are as funny or surprising as the moment you're invited directly into Alan's brain. The less said, the better.
Chow's Tiny Introduction
Ken Jeong is back as Mr. Chow, but you might not recognize him when he first graces the screen. Again, trust me on this one — the less said, the better… pun intended.
Have you seen "The Hangover Part II" yet? Are you planning to? Let us know in the comments section and on Twitter!