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'Hangover II' - nursing a bad hangover (IANS Movie Review - Rating: **)
Review: 'Hangover II'; Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong and Paul Giamatti; Director: Todd Phillips; Rating: **
'Hangover II' is a unique film in one respect. Whereas the usual trend for a sequel is to try and take the elements from the original and take the story forward, 'Hangover II' has no such pretences, setting out instead to copy the first almost to the last detail by merely relocating the film, thus instantly giving you a bad hangover coupled with deja vu.
Just like in the first part, the motley gang of friends, after a night of boozing in Thailand where they have gone to attend the marriage of Stu (Ed Helms), wake up with a terrible hangover, in a strange sweaty room, with a monkey and a cut finger in the room.
And yes, a very important person in their group, whose finger lies on the table, is missing. Just like in the first part they try to find the missing person while trying to figure out where they were the previous night and what they did.
The first question that comes to mind is, why bother with making a sequel if you have to do the same thing all over again? Why not instead, sell the rights of the film to different parts of the world so instead of this one being called 'Hangover II', it would have been called 'Hangover in Bangkok' directed by someone there and the 'inspired' Sajid Khan in India could make 'Hangover in Mumbai' and so on.
Why, they could also have had a political one called 'Hangover In Washington' with Arnold Schwarzenegger playing a life-sized cameo while 'Hangover In Paris' would have Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
The beauty of the first part was that the audiences did not know what to expect and were genuinely surprised at every turn of the film. This part is so alike the original that after a point it begins to irritate. The filmmakers try to up the ante by trying to add some fun elements like a smoking, drug peddling chimp, introducing Paul Giamatti, increasing the gags for Alan and Chow etc, but overall it falls flat on its face and becomes nothing more than a tourist ride through the ugliness and beauty of Bangkok
The only thing that shines though this film is some extremely lazy and sloppy writing and direction with even the few gags raising nothing more than a chuckle. With some very implausible elements like the coolness of character to a kid losing his finger, and many sub-plots left halfway, the fact that the film was created by people nursing a hangover is evident.
Thus, the only people who are bound to like the film even a little bit, are hardcore fans of the first and those who have not seen the first at all.
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