The Hangover (2009) & The Hangover Part II (2011)
Reviewed on 2011 June 6
My Big Fat Hangover Weekend
I am fortunate enough to have a sister-in-law that has my same warped, ironic sense of humor. We may not have a lot of the same tastes in movies — she laughs at most of my horror movies, while I make fun of her Twilight DVDs — but if she tells me something is funny, generally I’ll find it funny too. This is why she couldn’t believe I didn’t see the first Hangover movie. I told her it didn’t sound like my thing, but she assured me she loved it and I would too. During a chick weekend we found a matinee of The Hangover Part II , then we got a bunch of fattening snacks and rented the first Hangover on DVD. While a few elements would have made more sense had I seen the movies in order, it didn’t interfere with me having a good time laughing at these idiots sequel-first. And I’m giving both movies three morsels.
In The Hangover, three old friends and one new wildcard wake up in Las Vegas after a bachelor party gone completely wrong, with little clue of where they really are, and less of how some livestock got into their hotel suite. Doug (Justin Bartha) is getting married in two days and he’s apparently gone AWOL. Doug’s new brother-in-law-to-be, the socially stunted wild card Alan (Zack Galifianakis), is initially only tolerated by the guys because he’s the bride’s brother. He’s useless, remembering no more of the night than the other two. Stu (Ed Helms) is especially upset. He told his harpy girlfriend that they were going on a tour of California wine country, not renting a roller suite at Caesar’s Palace, and he fears her wrath more than anything. Bitchy woman at home or not, he knows they need to find their friend Doug.
In The Hangover Part II, we appear to have more of the same mess, even though our Wolf Pack appears to have smartened up a little bit. Stu is now engaged, and while he loves his bride-to-be Lauren (Jamie Chung), his prospective father-in-law does not like him, and Stu knows it. He is journeying to Thailand for his wedding and to meet the bride’s extended clan for the first time, and nothing is going to screw this up. He’s not even sure about inviting Alan to the wedding, but his friends guilt him into it. He decides on a safe, staid bachelor brunch with his posse, and that if they want to to get wild ’n’ crazy this time, they will have to settle for a double order of syrup or something at IHOP. Phil is irritated and even Lauren encourages the men to have a drink and build a small fire on the beach of their lush hotel. Warily, Stu finally agrees. It’s just one beer. What can go wrong?
A lot of critics noted that this was a reformulation of a lot of the stuff from the Vegas bender, and while I noticed that, it didn’t really bother me. If you handle them right, good leftovers are still enjoyable the second day. There’s rumors of a third hangover , and while I’m happy to ride with the Wolf Pack one more time, for round three they should change how things fall apart. (Hey, I could see sending that fruitcake Alan to cooking school, and something starting with a trip to Mexico and an oregano/marijuana mixup in Juarez.) Anyway, setting the sequel in Thailand allows for stuff to happen that makes the Vegas exploits seem tame, and even though it was raunchy it was funny. The other thing that makes both movies work is that you can’t help but cheer for the dorks and hope they make it back without losing too many body parts. If nothing else, I heard that the guy that did Mike Tyson’s facial tattoo is complaining about its use in the movie, even though I think there’s even a joke acknowledging it as Tyson’s property. That makes the ornery part of me now want to buy the DVD when it comes out.
Three chocolate morsels for both, just don’t let anyone else touch ’em.