Silver Screen: The Hangover Part II **1/2

Silver Screen: The Hangover Part II  **1/2
More Articles
Silver Screen: Hereafter *
Silver Screen: Machete **
Silver Screen: Saw VII 3D Zero Stars
Silver Screen: Takers *1/2
Silver Screen: 127 Hours ****
Silver Screen: Battle: Los Angeles **
Big Muddy Film Festival 33
Silver Screen: Black Swan ****
Silver Screen: Blue Valentine ****
Silver Screen: Bridesmaids ****
Silver Screen: Case Thirty-nine *
Silver Screen: Cedar Rapids ****
Silver Screen: Charlie Saint Cloud **
Silver Screen: Despicable Me **1/2
Silver Screen: Devil ***
Silver Screen: Dinner for Schmucks *1/2
Silver Screen: Director Rusty Nails Presents... Dead On: The Life and Cinema of George A. Romero
Silver Screen: Drive Angry 3D **1/2
Silver Screen: Due Date ***1/2
Silver Screen: Easy A ***1/2
Silver Screen: Eat Pray Love ***
Silver Screen: Fast Five **1/2
Silver Screen: Get Him to the Greek ***
Silver Screen: Going the Distance ***
Silver Screen: Grown Ups *
Silver Screen: Hall Pass *1/2
Silver Screen: Hanna ****
Silver Screen: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I ***
Silver Screen: How Do You Know ***
Silver Screen: I Am Number Four *
Silver Screen: Inception ****1/2
Silver Screen: Insidious ***1/2
Silver Screen: Jackass 3D **1/2
Silver Screen: Jonah Hex *
Silver Screen: Josh Hyde’s Postcards and Love Letters
Silver Screen: Just Go with It *
Silver Screen: Knight and Day *1/2
Silver Screen: Let Me In ***
Silver Screen: Life as We Know It *1/2
Silver Screen: Limitless ***
Silver Screen: Megamind ***1/2
Silver Screen: My Soul to Take 3D 1/2*
Silver Screen: No Strings Attached ***
Silver Screen: Paranormal Activity II ***1/2
Silver Screen: Paul ***1/2
Silver Screen: Piranha 3D ***1/2
Silver Screen: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides *1/2
Silver Screen: Predators ***
Silver Screen: Priest 1/2*
Silver Screen: Red ***
Silver Screen: Salt ***
Silver Screen: Scott Pilgrim versus the World ***1/2
Silver Screen: Scream IV *
Silver Screen: Sex and the City II 1/2*
Silver Screen: Shaft and Coffy: Novotny Lawrence Discusses the Blaxploitation Movement
Silver Screen: Skyline *
Silver Screen: Soldiers Speak Out: Carbondale Oscar Winner Barb Trent’s Latest Film
Silver Screen: Something Borrowed *
Silver Screen: Source Code ****1/2
Silver Screen: Splice ****
Silver Screen: The A-Team **1/2
Silver Screen: The Academy Honors... The Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale
Silver Screen: The Adjustment Bureau *1/2
Silver Screen: The American ****
Silver Screen: The Audubon Trilogy: Fugitive Narratives and the Drama of the Natural World
Silver Screen: The Dilemma *1/2
Silver Screen: The Expendables **1/2
Silver Screen: The Fighter ****
Silver Screen: The Green Hornet **1/2
Silver Screen: The Karate Kid ***
Silver Screen: The Karate Kid ***
Silver Screen: The King's Speech ****
Silver Screen: The Last Airbender *
Silver Screen: The Last Exorcism ***
Silver Screen: The Lincoln Lawyer ***
Silver Screen: The Mechanic **1/2
Silver Screen: The Next Three Days ***
Silver Screen: The Other Guys ***
Silver Screen: The Rite *
Silver Screen: The Roommate *1/2
Silver Screen: The Score Card , February 24, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , February 3, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , March 31, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , September 16, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , September 23, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , September 30, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card August 19, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card August 26, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card August 5, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card July 8, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card September 2, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card September 9, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 14, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 21, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 28, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 7, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 16, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 2, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 9, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, February 10, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, February 17, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 13, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 20, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 27, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 10, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 24, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 3, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 12, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 19, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 26, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 5, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 11, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 18, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 4, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 14, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 21, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 28, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 7, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard July 01, 2020 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard July 15, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard July 22, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard July 29, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard June 10, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard June 17, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard June 24, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Social Network ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Sorcerer's Apprentice **
Silver Screen: The Tourist **
Silver Screen: The Town ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse *1/2
Silver Screen: Thor ***
Silver Screen: Toy Story III ****
Silver Screen: True Grit ****1/2
Silver Screen: Unknown ***
Silver Screen: Unstoppable **
Silver Screen: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps ****
Silver Screen: Water for Elephants ***
Silver Screen: Your Highness ***1/2


Who:
What:
Where:
When:
Silver Screen: The Hangover Part II **1/2
Bryan Miller

Could there be a more non-essential, implausible sequel than a complete retread of The Hangover? Perhaps not since Catherine O'Hara and John Heard somehow managed to lose Macaulay Culkin during a second Christmas vacation in Home Alone II: Lost in New York has a fun one-off premise been repeated in such a shamelessly unlikely way.

And yet that's exactly what happens when the hapless party trio reunites for Hangover II: Lost in Bangkok (okay, I added the subtitle). Once again, somebody is getting married. Once again chaotic man-child Alan (Zach Galifianakis) dopes the group, sending them into a frenzied binge they cannot remember, forcing them to retrace their steps to relocate a lost comrade and keep the wedding on track.

This time around, repressed dentist Stu (Ed Helms) is getting married to a beautiful Thai girl (Jamie Chung) whose controlling father doesn't approve. Stu agrees to stage the wedding in Thailand to appease him, which is just the excuse necessary to get him, the amoral Phil (poster boy for self-assurance Bradley Cooper), and party-crasher Alan back together to get accidentally hammered.

The bland Doug (Justin Bartha), who spent the vast majority of the first film trapped on a rooftop, is back, but he's stranded again-- this time with his wife (Sasha Barrese), who fields the frantic phone calls from the fellas because, well, she did that in the last movie, too. Since her now-husband is accounted for, the role of M.I.A. party bro goes to Stu's future brother-in-law (Mason Lee), a charming but naï ve prodigy.

That's only one of the many swaps director Todd Phillips makes in Hangover II: Galifianakis gets a monkey instead of a baby, Stu gets a tattoo in place of a loose tooth, a freezer is swapped out for a car trunk in a repeat of the exact same sight gag.

By the time the sequel solves its puzzle in the same fashion as the first and then hits a couple more familiar beats on the way to the (very funny) photo montage during the credits, it's hard to think of Hangover II as anything other than a complete cash-in. The only thing surprising about Hangover II is that it wasn't filmed in 3D to raise the ticket prices. ("It's like Bradley Cooper's smarminess is coming right out of the screen!")

Which is a shame, because the movie has its share of very funny moments. The best scenes seem to be the rougher-around-the-edges moments of improv: Phil chastising Stu during a dental visit, Galifianakis and his monkey goofing with some locals on a bus. A little more often than it should, the movie goes broad, although that sometimes does pay off, as in the nifty, lewd payoff to a strip-club visit. The performers are all more than capable, especially Galifianakis, who once again gets the majority of the laughs. It's a perfectly passable summer comedy.

But whenever an individual scene or exchange starts gathering some comic momentum, the plot shifts toward yet another awfully familiar turn. Not only is any real sense of surprise squandered, but filmmakers-- obnoxiously so--sometimes seem as if they are sitting next to you in a seat, elbowing you in the ribs and saying, "Remember that, huh? Like in the last one!" In fact, on multiple occasions, characters express their disbelief that this whole crazy scenario is playing out again. Yeah, well, we're with you, guys.

The real shame of it is, these actors have pretty well-established niches, and they fill them well. Put the three guys together on screen and they'll be funny, probably in pretty much the same way. So why not come up with a zany new premise and a new set of Galifianakis/Helms/Cooper-types and let them be funny in situations that manage to be organic and unpredictable, rather than trying to inject some energy into going through the motions?

There's pretty much no way to answer that question without mentioning money.