I thought Hangover was a classic movie — creative, funny, and filled with the kind of memorable characters and sophomoric humor I relish. In my book, Hangover will go down as one of the classic Hollywood comedies of all time, in the same league as Animal House and Some Like It Hot.
I therefore am sorry to report that, as good as Hangover was, Hangover Part II is terrible. It is awesomely, stunningly, epically bad. Where Hangover was creative, Hangover Part II is derivative. Where Hangover was deft, Hangover Part II is hit over the head. Where Hangover was filled with very funny moments that left the theater rocking with laughter, Hangover Part II is filled with weird, gross, unfunny stuff that was greeted with lots of dead air in the theater.
Sequels usually suck, because most really good movies are about stories that are fully, completely told in one film. Sequels usually have bigger budgets and are produced under enormous pressure to crank something out, while the audience still yearns for more of the characters they enjoyed in the first film. Hangover Part II has that feel about it. The Wolf Pack moves to Thailand, with lots of expensive on-location shooting, and the plot reeks of desperation. It is as if the writers realized they were producing dreck and were looking for something — anything — that could produce a shock or a laugh. That’s why there is a smoking monkey, and a transvestite, and a speedboat onto the beach, and lots of screaming and obscenity — none of which are particularly funny.
Sometimes, you’ve got to know when to say when.