Whatever you think Hangover 2 has in store, it exceeds the mayhem of the original multiplied by ten. Hangover captured everyone’s inner demon to let go, get crazy and wild…THEN completely forget about it. It’s the bachelor party from hell that also has an element of mystery as the guys start piecing together what happened the morning after. When they discover a Canon point and shoot camera that took all of the pics during their wild night it shows them the gory details of what transpired. This time they have a video captured with a cell phone. The video is an example of the elevation of action and violence as their drunken party encounters riot police complete with shields, helmets and batons right in the heart of Bangkok’s red light district.
There’s tremendous pressure for director Todd Phillips to equal the enormous critical and commercial success of the original. Hangover won a Golden Globe for Best Film – Comedy or Musical and had gross earnings of over 277 million while having a modest budget of 35 million. It has become the top grossing film of all time with an R rating. The film was so successful it launched the career of comedian Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, Justin Bartha and Ed Helms. Bradley Cooper was the only real leading man material before The Hangover took off. Bartha has had previous leading role in ‘The Rebound’ while Ed Helms is known for theU.S.version of ‘The Office.’ In one way or another, Phillips’ films explore the nature of male relationships, and in doing so he has worked with some ofHollywood’s biggest comedic actors, writing and directing such films as “Old School,” in 2003; “Starsky & Hutch,” in 2004; and “School for Scoundrels,” in 2006. Phillips was nominated for a 2006 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his work on “Borat.”
This time Dr. Stewart Price or Stu (Ed Helms) is getting married inThailandto his young fiancé Lauren (Jamie Chung). The setting is a spectacular resort with crystal clear waters, blue skies, and sandy beaches as the Thai family is well off. The coastal cliffs are very much like Palawan here in the Philippines. Before they leave Tracy (Sasha Barrese) Doug’s wife begs him to invite her brother Allan to the wedding. In spite of their good judgment they relent and even personally invite him. Stu (Ed Helms), Doug (Justin Bartha) and Phil (Bradley Cooper) go into Allan’s room and get the shock of their lives. The pictures from their wild bachelor party are all in poster sized prints and framed covering almost every inch of the walls. In the center on one wall is a giant Billy Joel poster from the ‘Glass Houses’ album. Allan describes himself as a ‘Stay at home son’. Later in the film Stu plays the guitar and narrates their misadventures to the tune of Joel’s ‘Allentown.’ He had a similar scene in Hangover one when he played the piano to sing about ‘Tiger dreams.’ Zach Galifianakis in real life is the one who incorporates piano music during his stand up routines.
Instead of a tiger for this version Allan becomes very much attached to an adorable monkey with remarkably human abilities. One of the most unforgettable action sequences is a car chase scene. Chow is at the wheel going a hundred miles per hour in the alleyways and crowded streets ofBangkok. The car hits a raw pig and bathes Stu in pig’s blood. The car then speeds over a ramp that makes it fly over a river. Chow being an international criminal screams while driving, “I have such an erection right now!”
The nudity in both Hangover films is not confined to the ladies. Zach showed his unattractive and (overweight) backside previously. This time we get an even more generous helping of Ken Jeong’s full frontal nudity. Just as in Zach’s case it was anything but flattering, which makes it insanely funny. In an interview with Conan O’Brien he was asked if he’s had nude scenes apart from the movie. Ken said, “Oddly enough no, they don’t like small dongs in porn. I’d think there’d be a micro fetish somewhere. No one’s really asked me. I’m oddly disappointed.” Conan noticed, “Yes, your laughing is turning into crying.” Ken replied, “But back to the vaginas!” They then talked about the ‘medical miracles’ (as Ken called them) they witnessed in Bangkok where they did tricks with the female organ.
Jeong is actually a medical doctor by profession and was cast in his first film “Knocked Up” directed by Judd Apatow. Seth Rogan later told him he got the part because he looked like a stressed out doctor “And I was” confessed Jeong. His character also has the most memorable lines. For this film in the beginning he tells the guys while laughing, “You guys texted me and said you’re looking to party. I picked you up with my boat and brought you here to Bangkok. We had a sick night bitches! Holla, City of Squalor!”