Movie review: The Hangover Part II

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

I come to, confused and a little delirious. My surroundings were new, but things somehow felt familiar. These people weren't here before. What the hell is going on?

Then, as the beginnings of a headache start to set in, I realize I am still watching "The Hangover Part II."

When "The Hangover" made eleventy kabillion dollars at the box office two summers ago, the gang quickly signed up for a sequel. Well, it's almost more of a remake - and, like most remakes, not as good as the original.

This time, the groom-to-be is Stu (Ed Helms), the white-bread dentist, who is getting married in Thailand.

The Wolfpack reunites as Stu, Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Doug (Justin Bartha, who spent most of the first film as the missing groom) reluctantly decide to invite along awkward manchild Alan (Zach Galifinakis).

The gang jets off to Thailand. After a comically awkward rehearsal dinner, the Wolfpack hits the beach for just one drink

They awaken the next morning in a squalid Thai hotel room with no recollection of the previous evening. There's a monkey in the bathroom. There's a severed human finger in the ice bucket. There's a pantsless Asian crime lord passed out on the floor (Ken Jeong, reprising his scene-stealing role).

Y'know, I really wasn't expecting them to reinvent the wheel here, but this plot is a carbon copy.

Director Todd Phillips seems pretty content to just rework some new gags into the formula, going for even more strong R-rated raunchiness here - seeing "graphic nudity" in the ratings breakdown is a good hint.

"Part II" hits the same notes as the first, but it's somehow just off. Helms? Less funny. Cooper? Kinda grating. Monkey instead of baby? Not as endearing or funny.

Once again, the movie belongs to Galifianakis, and once again, he's underused. Some day he'll find the right fit for his own movie, and he will be the funniest thing you've ever seen.

If you absolutely loved the first movie, you'll probably eat this one up, too. I won't deny there are a fair share of laughs, but I say "Bridesmaids" is a way better bet. I'm just going to try to sleep this one off.

The Hangover Part II

Opens Thursday

2 1/2 stars out of 4

Check out our review of the first "Hangover"