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Blu-ray Review: The Hangover Part II

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After the huge success of 2009’s The Hangover, a sequel seemed inevitable. Two years later, The Hangover Part II made over 500 billion at the box office, worldwide. It was no doubt a smash hit, and it is likely a third go round for the Wolf Pack is in the works. It’s unfortunate, with all the success, that The Hangover Part II is such a bad movie. The sequel is simple re-tread, and the worst part is it is not funny. In fact the movie is shockingly unfunny.

The movie begins in the same way as its predecessor. Phil (Bradley Cooper) is on the phone and utters the line “It’s happened again.” He’s exactly right. The trio of Phil, Stu (Ed Helms), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) are once again suffering from collective amnesia and are missing a member of their party. However this time they haven’t lost the groom. Instead they have lost Stu’s soon to be brother-in-law who is only sixteen years old. The trio plus Doug, the missing groom from the first movie, have all traveled to Thailand to attend Stu’s wedding. It seems Stu has divorced Jade (Heather Graham), dumped his girlfriend, and has found love with Lauren (Jamie Chung), who is a native of Thailand.

Stu wants to impress Lauren’s father so he agrees to have the wedding in her native country where her parents still live. Lauren’s brother, Teddy (Mason Lee) is a child prodigy attending college in the U.S. He is also the apple of Lauren’s father’s eye. After a relaxed night of drinking beers on the beach with the young Teddy, Phil, Stu, and Alan awaken in a rundown hotel in Bangkok with no memory of the night before. What they do know is that Teddy is missing and they have to find him if Stu hopes to marry his sister the next day.

Basically The Hangover Part II tried to up the ante and outdo the gags in the first one. Instead of Vegas they are in Bangkok, a city where apparently anything can happen. Instead of a baby they find a little monkey wearing a Rolling Stones jacket. They also find Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) who might be able to offer them some clues if he wasn’t high on cocaine. I’m not sure how or why Mr. Chow was in Bangkok, but they had to work him in somehow. They also find a severed finger that they are pretty sure belongs to Teddy, since it is wearing his class ring. Instead of funny, the whole situation is a bit frightening.

As the three attempt to piece together their lost hours, they encounter ever increasing fantastical situations. There are Russian drug dealers, violent monks, and transsexual strippers. It’s all designed bawdier and raunchier than the original, and maybe it is, but that doesn’t mean it all worked. What’s missing is the charm and the fun of the first one. There isn’t anything fun in this movie. The distastefulness of a teenagers severed finger is enough to zap the fun right out of anything. That being said the film manages a few laughs here and there, mostly from Galifianakis’ offbeat remarks. It’s not enough to sustain the entire movie though. All in all The Hangover II misses every mark.

The Blu-ray is presented in a 1080p/AVC encoded transfer. The picture looks great. Every detail, from beads of sweat to every grain of dust is picture perfect. The colors are centered around a dingy brown palette, but they are bright and well defined. The contrast is perfect, and the black levels are right on. There is hardly any black crush and edges are sharp. Overall you couldn’t ask for a better picture. The sound is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The soundtrack provides clean understandable dialogue even in the quieter moments. The surrounds are well utilized with noises of the city. Cars, the noises of an open market, and general city noises help create the frantic atmosphere of the movie. The action sequences, such as a car chase through the city, have the pop of an action film.

There are quite of few special features offered, some are hits and some are misses. The best of them is the gag reel, which offers more laughs than the movie, with alternate bits of dialog. There is also a couple of making of featurettes with pieces on director Todd Phillips, Crystal the monkey, and Ken Jeong. The “Unauthorized Documentary: The Documentary About the Documentary They Don’t Want You to See About the Making of The Hangover Part II is a mockumentary making of the making of. I didn’t care for it, but fans of the film should like it. There is also a completely worthless Action Mashup, where a bunch of scenes from the movie are edited together.

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About Sherry Lipp

Sherry Lipp is an entertainment and food writer who specializes in film and television reviews. She has published the gluten and grain-free cookbook Don't Skip Dessert.