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Well, it IS Bangkok... Friday, May 27, 2011

ENTERTAINMENT

East Oregonian

MOVIE REVIEW

‘Hangover II’ still hilarious, even with predictable plot

T

he gossip circulating the movie review blogosphere basically screams “The Hangover Part II� is a carbon copy of its smashhit predecessor, “The Hangover.� In all honesty, that’s a bit of an overstatement, but DOMINIC not by BAEZ much. At the Movies While the infamous Wolfpack is traversing both the stunningly lush scenery and the gritty underground of Thailand

instead of the glittering and glamourous Vegas, and the boys lose the bride’s brother rather than the groom, it wouldn’t be uncalled for to decry director Todd Phillips and his writers for rehashing (and therefore diminishing) the 2009 plot line, strippers and drugs included. The Phillips-directed sequel (he also directed the first movie) takes place several years after the Vegas “incident,â€? this time with Stu (Ed Helms, “Ceder Rapidsâ€?) being the groom on deck. There’s a difference, though: His fiancĂŠe’s (Jamie Chung, “Dragon Ball: Evolutionâ€?) parents want the wedding in Thailand. Her father, Fohn (Nirut Sirichanya) thinks Stu is a pansy and harasses him mercilessly. But his prodigy son, Teddy (Mason Lee) is apparently a Godsend. And of course, as the laws of sequels dictate, Teddy has to join the Wolfpack. That doesn’t sit

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32%

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89%

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78%

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“The Hangover Part II�*

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*See note at end of story for explanation.

AP photo by Warner Bros. Pictures, Melinda Sue Gordon

From left, Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms are shown in a scene from “The Hangover Part II.� well with Alan (Zack Galifianakis, the first “Hangover�), who feels threatened and overprotective of his best friends. So, while at a bonfire with Phil (Bradley Cooper, “Limitless�), Doug (Justin Bartha, “National Treasure�), Stu and Teddy, he introduces some druglaced marshmallows to the situation. Cue the time-lapsed cutaway, and we find Phil, Stu and Alan bloodied and bruised in the depths of Bangkok squaller, without any memory of the preceding night. And as in the original, someone (in this case, Teddy) has gone missing. And so we’ve come full-circle, with the boys frantically navigating the dangerous streets of Bangkok in search of the 16-year-old. As they search, all hell breaks loose, including running into an angry

crime boss (Paul Giamatti, “Sideways�), a gun-toting Russian mob, a Mike Tyson-inspired facial tattoo, a tranny hooker, a finger without a person attached to it and a drug-dealing monkey who has a penchant for masturbation. Oh, and Mr. Chow ... Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong, the first “Hangover�) ... shows up as Alan’s plus-one, blow and criminal record in tow. With so much going on, it’s not surprising that the performances of Cooper, Helms and Galifianakis come across as underwhelming. Cooper, after nailing the party boy role in the first movie, does nothing more than stand around and look pretty this time. Helms’ character, however, goes through

some cringe-inducing misery in this version (not that pulling out his own tooth and marrying a table dancer aren’t misery incarnate), and it seems the torment falls unfairly on him. Galifianakis, though, is still gut-wrenchingly funny. He provides the center in “Part II,� being both idiotic and touching in equal measures and again stealing the show. Still, it’s not enough to add anything fresh, and isn’t that the point of a sequel? That’s not to say the sequel isn’t incredibly hilarious and just as debauched as the original (even more so in certain situations), but the beauty of the “The Hangover� was how original it was. It took the premise of a Ve-

gas bachelor party and applied Murphy’s Law to it. It was unabashedly raunchy and debased, vulgar without once being apologetic, giving the middle finger to political correctness. It was, in short, amazing. However, the sequel merely took that concept and applied it to international waters. If viewed alone and in its entirety, “Part IIâ€? would be a comedy gold mine. But that’s neither realistic nor fair. “The Hangoverâ€? came first, and it will be the reason why “Part IIâ€? will do so well at the box office. So, while smoking cigarettes with a drug-dealing monkey would leave you with an interesting story to tell at the reception, “The Hangover Part II,â€? with all of its insanity and high-octane action, leaves you feeling as if you’d seen this movie before, and just a bit disappointed. But no worries: The credits more than make up for it. Two stars out of five. [Note: While "Part II" itself would warrant a higher score, it's only fair to compare it to the original, up to which it doesn't quite stand. This isn't to say you shouldn't see it, but be prepared for a strong sense of dĂŠjĂ vu.]  Dominic Baez is the copy editor/paginator for the East Oregonian. Follow his movie blog, Silver Screening, for the latest trailers, clips and extras at silverscreening.wordpress.com. 46564CM

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05.27.2011 9A  

EO newspaper - "The Hangover Part II" review

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