The Hangover II


Gilligan in Bangkok

By Bill Caton

I did not think “The Hangover II” was good. In fact, I thought it was bad. There are several reasons – I found it too raunchy and gratuitously offensive (check out the remake of the iconic photograph of the Vietnamese general executing the Viet Cong), and, while it purports to be a sequel to the original, it really is not. Instead, it is a flawed remake of an excellent movie.

This is the second remake I have seen in recent months, “Arthur” being the first. I did not like the remake of “Arthur” either, but I could not tell if I disliked it because it was bad or because I could not give it a fair shake considering the original holds a special place for me. That question did not plague me with “The Hangover II.”

Nowhere in this remake where we find the boys staggering through the streets of Bangkok is anything as funny as Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) leaping nude from a car trunk to attack the hangover victims with a tire iron. Or, for that matter watching Alan (Zach Galifianakis) stagger toward the child who tazed him in the face. By the way, I thought the tire iron scene perfectly captured the surprise and misery of a bad hangover.

The setting in “The Hangover II” is meaner and dirtier and the characters appear to remain tired from their adventure in Las Vegas. The actors seem hung over as they stagger through this remake. Alan is more of a petulant child, much less sympathetic and interesting, and Stu’s (Ed Helms) tryst with a shemale holds none of the sweetness of his encounter with a prostitute in the first movie that  seemed to awaken him to the fact he was at fault for his miserable marriage.

I suppose if you saw “The Hangover” you will be unable to fight the urge to see this remake. And I must say that I laughed out loud in spots during “II.” But when you get home you will probably have to watch the original again just to cleanse your mind.

As I look back on “The Hangover II” I am reminded of a novelty song I once heard where some smartass sang the lyrics to “Gilligan’s Island” to the tune of “Stairway to Heaven.” The idea of the song sounded funny to me but immediately after I heard it I wished had not listened. That three hour tour remains stuck in my head years later. Of course, someone posted a video of this abomination on Youtube if you want to subject yourself to it Gilligan in hell.

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