The follow up to 2009’s sleeper hit, The Hangover Part II finds the self-proclaimed ‘Wolfpack’ in
familiar territory yet unfamiliar surroundings. Set in Bangkok, this time’s it’s
Ed Helms’ Stu who’s having a wedding and as we all know, with the wedding comes
the night before, the last night of freedom- not really the bachelor brunch Stu
was after.

As before, the plot really starts the morning after the
night before, and again, not a lot is known about what happened. Stu has a face
tattoo; Alan (Zach Galifianakis) has a shaven head whereas Phil (Bradley
Cooper) is just generally blurry-eyed, not in the least part helped by a
vest-wearing monkey screeching around the place. However, this time it’s not the
personality-void Doug (Justin Bartha) but Stu’s future brother-in-law Teddy who
is missing- but not his finger.

Mirroring the first film, the main body of the story sees
the boys retracing their steps and picking up any clue possible in order to
find Teddy. It’s quite a refreshing structure to a comedy, where the story is
not sidestepped and it’s arguably more involving than the first suggesting that
had this been marketed as an action caper, it could’ve been pleasantly
surprising. But it’s not, and the main issue is that it’s simply not funny. Although
it manages to avoid the pitfalls of self-parody and pure unpleasantness nor
does it pander to  cheap stereotypes
(although one scene involving a strip club has a punch line coming a mile off,
no pun intended) it is simply because the lines by-and-large fall flat and if
you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the best moments.

It could be cited that laziness is why it fails to strike a
chord. Bradley Cooper does a decent job playing what seems like an exaggerated
version of himself whereas Ed Helms is reduced to gurning and screaming in hysterics
every 5 minutes or so. The real reason though is that the vast majority of the
lines and set ups centre around Alan. Whereas a similar character such as Brick
in Anchorman played the token stupid
character with charm, Alan is obnoxious, altogether quite unlikeable and it
becomes rather tiresome when you know that every time he opens his mouth
something ridiculous will come out. That’s not to say he’s completely
humourless, with a few lines hitting the spot (look out for the attempts to
communicate with a monk under a vow of silence) but it is an issue when the
centrepiece of your comedy film isn’t funny. In fact, it’s Ken Jeong who
returns as Chow who proves to be the most enjoyable character, although this
may be down to the fact that his super-charged character is absent for a lot of
the film due to an unfortunate icebox incident.

More of the same then for The Hangover, and it’s hard to see whether they’ll string this out
for another sequel. There’s nothing here to demand so yet taste is subjective
and audiences which liked the first are bound to lap it up, just don’t let that
be an indicator is its quality. And that much-anticipated cameo from Liam
Neeson? He’s replaced by…the director of The Notebook.