The Hangover Part II
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, Justin Bartha, Paul Giamatti
Director: Todd Phillips
The Wolf pack is back in the sequel to the comedy that really redefined the R rated film genre.
This time, it's Thailand-bound as the gang come together for the wedding of Stu (Ed Helms).
Despite Stu's initial fears about heading out for some drinks with the boys on the eve of the wedding, he's persuaded to go for one with them - and brings along his teen soon to be brother in law, the over-achieving Teddy.
But when they wake up confused and hungover in a sweaty room with Teddy missing, no idea how they got there and with a severed finger in the room, it's a desperate race to find Teddy and get some idea of what went down.
However, that journey brings them into contact with gangsters, the seedier side of Bangkok, a chain smoking drug dealing monkey and a whole heap of trouble....
Simply put, The Hangover Part II is the same film as the first - but just relocated to Thailand.
While in principle that's no bad thing, it's fair to say that director Todd Phillips holds back from really upping the gross stakes for the sequel (though there are some out-there odd moments.)
Sadly though, it's more of a case of hearty chuckles throughout, rather than full-on belly laughs, as the humour serves to be the punchlines for the set-ups rather than being dished up every second.
The main trio are once again on form - and essentially the same as the first one: Bradley Cooper has the right amount of devilish glint to lead them; Ed Helms gives good repressed as he tries not to give in to the fun demon in him and Zach Galifianakis throws on the right amount of irritation and weirdness to steal scenes he's in with either a glance, some background antics or a well-placed line. Throw in Ken Jeong as psychotic and fun gangster Mr Chow and it's a good - if formulaic and unoriginal - mix.
Yet for all The Hangover Part II's beats and high moments (which are scattered throughout), it doesn't recapture the glory of the first; that's not to say it's not a fun time at the flicks, just a fair amount of deja vu.
Like any night on the town, the memories are more fun, rather than the reality of what went down.
Is The Hangover Part II a great film? Not really, it's a good film which is essentially a retread of the first. Is it a great sequel to the first? Again, not really and seems to pale in comparison to number one - that said, I think it's safe to say it'll be a box office hit, thanks to the easily identifiable trio of leads.
Oh, and once again though, the best bit of the film is the end credits where the contents of a mobile phone reveal what truly happened - laugh out loud funny and gross in equal measures, it's the pay off that finally delivers the raucous laughs.