The adult buddy flick takes the original's premise and pushes the comedy further--a lot further
"It happened again."
Thus begins Todd Phillips's The Hangover Part II, the sequel to his box-office-crushing 2009 comedy. Again, Phil (Bradley Cooper) is on the phone to Tracy (Sasha Barrese), the last film's nervous bride-to-be. Again, he is explaining that he and fellow "wolfpackers" Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) have, on the eve of a wedding, managed to lose a member of the wedding party during an apocalyptic boys' night out--a night of which, again, they can remember nothing. From that unlucky phone call we will, again, rewind the clock to follow the amnesiac investigators as they try to piece together what happened.
And once again, less probably, the journey is hilarious.
Despite its slavish fidelity to the structure of its predecessor, Phillips's sequel manages to take each plot twist and twist it further. The wedding, this time, is Stu's, and the lost wolf--more a cub, really--is the 16-year-old brother of his betrothed, Lauren (Jamie Chung), whom she unwisely left in the pack's care. As Lauren's family is Thai, the wedding has been relocated from L.A. to a Southeast Asian resort, and the boys' contingent debaucheries from Vegas to Bangkok. This time, in place of a baby and a tiger, Phil et al. find themselves the bewildered custodians of a wizened monk and a chain-smoking monkey. (His French inhale is something to behold.) Rather than a pulled tooth, this outing's unremembered self-mutilation involves an amputated finger. And as for the sex-worker with whom otherwise mild-mannered dentist Stu has a fling--well, let's say she's rather more exotic than Heather Graham, and leave it at that.