Todd Phillips, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2011. Starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis.
Question: Did you ever go to an amusement park called King's Island and ride The Racer roller coaster? No? Well, it is a roller coaster with two coasters that start at the same time and go side by side in the beginning and then split off. They travel the same pattern and distance only parallel to each other. One banks right, the other banks left but they end up side by side again with one coming in a little faster. The first time you ride The Racer it is exhilarating but as soon as you get off you run to the other side and hop on to see if it is better. The second ride is just as fun but always a tiny bit less enjoyable since there is no way to recapture the first time thrill. Well, that is what The Hangover Part II was for me. It was a fun ride with a myriad of funny scenarios but it fell short of being as awesome as the first.
If I were reviewing movies back in 2009, I probably would have given The Hangover 9 out of 10 or 10 out of 10. What an original concept! The first film had me rolling on the floor with laughter. If I had seen The Hangover Part II without seeing the first I might have scored it a little higher but there is just no way to top the feeling of watching historic storytelling from The Hangover.
The second movie was very enjoyable and very funny, in parts, but it used the same formula. A good formula, I must say, but you kind of feel like you knew what could happen next or at least guess at it. And if you saw a single preview I am certain they probably took away some of the surprise elements of The Hangover Part II story. That is why I did not see a single moment of previews.
The trio (a.k.a The Wolfpack): Zack Galifianakis, Ed Helms, and no-matter-how-bloodshot-they-make-those-eyes-them-baby-blues-they-are-still-beautiful-Bradley Cooper have a chemistry that is untouchable -- a bit of a modern-day Three Stooges. It just works. But Ed Helms stole the show in many scenes; and Zack Galifianakis brought in just enough of his deranged persona to help whatever clue/scenario got them closer to the figuring out what happened to them. They both made me laugh out loud, several times.
There was a decent set-up in the beginning before the mayhem starts. Not the typical --"Let's rush to the funny stuff!" So, I was pleased with that. After that the rest of the story was set in Thailand, which was a genius approach to topping a Vegas trip gone awry. Sure there were some hits and misses with the jokes but for making a sequel in less than two years from the original I would say it was success.
My favorite part: (or I should say the funniest): What was hiding in the blanket.
My least favorite part: The monkey.
Did the previews ruin it by showing too much? I would have to say yes but since I didn't see any I really can't say for certain.
Length: 102 minutes
Random thought: The Racer has some TV history to it. There were a few episodes of The Brady Bunch filmed at King's Island and The Racer was in an episode. And I remember these shows especially the one where they had the wrong blueprints. However, I must confess, I grew up about 45 minutes away from King's Island and went there every Summer for most of my childhood.
Rating: 7 out of 10