Devil’s DVD Disappointment: The Hangover Part II

In Hollywood the adage “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” rings truer than ever. If audiences shelled out hundreds of millions of dollars for a product once, they’re very likely to do it again. And again. And, if not, there’s always the reboot. Why create when it is so much easier (and more lucrative) to re-create? Because you may end up with The Hangover Part II.

By now the studio knows it can do no wrong, money-wise, by giving the public the opportunity to pay $10-$15 to re-watch a movie they already own. The returns were so monumental in its first weekend that a third installment is already grinding its way through that infamous room filled with monkeys banging away at typewriters. And why not? Movies are a business. Even if the residual weeks show a drastic decline in sales (hopefully due to word of mouth), it will still come out a winner.

Thanks to budget cuts, meet baby Carlos replacement.

Everything in Part II is a swap from the original: the monkey replaces the baby, Bangkok replaces Las Vegas, and Mason Lee replaces Justin Bartha (yet, inexplicably, Bartha still appears onscreen and even has dialogue!). That’s how lazy the writing is. Bartha, the bachelor from the original misplaced as a result of Galifianakis’ tinkering, sits on the sidelines this go-round while Lee, the bride’s brother, takes his place. And why does Lee go AWOL in the middle of yet another crazy night filled with half-memories, hard-partying, and missing body parts? Yeah, you guessed it: because of Galifianakis’ tinkering.

Aside: Reportedly, the actors were lucid enough to question the inclusion of Mel Gibson in the film directly following a much publicized blow-up with his girlfriend. So where did this clarity retreat to once they got their hands on the script? You have to know you’re just cashing a check when your first line of a sequel is: “It happened again.”

The second installment flounders as a film but also has the distinction of marring the original in the process. The Hangover was fresh and different when it came out; its potency is now diluted by having an intriguing premise rehashed, note-for-note by an inferior copy (think Multiplicity; Part II would be the 8th clone in that sequence). The unpredictable and innovative has become expected and over-played.

Having said all of that, I actually can’t wait for Part III. That trailer looks awesome; now the monkey’s Jack Black!


Posted on December 5, 2011, in Devil's DVD Disappointment and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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