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Monday May 30, 2011 10:43 pm

The Hangover 2: In Review

The Hangover 2 - Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifanakis

If you liked The Hangover, does that automatically mean you should like The Hangover, Part II? Well, yeah… unless you expect too much from it. If you want to watch a very funny movie with plenty of call backs to its parent flick (you know, the reason it exists), and you’re excited about seeing lovable characters a second time around, you’ll absolutely enjoy The Hangover, Part II. If you’re expecting breakthrough comedy, deep meaning, something brand-new and never-before-seen, you might be disappointed… but why would you be expecting that?

Die-hard fans of the original probably aren’t, but the critics have been rabid in their dislike for the lighthearted sequel. It’s an almost-summer, holiday weekend ensemble comedy, and most movie reviewers are screaming for blood in their respective columns. Why? Because the movie isn’t original enough.

That’s because The Hangover, Part II, re-visits a lot of the old gags that were so great in the original Hangover. And you know what? They’re still funny! Who doesn’t want to see Ken Jeong appear out of nowhere, half-naked or otherwise, and start kicking ass? Why shouldn’t we be thrilled with an adorable monkey in a little denim vest…just because he’s hanging out in the bathroom? The posh Las Vegas hotel where Mike Tyson’s tiger was stashed is a far cry from a sweaty room in Bangkok. So maybe these guys have an animal-in-the-washroom fetish. We can dig it.

Some are screaming that the formula is too much of the same… we argue that if it ain’t broke, don’t change it. The formula is the same because it works and it’s good (and we’ve got 10 seasons of American Idol memories to prove that the same formula can work again and again).

At the end of the big opening weekend, The Hangover, Part II is at the top of the heap. Mostly because it’s funny, it’s peppered with great comedic actors, it’s got an enjoyable and easy-to-follow plot… and, in short, it deserves to be there. Movie critics look for hidden messages and secretive art. We just want to watch good movies.

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