As I have stated on this blog before, I am a devoted fan of “The Hangover.” I still stuck by it, even when people pointed out the glitches in the plot, and others accused it of not being funny. I stuck by it, and even mentioned it as one of my favorite films of 2009. I was surprised by how well this film did in theaters, and I know you are, too. Because “The Hangover” did so well, Hollywood has decided to do what it does for any movie that does well: give it a sequel. Even though this sequel is very unnecessary, make it count. However, by the looks of the trailer, I am afraid that that just may not be the case.
Yes, I have watched the trailer for “The Hangover Part II.” I will say this briefly because so many others have already stated this more eloquently than I have: it is exactly the same as the first film, beat by beat. Changing the location and replacing a baby with a monkey doesn’t mean that the plot will be any different. Here is the plot of both films as I see it: Zach Galifianakis does something ridiculous, everyone blacks out, Ed Helms wakes up with something weird on his face, they lose someone important, and then they search for clues. This formula works for both films.
All of this worries me a lot because all of the actors involved, and the director at helm, seem above the typical Hollywood game. That is what the first film showed. It had a unique gross out hilarity, great characters, and a good, unpredictable mystery behind it. That formula worked great once, so why redo it? Whenever a great comedy is given a sequel, it typically is the exact same plot with a few minor tweaks. This ruins the authenticity of the original. Just look at what happened to the “Austin Powers” series. Comedy sequels such as “Wayne’s World 2″ and “Get Him to the Greek” are re-watchable because they took the characters we already liked and put them into new situations.
One thing I hope the trailer represents, is false advertising. Perhaps the reason you have decided to make your film seem like the original is to get the support of all of the first film’s fans so they will come back and see the sequel. Maybe the plot is actually much more different than the trailer leads on. Or perhaps the story is tounge-and-cheek; perhaps you’ve decided to make fun of how unoriginal and formulaic Hollywood sequels have become. The recent Entertainment Weekly article I read about your film suggests you guys put a lot of effort into it. So unless you are lying (which I highly doubt), then at least I know that “The Hangover Part II” isn’t just everyone phoning it in for a paycheck. As Galifianakis said, he already did that for “G-Force.”
Even if “The Hangover Part II” proves to be extremely similar to its predecessor, I still feel like it’ll be funny. As long as these people are involved, humor should follow. However, there is more humor to be found in a new joke than an old one. The whole wolf pack thing can get old when people tell you it over and over again.
Also, it is interesting that you decided to include the phrase “Part II” in your title rather than just call your movie “The Hangover 2.” Believe it or not, the word “Part” and having roman numerals actually mean a lot. You are suggesting that this isn’t just some sequel, but rather a second part. Like “The Godfather” and “Star Wars,” you suggest with that title that this sequel was made not to make more money, but to further advance a certain story. So, I hope the purpose of this film isn’t just to bank off of the success of the first one, but rather to advance further into this gang’s maturity and show their friendship develop even deeper.
Please, everyone involved in “The Hangover Part II,” prove my fears (and those of many others) wrong.
The Reel Deal
P.S. On my Humor Scale: Drug Dealing Monkey > Misplaced Baby. So yes, I do have hope.