Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Hangover Part II

A group of friends travel to an exotic city for a bachelor party.  They drink, are drugged and wake up in a ransacked hotel room with one of the guys missing and not the slightest clue of how or why.  They spend the next day and a half retracing their steps, getting themselves into all sorts of farcical messes.  At some point a naked Asian dude pops out of an obscure location.  At some point some money is made in hopes of finding their missing friend.  At some point pictures from their forgotten night are shown to the audience, too much hilarity.

That’s the plot of The Hangover, and given the fact that it remains the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time, I’m sure you already knew that. What you may not already know, and I sincerely hope you don’t, is that that is also the exact same plot for The Hangover Part II.  And therein lies the problem.

Why the hell would you want to see the same movie again?  No no, I’m sorry, let me clarify: why the hell would you want to see the EXACT same movie again?  At the risk of bogging myself down with superfluous exaggerations, I can confidently assert that The Hangover Part II will offer you nothing new, and perhaps worse, it only offers you precisely what you’ve seen before.  I quite simply do not see the fun in that, especially if you’re forking out ten plus dollars a head.

Instead of Vegas, the guys are in Bangkok.  Instead of a missing groom, it’s a missing brother of the bride.  Instead of a missing tooth, it’s a Mike Tyson tattoo. Instead of a baby, it’s a monkey.  Instead of a Mike Tyson cameo, it’s a… Mike Tyson cameo.  Instead of hilarious pictures during the closing credits, it’s “Really? Haven’t we seen this all before?” pictures during the closing credits.

I make it a point to never reveal conclusive plot elements from a film.  I am in no way interested in ruining a movie for you, regardless of how good (or bad) it is.  I give just enough, then let you decide for yourself if a movie is worth seeing. So, forgive me, but I’m pissed off.  I’m pissed that the artistic medium I have loved for as long as I can remember is domestically turning into a complete waste of time.  I pissed that Hollywood runs like such a business, that they are literally making the same films over and over, just because they know those films will generate a handsome profit.

But most of all, I’m pissed at the storytellers. The Hangover cost $35 million to produce.  A grand budget for the scope of the film, but at least it was entertaining.  The Hangover Part II cost $80 million to make.  But why?  Does it take an extra $45 million to produce such recycled garbage?  What kind of movie could director Todd Phillips have made with that kind of money, if he wasn’t limited by the commerciality of Hollywood? 

I don’t know, and, to be honest, I’m starting to not care.  And that’s what scares me.  With each passing year, my subtle apathy toward the poor state of American cinema is slowly brewing into a faint resentment.  The Hangover Part II is the worst kind of film.  Second-hand compost with not a shred of originality, and in no way worthy of your time.  F

1 comment:

  1. You nailed this, and with the appropriate amount of angst. If someone hadn't seen the first one then it could be fine. But this is the exact same thing, and that is just plain dumb.