Friday, June 03, 2011

‘The Hangover Part 2’ – Take 2 aspirin instead and see ‘Bridesmaids’!

It’s been a disappointing summer at the movies so far, the only exception being ‘Bridesmaids’. ‘The Hangover Part 2’ continues the disappointment. If you were a fan of the original ‘The Hangover’, and you considered it the greatest comedy ever made, you may just enjoy the 2nd version. If you are like me, you will recognize the absolute cash grabbing laziness on behalf of director/creator Todd Phillips and no less than three other writers. Why they needed 4 writers on a film that is essentially a carbon copy of its predecessor is beyond me. In last week’s review, I said that the ‘Pirates’ franchise had lost the wind in its sail and was being driven in the ground, the ‘Hangover’ franchise has done that within the second outing.

I was alarmed by the lack of any originality on the behalf of the creative team; essentially they copied the same gags, the same scenario and in a lot of cases the same camera shots, I mean for Pete’s sake, they couldn’t even come up with more creative ways to film? The only way that I could tell them apart, the first was set in Vega, the second set in Bangkok.

In the latest outing, Stu (Ed Helms, making even retreaded material funny) heads to Thailand to get married and of course takes along the ‘Wolfpack’: Phil (Bradley Cooper), Doug (Justin Bartha) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis, funny and original in the first, annoying in the second). Of course they party late into the night and of course they wake up in the morning with no idea how they got there. Stu wakes with a tattoo on his face, his future brother in-law (Mason Lee) is the poor soul missing this time and instead of a baby in the room, they now have a monkey; which arguably is the same thing. Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) returns from the first picture as well and lands the boys into international crime trouble.

While ‘The Hangover’ was wildly original, filled with great gags and made superstars of the ensemble cast, ‘The Hangover Part 2’ simply just strives to fool the film-goer with pointless, retreaded material. There is simply no fun, no surprises and worst of all no originality to this 2 star carbon copy.

Do yourself a favor; go see the bawdy and simply fun ‘Bridesmaids’ for a taste of a wholly original adult comedy! The always funny Kristen Wiig (serving not only as writer, but star) is Annie, the Maid of Honor for best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph), whose life unravels as she tries to plan a send off before the wedding.
‘Bridesmaids’ is sharp, raunchy, filled with genuine laughs and some wonderfully sweet moments. It is the perfect adult comedy in a summer awash in what seems like basic retreads. The cast is simply wonderful; Melissa McCarthy (from the CBS show ‘Mike and Molly’) steals each scene she is in as Megan, the future sister in-law of the bride. There have not been more inspired bits of comedy than the dialogue and acting from McCarthy; you will never look at Cuban food again thanks to her! Ellie Kemper (from ‘Office’ fame) as Becca, so filled with innocent sweetness, just try not to smile each time she is on screen. Jill Clayburgh (yes, THE Jill Clayburgh) was simply hilarious as Annie’s mom and Chris O’Dowd, while a passable comedian, added a nice touch as the new friend looking to round out Annie’s life.

‘Bridesmaids’ is a 4 star adult comedy that will only get better with repeated viewings! Leave ‘The Hangover Part 2’ for the Redbox rental and go see ‘Bridesmaids’ – again if you must!

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