|Still from The Hangover Part II|
The Wolf Pack, minus Doug, wake up in a seedy Motel somewhere in Bangkok after a tame night on the Beach, unable to recall the series of events of the evening prior. Missing however is Teddy, fuelling the dilemma as he struggles already to gain acceptance from Fiancé Lauren’s (Jamie Chung) traditional Father. And just as things couldn’t get any worse, out of nowhere resurfaces Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong), the animated Chinese Hustler with a penchant for Drugs, Urban Slang and living on the edge. Involved in a crucial illicit business transaction, he implicates the Wolf Pack by association, drawing unwanted attention to them from some dangerous Mobsters who are hot on Chow’s trails. One unfortunate event right after the other, we fear whether or not the Wolf Pack will be able to make it out of Bangkok alive, let alone the Altar.
Phillips really pulls out all the stops this time around to make The Hangover Part II that much more jaw-dropping than its predecessor. An unforgettable joke about Shiitake Mushrooms to a daring reveal involving Trans-gendered Strippers will have you gasping in disbelief. Phillips manages to add in a few more complex twists and turns into his original mix of Shock-Comedy and although this might come at the expense of logic, the laugh factor by no means is sacrificed at all in this Sequel.
The Hangover Part II delivers us more of that brilliant Wolf Pack chemistry struck by the fine balance of a paranoid Helms, childlike Galifianakis and the voice of reason, Cooper, but it is the former who absolutely steals the show here truly transforming his character into an unlikely Hero through this Comedy of Misfortunes. Jeong of course takes it all over-the-top, just where we like it - The Hangover Franchise would be unimaginable without him. Paul Giamatti surprises in a minor role as a scary Kingsley.
Critics might have their reservations about The Hangover Part II, but Fans of the first instalment will get exactly what they hoped for here. Warner Bros. releases the Comedy in theatres May 26, 2011. Grade: A
Read my interview with Bradley Cooper on The Hangover Part II in full here.