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EO newspaper - "The Hangover Part II" review

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  • Hangover IIstill hilarious,even withpredictable plot

    Thegossip circulat-ing themoviereview blogos-phere basically

    screams TheHangoverPart II is a carbon copy ofits smash-hitpredeces-sor, TheHangover.In all hon-esty, thatsa bit of anoverstate-ment, butnot bymuch.While theinfamousWolfpack is traversing boththe stunningly lushscenery and the gritty un-derground of Thailand

    instead of the glitteringand glamourousVegas,and the boys lose thebrides brother rather thanthe groom, it wouldnt beuncalled for to decry direc-tor ToddPhillips and hiswriters for rehashing (andtherefore diminishing) the2009 plot line, strippersand drugs included.The Phillips-directed

    sequel (he also directedthe first movie) takesplace several years afterthe Vegas incident, thistime with Stu (Ed Helms,Ceder Rapids) being thegroom on deck. Theres adifference, though: His fi-ances (Jamie Chung,Dragon Ball: Evolution)parents want the weddingin Thailand. Her father,Fohn (Nirut Sirichanya)thinks Stu is a pansy andharasses him mercilessly.But his prodigy son, Teddy(Mason Lee) is apparentlya Godsend. And of course,as the laws of sequels dic-tate, Teddy has to join theWolfpack. That doesnt sit

    well with Alan (Zack Gali-fianakis, the firstHangover), who feelsthreatened and overpro-tective of his best friends.So, while at a bonfire withPhil (Bradley Cooper,Limitless), Doug (JustinBartha, National Treas-ure), Stu and Teddy, heintroduces some drug-laced marshmallows tothe situation.Cue the time-lapsed cut-

    away, and we find Phil,Stu and Alan bloodiedand bruised in the depthsof Bangkok squaller, with-out any memory of thepreceding night. And as inthe original, someone (inthis case, Teddy) has gonemissing. And so wevecome full-circle, with theboys frantically navigatingthe dangerous streets ofBangkok in search of the16-year-old.As they search, all hell

    breaks loose, includingrunning into an angry

    crime boss (Paul Giamatti,Sideways), a gun-totingRussian mob, a MikeTyson-inspired facial tat-too, a tranny hooker, afinger without a person at-tached to it and adrug-dealing monkey whohas a penchant for mas-turbation. Oh, and Mr.Chow ... Leslie Chow (KenJeong, the first Hang-over) ... shows up asAlans plus-one, blow andcriminal record in tow.With so much going on,

    its not surprising that theperformances of Cooper,Helms and Galifianakiscome across as under-whelming. Cooper, afternailing the party boy rolein the first movie, doesnothing more than standaround and look prettythis time. Helms charac-ter, however, goes through

    some cringe-inducing mis-ery in this version (notthat pulling out his owntooth and marrying atable dancer arent miseryincarnate), and it seemsthe torment falls unfairlyon him.Galifianakis, though, is

    still gut-wrenchingly fun-ny. He provides the centerin Part II, being both id-iotic and touching inequal measures and againstealing the show. Still, itsnot enough to add any-thing fresh, and isnt thatthe point of a sequel?Thats not to say the se-

    quel isnt incrediblyhilarious and just as de-bauched as the original(even more so in certainsituations), but the beautyof the The Hangoverwas how original it was. Ittook the premise of a Ve-

    gas bachelor party and ap-plied Murphys Law to it.It was unabashedlyraunchy and debased, vul-gar without once beingapologetic, giving the mid-dle finger to politicalcorrectness. It was, inshort, amazing. However,the sequel merely tookthat concept and appliedit to international waters.If viewed alone and in

    its entirety, Part IIwould be a comedy goldmine. But thats neitherrealistic nor fair. TheHangover came first, andit will be the reason whyPart II will do so well atthe box office.So, while smoking ciga-

    rettes with a drug-dealingmonkey would leave youwith an interesting story totell at the reception, TheHangover Part II, with allof its insanity and high-oc-tane action, leaves youfeeling as if youd seen thismovie before, and just abit disappointed. But noworries: The credits morethanmake up for it.Two stars out of five.[Note: While "Part II" it-

    self would warrant ahigher score, it's only fairto compare it to the origi-nal, up to which it doesn'tquite stand. This isn't tosay you shouldn't see it,but be prepared for astrong sense of dj vu.]

    Dominic Baez is the copy

    editor/paginator for the EastOregonian. Follow hismovie blog, Silver Screen-ing, for the latest trailers,clips and extras at silver-screening.wordpress.com.

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    AP photo by Warner Bros. Pictures, Melinda Sue GordonFrom left, Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms are shown in a scenefrom The Hangover Part II.

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    At the Movies

    DOMINICBAEZ

    The HangoverPart II*

    *See note atend of story forexplanation.

    Well, it ISBangkok...

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