The Hangover II Treats the Original Like a Sacred Text

Most sequels are born of good box office rather than good ideas--if you build it and they come, you simply must build another one. But it's hard to imagine a more calculating, creatively bankrupt piece of real estate than The Hangover Part II

Trade out Las Vegas for Bangkok, a tiger for a monkey, a lactating hooker for a trannie stripper, a missing tooth for a face tattoo, and you've got Todd Phillips's rote, dispiriting replica of his own surprise comedy smash.

Last time, it was bland bro Doug (Justin Bartha) who got lost on a Vegas

rooftop the morning of his own wedding, and now it's straight man Stu

(Ed Helms) who gets derailed the Friday before his destination nuptials

in Thailand. Stu tries to avoid the inevitable, but once pretty boy Phil

(Bradley Cooper) cajoles him into a late-night beer by the bonfire. And when

man-child moron Alan (Zach Galifianakis) laces the marshmallows with

roofies , it's blackout time (again).

When they awake, Alan has been

shaved bald, Stu is adorned with the aforementioned Tyson tattoo,

there's a denim-vested monkey chain-smoking and bouncing around a grim

Bangkok hotel room, and Stu's soon-to-be brother-in-law is nowhere to be

found. Part II fatally honors the original's premise like it's a sacred

text, retracing idiotic hijinks like they're stations of the cross. The

only surprise here is how thoroughly unfunny it all is.

Look for our extended review in this week's issue.

--Eric Hynes

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