This shouldn’t need and probably doesn’t need to be said, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. I mean, obviously. In the words of those Madea subway posters: no dehr. People always say that comedy is subjective, which is true, but that ignores the larger point, which is that EVERYTHING is subjective. You like what you like! No big deal! You like what you like and you go to work and you get married and you take the car to the shop and you die, or whatever. So, when I was exiting the theater after watching The Hangover Part II and a group of post-pubescent boys in front of me were already quoting lines from the movie to each other and making grandiose statements such as “That was the best movie ever made,” I had no problem with that. These guys loved it! It brought them pleasure! Pleasure is a gross word and it kind of gives me the creeps! But it did! Especially Zach’s line about Long John Silvers. That one nearly killed them. Good. Honestly, if a movie that is expressly made for post-pubescent boys can’t win over the post-pubescent boys, that is a shame. Of course, being post-pubescent boys, I’m not entirely sure that they would have afforded me the same consideration were I to turn around and tell them MY opinion. They might not recognize that it’s all just the human spectrum of experience momentarily fluorescing in the darkness in an attempt to JUST EXIST before it all goes puff. They’d probably tell me that I was wrong, or worse. They might call me names because kids can be so cruel. But nevertheless, we are all entitled to our opinions and my opinion is this:

I hate this fucking movie so much. Here is why:

The first Hangover was fine. I did not love it, but it definitely had some laughs in it, and it was very exciting to see Zach Galifianakis on the big screen* for those of us who were already fans of Zach Galifianakis before the movie came out. I’m not saying that in an “I knew him first, so that makes me cool, fuck your ringer-tee, I only wear baseball sleeves” kind of way. For one thing, there were lots of people who were fans of Zach before I was. For another thing, he is very good at what he does, and it is great that more people know who he is now and like him. Yay! It’s like that Paul Giamatti movie I still haven’t seen: WIN-WIN! The point is: The Hangover was fine. Kind of a weary premise, but who cares? It had enough genuine silliness woven into the slapstick humor and the boner humor that there was something for everyone, and that is why it made all of the money in the world. There is literally no money left now. I’m pretty sure the HBO movie Too Big To Fail is about this.

When the trailers for The Hangover Part II came out and revealed that it was basically going to be the exact same movie but in Bangkok, I had no real problem with that. At least they were being honest! There was actually something funny to me about a movie that just repeated itself.

Nope. I was wrong.

There is nothing funny about a movie that just repeats itself. Because The Hangover Part II doesn’t just follow the same structure as the first movie, it even tries to go beat-for-beat with it. Yikes! So, instead of a tiger there is a monkey. Instead of a SPOILER roof there is an elevator. Instead of a fancy car being ruined there is a fancy little brother being ruined. Tooth = tattoo. Mike Tyson = Mike Tyson. Dirty photos during the end credits. What happens in Bangkok stays in Bangkok. But not just plot points, which we kind of already guessed from the trailer: the jokes are just as lazily swapped out one for one. When we first meet Ken Jeong, we see his tiny penis again. LOL? All of Zach’s lines in the movie seem to be the same things he said the first time around, just with different “hilarious” and “off-kilter” references switched in. Was this movie written by a Microsoft Word find+replace hotkey?

The result of making a movie this way is that you not only feel like you’re just rewatching something you’ve already seen, but now all of the joy and charm has been drained from it and it has been dumped unceremoniously into a fetid icebox. In the original Hangover, the part where Zach masturbates the baby at brunch was a goofy improvisation that they kept in the movie. In The Hangover II, Zach making a monkey gnawing a monk’s water bottle dick is forced to the point of being painful. Much like a monkey ACTUALLY gnawing on your dick! Even worse: the song that Ed Helms sings on the boat. What? That doesn’t even make sense. I know this is just a comedy, and it’s all in service to the jokes, but it’s one thing for Ed Helms to sing a silly song at a bachelor party gone wrong, and it’s another thing entirely for him to do so in the midst of his own personal life completely unraveling. I want Timothy Olyphant to pop out of the bottom of the boat and stare into the camera as he says, “This scene is not…JUSTIFIED!”

The typical response to criticisms like these is, “lighten up, man, it’s a joke!” That response is dumber than this movie. (And the response to that is “WHAT is a joke?”) But all of these complaints, are the LEAST of the movie’s problems. Were it to stop with an unimaginative, cash-grabbing, lukewarm rehash of the first movie, it would simply be something unenjoyable, not something loathsome. But make no mistake: The Hangover Part II is loathsome. Let’s start with how much of a FUCKING ASSHOLE everyone in this movie is? Because everyone in this movie is a TOTAL FUCKING ASSHOLE! (With the possible exception of Justin Bartha. Aww. Poor Justin Bartha.) Like, Bradley Cooper was certainly a bit of an arrogant jerk in the movie, but now he’s just a full blown nightmare of a human being. Immediately after disparaging his best friend’s upcoming wedding, he commits a federal crime that could land them both in prison? Cool. The worst of this, though, is that now Zach’s character is also a jerk? When did that happen? He was stupid and careless in the first movie, but never mean. Now he is. And I’m not just talking about his relationship with “Teddy,” which is overly aggressive and results in everyone being shot and amputated and fucked, literally, but also kind of makes sense that he is a man-child and his group of friends has been “infiltrated.” But even just at the engagement ceremony, when he steals Ed Helms’s fiance’s champagne and walks around like he needs to take a revenge dump. What is going on here? When did everyone get infected with the Rage Virus? (This was also my problem with the movie Due Date, in which Robert Downey Jr. played one of the worst people ever played.)

Oh, and did I mention that they are all sociopaths now? Because it turns out they’re all sociopaths. Look, we’ve all seen Brokedown Palace (and Bridget Jones Diary 2: The Edge of Reason) and we are all appropriately terrified of Thai prisons. But “you know you’re a sociopath when…” you think that someone has just died in front of you and that your chosen course of action is to lock his corpse in an ice machine. WHAT? They all agreed to this? With friends like these who needs GO TO JAIL. (This, of course, at the end of a long introductory sequence that is basically Hostel 2? Did I accidentally walk into Hostel 2? Because typically when I am watching a movie that is grimy, green-tinted, and full of severed fingers and SHRIEKING, I just assume that I am watching Hostel 2.)

At this point it barely even seems unnecessary to mention how Ken Jeong’s racist caricature is even more sad and offensive now that Ken Jeong has to revert back to that despite having a higher profile due to the first Hangover that would make you think he wouldn’t have to play parts like this and also just no one should play parts like this it’s terrible?

Which brings us to the movie’s disgusting homophobia. Yiiiiiiikes! Dramatic pause. YIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIKES! I’m not saying that it is inherently homophobic for someone to regret having had sex with a dude. That makes sense. You can regret having sex with anyone you want. As I said in the beginning: everyone is entitled to their opinion. I AM saying that it in a movie that features severed fingers, people getting shot, drug overdoses, kidnapped teenagers, unwise face tattoos the night before a wedding, kidnapped monks, overt racism, smoking monkeys, and hiding corpses, it is inherently homophobic to suggest that the absolute most disgusting and terrible thing that could possibly happen is two men having sex. Good grief. 2011, everybody. Sink it to the bottom of Whoops Ocean. The treads are all worn out.

It’s unfortunate, too. Because there are so many talented people involved with this movie. Oh well! It happens. Getting to buy a mansion happens. Maybe you disagree. Maybe you are more like those boys in the movie theater who thought it was the best. Fair enough. Just know that you like a terrible thing.

*At one point this weekend, my friend Max was in a bodega where he overheard some dudes talking about how much they loved The Hangover Part II, at which point the cashier said “is that the one with the retarded guy in it? Zach Gafaningaws?” Perfect. That is what everyone is working to achieve, yes? Being known as America’s leading “the retarded guy”?
Comments (69)
  1. I don’t know, I usually value your opinions on things, but it’s really hard for me to believe that Ken Jeong would allow himself to be involved in something that’s not very good. He’s very selective with his projects.

  2. Oops guys I saw the wrong* sequel this weekend

    *The Hangover 2 was sold out and got terrible reviews

  3. So, is Justin Bartha actually IN this one? I honestly had to look up who he was just now on account of his barely appearing in The Hangover.

    • Nope, he’s barely in this one too.

    • he was gonnnnnnnnna be in it more but then ashley was like, “lets just get brunch” and he was like “oh yeah that sounds better” and he was right. brunch with ashley olsen is totally better than the sequel to the hangover.

  4. Also, when you cast people that aren’t actually Thai in a movie taking place in America you can kind of get away with it since white-America has a hard time telling different ethnicities of other races, but once Jamie Chung and her movie family are put next to all of those real live Thai people it becomes really obvious that they don’t really have any connection to that country.

  5. Gabe, you are the best.

    I really don’t get these movies. The first one was. . .ok? Like, I’m pretty sure I saw that movie before and it was something made in the early 90′s.

    Also I didn’t see it, but apparently this happened?


  6. I was going to offer a mock-correction to something you said, but I would rather the issue not be brought up at all and I’m afraid if I say what I’m referring to I will spark said discussion.

    • You can’t tease us like that! Either say it or don’t

      • fine. technically, it would be transphobia, but that leads to such “look at me adding to the GLBTQAEIBLAIWOD lexicon” PC crap that it’s annoying when people feel the need to make sure everyone knows the difference. But there is a difference, but shut up this is a thread about a stupid movie, not your therapy session, #itgetsbettersomewhereelse

        not to be insensitive, obvs

        • Hey there, eagle eyed tiger, this here is totally a place where that type of reminder of difference isn’t just allowable, but to a lot of us, welcomed.

          • but see, now I feel the need to say that I get that, and here we go with the discussion…

            My problem isn’t with saying transphobia is a different, but also wrong, experience than homophobia. i just don’t like where these conversations end up, with everyone trying to be the most accepting and then someone that gets misinterpreted past recognition and finally can’t we all just get along and she doesn’t even go here! and all.

  7. I saw this with the Mrs this weekend and then afterwards, we went for drinks and I drunkenly made up the plot for Hangover 3.

    - Big Event = Funeral (thinking Jeffery Tambor’s character)
    - Inciting incident = Get drunk at the wake
    - Mystery = Body goes missing
    - Ed Helms grievous injury = eye-patch
    - Animal sidekick = farting dog
    - Celebrity Cameos = Megan Fox, Helen Mirren and Mike Tyson
    - Body ended up = in old treehouse
    - Song cover at the end of the movie = Walk This Way by Aerosmith

    You’re welcome, Hollywood

  8. Haha. But just imagine, Gabe, how much more awful this would have been if Mel Gibson had remained in the movie.

  9. I laughed once. At that bit about having to add a number to a password made only out of letters.

  10. I haven’t seen it yet, but the problem I have with this movie is that it’s called “Part 2.” The first movie was a full story, it’s not like it ended on a cliffhanger and now this is the conclusion. It’s the same thing with Back to the Future/Part 1/2/3.

  11. I was actually surprised this was an assignment as I had heard nothing but terrible things about the movie.

  12. The footnote hits the nail on the head when I think about ZG – what is it that he’s trying to do, exactly? Being uncomfortable for the sake of being uncomfortable? He’s often my least favorite part of T&EASGJ…

    I feel like I get him, but that I just don’t like it or find it funny. But maybe I don’t get him?

  13. You should have just reposted your review of the first movie.

  14. My wife and I saw it on Friday and were not impressed at all, especially with the Transgendered implications. Usually she is very excited about seeing penis in a mainstream film, but she was dissatisfied with how they went about it.

    My favorite unbelievable part *Spoiler* is how the father-in-law just decides that Ed Helms is a good man for his daughter to marry. I am pretty sure if I had a daughter I would not like to have a suitor go from being like rice to being a sociopath. But then again, maybe in Bangkok cutting off a family members finger is like asking for permission to propose to the daughter.

  15. How was everyone SO CALM about the brother losing his finger? That kid wanted to be a doctor and played the cello. No one thought that might be an issue?

  16. Thanks everyone. You’ve made me even more secure in my decision to never ever ever see this movie.

  17. I have no plans to see this movie as I thought the first one was just kinda lame and sexist.

    To be fair, I think most things are kinda lame and sexist, but still.

  18. Gabe, I am being totally serious,
    I love you, you are the best and you should win a pulitzer or something.
    Thank you.

  19. “Everything is subjective and everyone is entitled to their opinion. Unless your opinion differs than mine, in which case you are wrong and you like terrible things.”–Gabe

    • That’s a pretty good working definition of how postmodernism works.

    • Right. But also, like, I’m pretty sure everyone who really likes this movie is wrong and likes terrible things. And Gabe and I have differing opinions on a ton of things (whimsy, for one) so I promise I’m not just being sycophantic. Gabe is really handsome, though. Unrelated thought.

  20. And can we talk about how all the women in these movies either bland or bitchy? Fuck that.

  21. In related “things I knew were going to be terrible” news, this is pretty much exactly why I hated American Pie 2, only with less dismemberments and penises (I assume).

  22. Was in a really good mood when I went to see this. Snuck some drinks into the theater and expected mild amusement at best. Walked out feeling pretty good.

  23. I really don’t get the homophobia angle. It was played for laughs (at Stu’s expense) and for me, it was one of the few genuinely funny moments in the movie. However, I did find the chorus of “ewwwws” around me to be far more homophobic than the scene itself.

    • Only, I’m not sure it wasn’t the reaction expected… But I agree, the homophobia also seemed more in the audience than in the movie for me last night.
      Also, please explain to me why it is funny that a guy has sex with a prostitute the day before his wedding?

  24. Let me just go on record and say that Bridesmaids was really good.

  25. The severed finger thing really threw me off. Everyone just acted nonchalant about it, like, ya know … no big deal! It was needlessly violent and mean and nasty. It reminded me of Observe and Report in that regard.

  26. How should Stu have reacted? Cause he reacts (quite normally) then it’s mentioned twice nonchalantly. Did you want more examples of successful asians besides the child prodigy? Those asian guys in A Christmas Story were more offensive than Ken Jeong’s entire performance in this movie. I probably would’ve thrown something at you and those kids for both blowing something completely out of proportion and ruining my movie experience…

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