The Hangover Part II - Blu-ray Review

'There's an intrinsic problem with the notorious 'difficult' scenes, assuming that you can look past them on a moral level. They're not funny.'

The Hangover Part II was dogged by a fair degree of controversy when it was released in UK cinemas back in May, so lets start with the scene or scenes likely to cause offence.

First up is a scene fairly close to the end where two characters played by actors of non-black origin decide to spend a number of moments calling each other 'niggers'. Next is a particularly odd scene during which director Todd Phillips decides it is a good idea to present the main characters to us as kids. Not kids doing normal kid type things you understand but as kids doing The Hangover type things; drinking, driving, drinking and driving, dancing with strippers and, more worryingly, snorting cocaine. Finally (although individual levels of offence may mean others experience higher levels of moral distaste) there is the obviously present scene with a 'lady boy' and the ensuing bought of mildly-conceived homophobia.

That some or all of the above will prove offensive to various people is a given but hardly surprising. The Hangover, especially this sequel, is a franchise designed to shock and provoke and Part II sticks to the tried and tested sequel plan, turning everything up to eleven and pushing the boundaries (of taste, decency and erm, scripting) further than before.

There's also an intrinsic problem with the above three scenes, assuming that you can look past them on a moral level. They're not funny. Kids doing adult things - sans any sort of scripted joke - in a hazy montage? Not funny. Characters using inappropriate language during an argument? Not funny. A crushingly obvious scene-long joke about a trans-gender individual? Not funny.

Where the first film had charm and genuine humour, mixed amongst its provocative air, this has very little. The script, like the first film, eliminates Doug (Justin Bartha) but never replaces him with a Heather Graham or Ken Jeong or Mike Tyson, losing much of the straight play that worked first time round. Instead, we get a more sinister version of Mr. Chow (still played by Jeong) who quickly outstays his welcome, a very poor Mason Lee, a pointless and humourless Nick Cassavetes and not a whole load more besides. Even if you can look past the moral impurities, this doesn't even come close to the original film.

Look further...

'Rarely do you find cinematography that looks this nice in a comedy film, but this is what big-budget comedy looks like and it looks fantastic' - Contains Scenes Of Mild Peril, 7/10


  1. What’s missing is a huge part of what made the first film so good: the element of surprise and the actual joy of having all these crazy situations happen. This is a dark and morbid cash-in and nothing more, except with some chuckles. Good review.

    1. Completely agree on the 'dark and morbid' side. The opening few beats of the actual 'hangover' are just totally misjudged, as are a few scenes later on.