The Hangover II

Blu-ray Review: The Hangover – Part II

When The Hangover hit theaters back in the summer of ’09, most figured it would be an also-ran, considering it was going up against surefire blockbusters like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the Star Trek reboot, and Angels and Demons among others. Surprisingly, The Hangover was an immediate hit, eventually going on to become the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time and virtually guaranteeing a sequel. Count me among those who doubted that Todd Phillips could pull off something worth remembering a second time. As it turns out, Phillips delivered the goods. While The Hangover Part II isn’t nearly as fresh or as funny as the original, it still gets plenty of mileage out of a very familiar joke.

The Hangover IINearly two years after the first film, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis), and Doug (Justin Bartha) have gotten together for Stu’s wedding, set to take place in Thailand at the behest of his fiancée Lauren’s (Jamie Chung) parents. Understandably, Stu doesn’t want a bachelor party after what happened in Las Vegas. Instead, he decides to join his buddies around a bonfire on a Thai beach, swapping stories, drinking beer, and roasting marshmallows. What harm could come of that?  Before they know it, the Wolfpack finds themselves waking up in a seedy Bangkok dive. It’s déjà vu all over again—Alan’s head has been shaved, Stu is sporting a replica of Mike Tyson’s infamous face tattoo, and Lauren’s baby brother, Teddy (Mason Lee), is missing, save for his ring finger, which Phil discovers floating in a bucket of water in a rundown Bangkok motel.

Unlike a lot of sequels, Todd Phillips understood there was no need to change a formula that worked so well the first time around. Save for the change in location and the payoffs, the story essentially the same. Even so, the film avoids becoming stale as the boys try and figure out what happened during their “lost” night. The humor is just as dark and raunchy as the original, pushing the envelope whenever possible. If there’s a problem with The Hangover: Part II, it’s that the absurdity of the situations requires you to suspend belief too often; because of that, some of the humor just feels forced. No offense to Mike Tyson, but his inevitable cameo just seems lazy.

If you’re a fan of The Hangover, you’ll enjoy this sequel. Todd Phillips hasn’t provided anything new here, but as long as your okay with that, there are plenty of laughs to be found in Bangkok. However, unlike the original, it’s not worth repeated viewings.

This 2.40:1, 1080p transfer looks stunning. Black levels are incredibly inky, without ever resorting to crush; color quality is handled astonishingly well, with the film’s eye-catching visual design coming through perfectly. Detail is as good as it could be.

The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound mix is spot on, balancing dialogue, music, and atmospherics with fluidity and zeal. Music is loud and immersive without being bossy or overwrought, and dialogue is audible throughout. Surrounds are fully involved.

French, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mixes are included, as are English SDH, French, Spanish, and Portuguese subtitles.

The special features are as follows:

  • Unauthorized Documentary (HD, 25 minutes): The full title of this little gem? “Unauthorized Documentary: The Documentary About the Documentary They Don’t Want You to See About the Making of The Hangover Part II.” I won’t spoil any of it here, but it’s hilarious.
  • Behind the Story (HD, 13 minutes): Three brief behind-the-scenes featurettes. “The Comedy Rhythm of Todd Phillips” focuses on the director, “Not Your Everyday Monkey” catches up with Crystal the Monkey, and “Bangkok Tour with Chow” is an in-character short with Ken Jeong.
  • Gag Reel (HD, 5 minutes): Cooper, Helms and Galifianakis had fun on location.
  • Action Mashup (HD, 1 minute): An action montage.
  • BD-Live Functionality
  • DVD Copy
  • UV Digital Copy

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