This redo had almost everything needed to be a great comedy.
Great cast. This group could get big laughs if you filmed the whole thing with mobile phone video and put them on location at a bus stop in Cleveland, Ohio.
Comedic chemistry. Not only are all the cast members hilarious choices, but they are great together. Just like a romance, great comedies need a careful mix of actors, who can coalesce into a believable combination of characters. What you don’t want is just four or five guys taking turns doing their solo stand-up set.
Great setting. Thailand was the best possible choice to take a crazy Vegas weekend comedy to the next level.
And, director Todd Phillips knows how to make solid comedy. Old School, Road Trip, Due Date, and The Hangover (1st) were all 100% better than this sequel.
All of those things were ready and available to assemble a killer comedy. But that didn’t happen.
What wasn’t available was surprise. For my money, surprise is the key ingredient in the timing of great comedy. This movie turned into a sequel-potamus because the writers never made an attempt to leave the roadmap of the first movie. How can a great comedy overcome the weight of predictability? I don’t think it’s possible.
In spite of the problems, I was wasn’t sorry I saw The Hangover: Part II. I was just disappointed. I don’t care if you are making a movie, a comic book, a symphony, or a knock-knock joke, I just want the writer to take me on a ride I haven’t been on before. And please don’t let me guess the entire course of the action in the first few moments. Sure it’s a sequel, but it should have been better. The cast and the audience both deserved a fresher script.
For ratings, I like the format used over at http://movieboozer.com. I would give it 3 beers with an asterisk. Without this cast, it would have been a 4 beer flick.