Grog mon­sters ride again

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies -

THIS is the movie ev­ery com­edy fan has been wait­ing two long years to see.

When the orig­i­nal The Hang­over stag­gered into view in mid-2009, no one was pre­pared for the guilty plea­sure trea­sure that was re­vealed.

That first film set a manic pace while main­tain­ing an in­cred­i­ble strike rate of so-bad-it-just-has-to-be-good laughs.

Well into the third act – a dead zone where even the best come­dies usu­ally start to sag – The Hang­over was still hit­ting high notes of hi­lar­ity.

The set­ting might be rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent for The Hang­over Part II, but the for­mula im­pro­vised so au­da­ciously in the orig­i­nal is now etched in stone.

Look past the odd re­peat gag or three and most will ac­knowl­edge that what was funny in Las Ve­gas is al­most as funny in Bangkok.

Once again, the launch point for a reck­lessly raunch-fu­elled odyssey into the bluest ex­tremes of the buddy com­edy genre is a mon­strous morn­ing af­ter the big night be­fore.

On the eve of his wed­ding to a Thai lo­cal, nerdy den­tist Stu ( Ed Helms) makes the near-fa­tal mis­take of shar­ing what is sup­posed to be a quiet drink with his ‘‘ Wolf Pack’’ brethren ( all pic­tured) Phil ( Bradley Cooper) and Alan ( Zach Galifianakis).

About 12 hours later, the best buds dis­cover they have mis­placed the bride-to-be’s beloved younger brother.

The only clue they have to go on is the teenager’s sev­ered fin­ger found in an ice bucket.

Though few would deny the Hang­over ef­fect has lost some of its ca­pac­ity to sur­prise, the chem­istry and comic stylings of its three leads are ef­fec­tive enough to keep the right amount of big laughs com­ing.

The new film is def­i­nitely no match for its pre­de­ces­sor. Even the fran­chise’s most ar­dent ad­mir­ers would ac­knowl­edge that when­ever The Hang­over Part II is get­ting down to re­peat busi­ness, which eats up more screen time than many would like, some of the love in the room dis­ap­pears.

Once again, the best lines be­long to the bearded weirdo Alan, now get­ting around with a shaven head and a chainsmok­ing mon­key as his new best friend.

The ridicu­lous Asian ‘‘ gangsta’’ Mr Chow ( Ken Jeong) has a larger in­flu­ence on the story than be­fore, while the sole new cast ad­di­tion of note is Bar­ney’s Ver­sion star Paul Gia­matti as a ruth­less crime lord.

Ru­mours of a cameo ap­pear­ance by for­mer US pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton turn out to ex­actly that – ru­mours.

But what can be be­lieved as re­li­able word-of-mouth is that The Hang­over Part II will not leave fans with a sore head or a sorry frame of mind.

Di­rec­tor: Todd Phillips ( The Hang­over) Stars: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, Paul Gia­matti.

Thai-ing on an­other one

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