There’s the old adage, â€œIf it aint broke, don’t fix it.â€ It’s a motto that Hollywood seems to live and die by. Movies are remade, rehashed, and redone countless times throughout the years. Most of the time though, when dealing with the same franchise, and not a reboot, there’s a little bit of new creativity put into a film. But then there are films, like this one in which it seems the writers went thru line by line and simply made small alterations as to the location and just tweaked things here and there to come up with a sequel.
This was a movie I was looking forward to. The first film was a surprise hit and one of the funniest movies in recent years. It made a fortune, so it was inevitable that Warner Brothers was going to make a sequel with this film. But disappointingly, it seems as though the filmmakers weren’t out to be more creative, just rehash exactly what was used in the first film.
The film is directed by Todd Phillips. Once again it focuses in on the â€œwolf packâ€ that consists of Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis), and Doug (Justin Bartha). All of them are in Thailand for Stu’s wedding. Stu’s fiancÃ©e’s father hates Stu. He compares him to soggy white rice with no flavor that only old people eat. Reluctantly Stu has invited Alan to his wedding. He doesn’t want to, but Alan’s depression over not receiving an invitation and with the urging of Doug twists his hand and he eventually is invited.
At the resort in Thailand, the four of them gather, along with Stu’s future brother-in-law Teddy (Mason Lee) at a bonfire and toast to the wedding. Of course the next day Stu, Alan, and Phil awake in some fleabag motel in Bangkok Thailand with no memory of the previous nights events. They find Teddy’s finger and realize they’re going to have to once again go on a search for their lost friend.
Their adventures take them all over Bangkok where they try to piece together where Teddy is. Of course once again there’s Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong), who probably is the funniest part of the movie. There’s no tiger this time, but we replace the tiger with a seemingly homosexual monkey. The scenes do get some chuckles, but probably take things a little too far.
It felt like the exact same movie to me. There wasn’t a whole lot of originality and that was disappointing. A lot of the gags fall flat this time. Yes, I did laugh at parts, but the movie was too long and dragged at points. So much so that I found myself getting tired at points.
We do have a nice cameo at the end that reminds us of the original. It’s funny at first, but a bit of a letdown.
One of these days Hollywood will realize that just because one film in a series is successful, it doesn’t mean you should take chances and be original. The first one worked because it was original. The second film doesn’t because it’s almost an exact copy of the first.
FINAL GRADE: C
Reel Film News Movie Review by Bill Ayres