The Hangover: Part II review / Susan Granger
How much trouble do Phil, Stu and Alan get into this time? Plenty.
Since "The Hangover" became the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time, it's not surprising that writer/director Todd Phillips' formulaic sequel continues the chaos. Beginning two years after the Vegas fiasco, Stu (Ed Helms) the dentist is engaged to Lauren (Jamie Chung), whose wealthy parents are hosting the lavish wedding at the exotic Krabi resort on the Andaman Sea in their native Thailand.
Explaining, "I'm still putting the broken pieces of my psyche back together," Stu opts for a subdued bachelor brunch, particularly since his outspoken future father-in-law (Nirut Sirichanya) obviously disapproves of him. But Stu's buddies - Phil (Bradley Cooper), Doug (Justin Bartha) and unwanted tagalong Alan (Zach Galifianakis) - are determined to party, so two nights before the big day, they gather for a bonfire on the beach, along with the bride's precocious 16-year-old brother, Teddy (Mason Lee), a cello virtuoso who's pre-med at Stanford. With one beer each and Alan's marshmallows to roast, what could go wrong?
"Where are we?" Phil wonders when he wakes up in a sleazy hotel room in Bangkok. "I can't believe this is happening again," wails Stu, whose face now has a permanent tribal tattoo. There's a severed finger in a bowl of water and a drug-dealing, cigarette-smoking capuchin monkey (Crystal) in the bathroom. But where's Teddy?
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Desperate to find the missing teenager, Stu, Phil and Alan try to recall what happened the previous night and retrace their debauchery through Bangkok's humid sexual playground, joining up with the mysterious Asian mobster Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong), who ominously observes, "Bangkok has him."
As scripted by Phillips, Craig Martin and Scot Armstrong, their search leads them to Buddhist monks, Russian drug dealers, female impersonators, an American tattooist (Nick Cassavetes), an enigmatic crime entrepreneur (Paul Giamatti) -- and Mike Tyson.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Hangover, Part II" is a raunchy, shenanigan-filled 6. As the wolfpack's craziness concludes, don't leave before the revelatory `photos' during the final credits.