For me the funniest part of Todd Phillips‘ The Hangover was the photo sequence at the very end. That’s because it (a) revealed what had specifically gone down during the blind-drunk debauchery in Las Vegas, which looked funny, and (b) let us imagine the minute-to-minute action that happened before and after the snapping of each still. Nothing the movie depicted could match our imaginations in this regard.
It’s the exact same deal with The Hangover, Part II, which I saw this evening at the Pathe Wepler at Place Clichy. The insanity-depicting series of photos at the very end are way funnier than anything in the film itself. Except that’s damnation with faint praise because none of the acted-out material in this Godforsaken sequel is funny. Nothing. I sat there like a tombstone through the whole thing. But the photo montage is cool. It didn’t make me laugh but I smiled a bit.
Imagining funny stuff is always…okay, often funnier than showing it. An example I’ve used before is the starving lion and the tail sandwich. A lion who’s dying for a meal is chasing a monkey around the jungle so he can eat him. Somehow there’s a lull and the monkey sneaks up beside the lion and puts the lion’s tail between two slices of bread and hands it to him. Scenario #1 shows the lion eagerly biting into the sandwich and roaring from the pain and chasing the monkey again. Not terribly funny. Scenario #2 shows the monkey handing the sandwich to the lion and then creeping away and hiding behind a tree, and after two or three seconds we hear the lion roar. Funny as hell.
The Hangover, Part II shows the lion biting into the tail and roaring really loudly and then pissing into somebody’s half-filled beer glass and then screaming “wait, what’s happening?” and then shouting “Teddy! Teddy! Where are you, Teddy?”
It’s not funny to repeat the same bits and jokes from the first film. Massive amounts of production funds are never funny, and wasting dough on a project like this is double-unfunny. Bradley Cooper isn’t funny. Ed Helms was funny in The Hangover but not here. It’s not funny when Zach Galifianakis‘s moronic man-child drives a speed boat up onto a beach at full throttle. In fact, it’s not funny to watch Galifianakis do or say anything in this film. Ken Jeong‘s cashew-sized penis isn’t funny. It’s not funny to see Paul Giamatti, who needs to grow some hair so he can return to his Miles look in Sideways, with a shaved head-top. (And looking fat.) Bangkok, which looks like a cesspool-choked combination of Jersey City, Newark and Dubai with a big canal running through it, is a deeply unfunny place. The whole film is about as funny as a preferred stock offering.