The Hangover Part II (2011) Director: Todd Phillips

2009's The Hangover is one of the best comedy films of recent years - it has great charm, a sparky cast who bounce well off each other and some genuine laugh-out-loud gags and prank falls. It's fair to say that the highly anticipated sequel is, well, sadly a little bit hungover itself. Maybe it's the new team of writers, maybe it's the cast who don't seem to work as well as they did in the first film, or maybe it's because IT JUST ISN'T THAT FUNNY, but The Hangover Part II needs a hangover cure of its own.

It's not terrible. The story itself is a good one - the boys wake up in Bangkok, with no recollection of the night before, and very little time to get Stu (Ed Helms) to his wedding on time. It's certainly bigger and brasher than the first Hangover - you can almost feel the heat and humidity of Bangkok and the sweat coming off the fine, fine Bradley Cooper (Phil) when he wakes up in the squalor of their hotel room. Along the way, the guys encounter lady boys, criminals and Mr Chow...yes, he's back and gets some good comic screentime. Also stealing the show is a drug-dealing monkey who has special talents in other ways; he provides a lot of the visual gags.

Bradley Cooper keeps the film together, a central character in the Wolf Pack, and
Zach Galifianakis is on good form again as the 'challenging' and trouble-causing Alan. But despite the set pieces and the bigger shit they get themselves into, the laughs come very slowly.

You'll enjoy it if you're a fan of The Hangover, but others may be a bit perplexed about its appeal. In the end though, it's all about the cigarette smoking, little monkey.