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Of course I really liked "The Hangover" but it was not a movie without its flaws and I still had some problems with it. Surprisingly enough I have far less complaints about its sequel. Yes, I know I'm a minority on this but I actually liked "The Hangover Part II" better than the first movie.

Thing most people seem to have problems with is that this movie is nothing more than a rehash of the first movie. But actually I have to really disagree on this. It's using the same concept, of waking up at a strange place, after a wild night, of which none of the main characters remember anything of. But clearly a lot had happened, since there suddenly is a monkey in the room, a finger in a ice bucket, one of the guys has a tattoo on his face, the other is suddenly bald, one of their friends has gone missing and Mr. Chow somehow ended up in the room as well. So it's using the same sort of concept and setup as the first movie but how would it had been a Hangover movie if it was using a totally different concept? And really, just because it's using the same concept that doesn't of course mean that all of the situations, funny moments and characters are all the same as well. On the contrary, "The Hangover Part II" has plenty of originality going for it and I actually think it's a better written and constructed movie than the first one.

A problem I had with the first movie was that things felt somewhat forced and all happened very randomly. It was as if they were having a great main premise but they just didn't really knew how to use it. It felt to me as if they were making up stuff with its script as it went along but their was not one clear, whole, finished idea behind of from the start. This movie obviously had an idea behind it from the start and everything happens for a reason in its story. It makes the movie flow more pleasantly and naturally.

One of the things I also liked better in this one were its settings. It's surprising but I actually liked the Bangkok settings better than the Las Vegas ones of the first movie. Perhaps its because it's a strange and totally different country, in which the main characters are totally strangers. They don't speak the language, don't know the customs and get into all sorts of different problems because of that.

And yes, all of the problems they maneuver themselves into are some pretty hilarious and well written ones. Like I said, everything happens for a reason and is connected to each other. Something that might seem very random will eventually come back in the story and play a significant part in it. It's a movie that made me laugh from basically start till finish.

One of the things that makes these movies such great and effective ones are its main characters. They are really convincing as real life, middle aged, buddies and actually also somewhat easy to relate to, despite them being in some unusual situations and also doing some often highly unusual stuff. They are the true driving force behind these movies.

Also the thing that makes them work out so well is because they are being played by some great actors. This is a big difference with most other comedies, in which acting skills seem to be often secondary. You have to sort of feel for Justin Bartha though. In the first movie he spend most of the time off screen and in this movie he also isn't involved with any of the adventures and craziness, while he still actually is a member of 'the wolf-pack'. The first movie launched Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis to stardom but who will recognize Justin Bartha when he's walking down the street? This sequel won't change anything about that.

So all in all, a better written, better made and even more fun sequel. Yes, I'm probably crazy but I actually liked this movie better than the first "The Hangover".

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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