This week Todd Phillips’ “The Hangover Part II” opens in theatres here and in Europe and I haven’t felt this excited about a comedy in a long time. But I’m not excited just because it’s a comedy about guys getting drunk, blacking out and waking up next to their drug dealer who happens to be a capuchin monkey. I’m excited because Warner Brothers has not only put comedy, a genre that hasn’t done so well lately, back on the map, but they’ve done it with gusto: back in 2009 it cost $35M to make the first one and worldwide B.O. returns to date are $ 467M. That’s what I call a good R.O.I. Now the question on everyone’s lips is, “will Warner have the same degree of success with the sequel?”
Even though “Hangover II” has the same unjiggered plot the guys and their shenanigans have relocated to the steamy backalleys of Bangkok, Thailand. One scene that I’ve looked forward to discovering is the one in which Stu (played by Ed Helms) gets that famous Mike Tyson, Maori-styled tattoo on his face (because you can’t have a story about guys getting extremely drunk without a tattoo incident getting slipped in there somewhere). Did you know that Mel Gibson was originally supposed to play the tattoo artist, but Nick Cassavetes ended up getting the part after cast and crew loudly protested the casting of Gibson?
And while we’re on the subject of controversy, there’s also the case of a tattoo artist, S. Victor Whitmill, who worked on Mike Tyson’s facial ink and who’s asking for an injunction to stop the movie from being released claiming rights infringement. Things may go very far with that one.
“Hangover II” opens in theatres this week. And while “what happens in Bangkok stays in Bangkok” doesn’t sound as good as the original, this sequel is a must-see.