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In The Hangover Part II, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) travel to Thailand for Stu's wedding. Determined not to risk his own wedding by repeating the destructive antics of Doug's bachelor party in Las Vegas, Stu opts for a subdued, pre-wedding brunch...with no alcohol. However, things don't go as planned and a night of wild partying leaves the Wolfpack with no memory of the night before and only a strip club, a drug lord, a tattoo parlor and a monkey as their clues to solving the mystery of a missing wedding guest.

I enjoyed the original The Hangover enough that I've caught it a couple of times, and when the box office receipts were tallied up and the inevitable sequel was announced I was looking forward to another wild ride with the Wolfpack, even if that meant the core setup of the first film would be repeated with a few differences. My thinking was that there was enough charm, wit and laughs in that film that the concept could be rehashed with the same likable characters and still make for an enjoyable romp. To no one's surprise that's exactly what the filmmakers tried to do here, but to simply call The Hangover Part II a retread of the first movie would be doing a disservice to the entirely superior original.

As far as movie watching experiences go there isn't anything much worse than sitting through an unfunny comedy, and the problem is compounded here by not only being unfunny but all too familiar with no surprises or risks taken with the formula that worked so well before. The chemistry between leads Cooper, Helms and Galifianakis that carried portions of the last film is still here, but it isn't enough to carry a half-baked script with little comedy timing in which the big jokes comes off as little more than Jackass with a plot. The script also tries to add complexity that it doesn't need by throwing in a couple of subplots this time, such as Stu trying to win the approval of his soon to be father-in-law and getting into Chow's elicit activities, but it's almost as if the movie races too fast to get to the end rather than come up a satisfactory conclusion to any of it. If you loved the first movie and these characters then you might be satisfied enough with The Hangover Part II and what it offers to enjoy your time with it. Anyone else will find it cringeworthy in all the wrong spots and a chore to sit through to the end.

Video
Warner presents The Hangover Part II on Blu-ray with a 1080p, AVC encoded video transfer at an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and the results are excellent. The entire film features a warm and over saturated color palette that really conveys the hot and humid Bangkok location. The video is largely free of any anomalies that might hamper lesser transfers such as aliasing or artifacting and contains black levels and contrast that are deep and even respectively throughout. Detail is also fine for the entire running time and I couldn't detect any sort of edge enhancement, while any type of digital noise reduction applied to the video is kept to a minimum as the movie does contain a slight amount of natural grain. Being a big budget, newly released theatrical film the print used for the disc is pristine and doesn't suffer from anything such as dirt or debris that might hamper an older film making the transition to high definition. Overall this is an excellent and near perfect presentation of the film.

Audio
Warner's primary DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track goes along with the quality of the video presentation. The surround and LFE channels are all put to good use for most of the film's running time as the city of Bangkok comes to life through your sound system. Bombastic night clubs and overly crowded city streets give the sense that you are actually there with the Wolfpack, but it also doesn't deter from keeping the center channel's dialogue clear and audible for the duration. Much more lively than your average comedy track tends to be, the audio presentation of The Hangover Part II was quite a nice surprise.

Extras
If there's one technical area where the disc falls short it's with the high definition extras, though one really stands out. The "Unauthorized Documentary" is a fictitious look at the making of film though the eyes of an aspiring documentary filmmaker looking to substantiate reports that the film's three leads and director let the success of the first film go to their heads and laid waste to Thailand. Featuring snippets from J.J. Abrams, Morgan Spurlock and others, this is the best thing on the disc as the 25-minute piece has more laughs than the entire 102-minute feature film that it satirizes...and by a wide margin.

The next menu item, "Behind the Story" contains three, short featurettes that are all exactly what their titles imply. "The Comedy Rhythm of Todd Phillips" focuses on the movie's director, "Not Your Everyday Monkey" is all about the scene stealing Crystal the Monkey, and "Bangkok Tour with Chow" features Ken Jeong traipsing around Bangkok in character. The rest of the video features are rounded out with the obligatory gag reel and the odd inclusion of the film's action scenes edited together into a one minute presentation. The two-disc set also includes BD-Live functionality and a standard definition DVD copy of the film as well as an Ultraviolet digital copy included on the second disc. Overall the extras are pretty slim and don't really go too deep into the making of the movie at all, but the mockumentary included is amusing.

Overall
I enjoyed The Hangover when I first saw it in theaters a few years back but not enough for me to catch the sequel when it rolled along this past summer amongst all the big budget special effects bonanzas out there, and after viewing The Hangover Part II at home I'm glad I spent my $10 elsewhere. When all the best bits in a comedy such as this involve an animal you're usually watching a bad one, and this is no exception. Warner's Blu-ray presentation of the film is about as perfect as perfect gets with excellent audio and video though the extras are brief and--with the exception of the included mockumentary--uninspired. Overall, fans who loved the first film might want to give this one a rent, but it won't make fans of anyone else.

* Note: The below images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.

 Hangover Part II, The
 Hangover Part II, The
 Hangover Part II, The
 Hangover Part II, The
 Hangover Part II, The
 Hangover Part II, The
 Hangover Part II, The
 Hangover Part II, The


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