The Hangover Part II

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The Hangover Part II

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Todd Phillips
Produced by Daniel Goldberg
Todd Phillips
Written by Scot Armstrong
Craig Mazin
Todd Phillips
Starring Bradley Cooper
Ed Helms
Zach Galifianakis
Justin Bartha
Music by Christophe Beck
Cinematography Lawrence Sher
Editing by Debra Neil-Fisher
Mike Sale
Studio Legendary Pictures
Green Hat Films
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s)
  • May 26, 2011 (2011-05-26)
Running time 102 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $80 million
Box office $581,464,305[2]

The Hangover Part II is a 2011 American comedy film produced by Legendary Pictures and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, and a sequel to 2009's The Hangover. Todd Phillips directed the film in addition to co-authoring the script with Craig Mazin, and Scott Armstrong. The film stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and Justin Bartha. The Hangover Part II tells the story of Phil, Stu, Alan, and Doug as they travel to Thailand for Stu's wedding. After the bachelor party in Las Vegas, Stu takes no chances and opts for a safe, subdued pre-wedding brunch. However, things do not go as planned, resulting in another bad hangover with no memories of the previous night.

Development of The Hangover Part II began in April 2009, two months before The Hangover was released. The principal actors were cast in March 2010 to reprise their roles from the first film. Production began in October 2010, in Ontario, California, before moving on location in Thailand. The film was released on May 26, 2011 and, despite receiving mostly negative reviews from critics, it became the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time.


[edit] Plot

Two years after their escapade in Las Vegas, Stu Price, Phil Wenneck, Alan Garner and Doug Billings travel to Thailand to celebrate Stu's impending wedding to Lauren. Much to Alan's dismay, they are joined by Lauren's younger brother, Teddy. During Lauren's father's toast, he shows his disapproval of Stu by comparing him to congee. At the end of the night, Stu hesitantly joins Phil, Doug, Alan and Teddy for a beer. Sitting at a campfire and roasting marshmallows, the group toast to Stu and Lauren's future happiness.

The following morning, Phil, Stu and Alan, along with flamboyant gangster Leslie Chow - whom Alan befriended after Las Vegas - and a chain-smoking capuchin monkey, awaken in a dirty hotel room in Bangkok. Stu has a face tattoo (a replica of Mike Tyson's tattoo), and Alan's head is completely shaved. However, they cannot find Teddy, only discovering his severed finger. Chow begins recalling the events of the prior night, but he seemingly dies after snorting a line of cocaine. Panicked, the trio dispose of Chow's body in an ice box.

Through a tip from Doug who is still at the resort, they go to a prison to pick up Teddy but are given a wheelchair-bound elderly Buddhist monk, who knows more about what happened, but does not reveal anything: he has taken a vow of silence, and rejects also an alternative such as writing something down. After finding a business card, they travel to a neighborhood smouldering in ruins. They enter a nearby tattoo parlor where Stu got his tattoo, and they learn that they had started a fight that escalated into a riot. The trio then return the monk to his Buddhist temple, where they are encouraged by the head monk to meditate. Alan is able to recall that they had been at a strip club. There, they learn that Stu had engaged in sex with a kathoey prostitute. Upon exiting, the trio is attacked by two Russian mobsters from whom they had stolen the monkey, and Phil is shot in the arm.

After Phil is treated at a clinic, Alan confesses that he had drugged some of the marshmallows from the previous night with muscle relaxants and ADHD medication in order to sedate Teddy but accidentally mixed up the bags. After noticing an address and time point for a meeting written on Alan's stomach, the trio meet up with another gangster, Kingsley, who demands Chow's bank account code and password by the next morning in exchange for Teddy. They return to the hotel to try to find Chow's password, only to discover that he is still alive. They steal the monkey (who had the code given to him by Chow inside his jacket for safe-keeping) back from the Russian mobsters through a violent car chase, during which the monkey is shot and injured. After taking the code and leaving the monkey at a veterinary clinic, the group complete the deal with Kingsley. Suddenly, Interpol agents appear and arrest Chow. Kingsley turns out to be an undercover agent, who tells the trio that the police had used the information that Teddy had disappeared to arrest Chow and Kingsley actually does not know where Teddy is.

Desperate and out of clues, Phil once again calls Doug's wife Tracy. Stu then has an epiphany and the trio rushes back to the hotel and find Teddy in the elevator unharmed (albeit still missing a finger). Teddy had woken up in the middle of the night to get more ice for his severed finger (after the first bucket of ice had melted) but became trapped after the power went out. The four use Chow's speedboat, the keys for which were in Teddy's pocket, to travel back to the wedding reception.

Arriving on land just as Lauren's father is about to cancel the wedding, Stu makes a defiant speech where he rejects being boring and instead states that he is in fact quite wild. Impressed, Lauren's father gives the couple his blessing. After the wedding continues on, Alan presents Stu with a special gift at the post-reception dance: a musical guest performance by Mike Tyson. Teddy later discovers that he had taken many pictures during the night on his mobile phone. The group, along with Tyson, agree to look at the pictures together once before erasing the evidence of their exploits once again.

[edit] Cast

Cooper, Helms, Galifianakis, Bartha, Jeong, Barrese, Vigman and Tambor reprise their roles from the first film. Mike Tyson also reprises his role as himself and sings a cover of the 1984 Murray Head song "One Night in Bangkok" for the movie.[10][11] The film is the Hollywood debut of Mason Lee, son of director Ang Lee.[7] Nick Cassavetes has a cameo appearance as a Bangkok tattoo artist. Liam Neeson was initially cast in that role, which was originally envisioned for Mel Gibson.[12]

[edit] Production

[edit] Development and pre-production

In April 2009, Warner Bros. set director Todd Phillips to write a sequel to The Hangover with Scot Armstrong. The dealmaking came two months before The Hangover was released on June 5, 2009. While studios often wait to see box office results before committing to a sequel, The Hangover tested strongly, and a trailer brought down the house at ShoWest.[13]

Variety reported in July 2009, that production on The Hangover 2 would begin in October 2010, for a Memorial Day 2011 release, following the same production schedule used for the first film.[14] Also in July, Zach Galifianakis stated in an interview with Latino Review that the film will be set in Thailand, "Well, I think we're going to Thailand. The problem with 'Hangover 2' is that we have to live up to what we did which is very difficult. So we get, I think, kind of kidnapped. It has nothing to do with the bachelor party. We're definitely not doing that again but we do end up in an exotic location. That's all I know".[15]

In January 2010, Phillips dismissed rumors that Zac Efron would join the cast of The Hangover 2, though Ed Helms stated that Efron would be a welcomed addition, commenting, "I love that guy. He's actually really funny".[16]

In March 2010, Phillips denied reports that the film would take place in Mexico or Thailand stating, "I don't know. There's a lot of rumors. There was rumor also that it was going to Mexico or something and neither are true".[17] Also in March, it was reported that Galifianakis, Helms, Bradley Cooper and Justin Bartha had all completed talks and were ready to sign deals to reprise their roles in the sequel. Galifianakis, Cooper and Helms will each reportedly be paid in the vicinity of $5 million against 4 percent of first dollar gross. Phillips will reportedly be paid around $10 million against 10 percent. Phillips was also offered escalators and bonuses to ensure that if the sequel does anywhere close to the original's $467 million worldwide gross, then he would not make less than his income on the original.[3]

Cooper stated that "we made [the] decision early on" to keep the same plot structure. "I remember we did this photo shoot for Vanity Fair and that was when we first talked about a sequel in a realistic way; and we were all in the room together afterwards and we were saying 'here's the choice: do we stray from the structure or do we run straight for it?' And we all agreed, no question about it, we hadn't earned the ability to take these 3 guys out and put them in a new structure. There needs to be a ticking clock, there needs to be a missed night and there needs to be someone who's gone and a woman who is waiting to get married and a guy who needs to get married."[18]

In June 2010, before accepting the Guy Movie of the Year award on the Spike Guys Choice Awards, Phillips announced that there would be a Hangover 2 and that they were hoping to begin filming around October 15, 2010, for a July 4, 2011 weekend release.[19]

In July 2010, it was confirmed that film would indeed be set in Thailand and earlier comments made by Phillips denying such reports were a deliberate case of misdirection.[20] The following month, Bradley Cooper stated he believed the rumors to be true and was looking forward to filming The Hangover 2 in Thailand.[21]

In October 2010, Phillips confirmed that the film would take place in Bangkok and Los Angeles and that Galifianakis, Cooper, Helms and Ken Jeong would be returning.[4]

[edit] Filming

On a budget of $80 million,[22] principal photography began on October 8, 2010, in Ontario, California with the first images of production being released a few days later.[23] It was also reported in October that actress Heather Graham would not be reprising her role as Jade from the first film.[24] Later in the same month it was reported that Mel Gibson would have a cameo appearance in the film as a Bangkok tattoo artist.[25] Four days later Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures and director Todd Phillips confirmed that Gibson would not be appearing in the film. Phillips stated: "I thought Mel would have been great in the movie and I had the full backing of [WB president] Jeff Robinov and his team. But I realize filmmaking is a collaborative effort, and this decision ultimately did not have the full support of my entire cast and crew."[26] Liam Neeson stepped in to replace Mel Gibson after he was invited to take the cameo role via his A-Team co-star Bradley Cooper. Neeson, a fan of the first film stated, "I just got a call to do a one day shoot on 'Hangover 2' as a tattooist in Thailand, and that's all I know about it".[27] Gibson was reportedly furious over the decision. A source close to Gibson stated, "He doesn't understand why Mike Tyson, a drug user who turned his life around, was given a chance while Mel was kicked to the curb. Everybody deserves a second chance".[28]

In November 2010, it was reported that Jamie Chung had been cast in the film as Stu's fiancée as well as it being renamed, The Hangover Part II.[6] In an interview director Todd Phillips revealed that Mike Tyson would be back in the sequel.[10] Also in November, it was reported that Paul Giamatti had joined the cast.[9] The next day it was reported that former U.S. President Bill Clinton filmed a cameo appearance for the film in Bangkok while he was in the city to deliver a speech on clean energy.[29] However Ed Helms clarified that Clinton merely visited the set and would be surprised if he appeared in the film.[30]

In December 2010, it was reported that Bryan Callen, who played the owner of the wedding chapel in The Hangover, is working again in The Hangover Part II, as "a smarmy strip club owner in Bangkok".[8] Also in December, Australian stuntman Scott McLean was seriously injured in a traffic accident while filming a stunt sequence near Bangkok. Warner Bros. issued a statement stating McLean was put into a medically induced coma but is expected to recover.[31]

Bradley Cooper said that "logistically, to get from point A to point B [was] incredibly difficult and the bureaucracy and getting things done. There are always tons of people around the set and Todd loves a lean set and it was always the opposite, so watching a director deal with that – especially when it was Todd Phillips – was interesting." He then went on to say, in a later part of the interview, that "it was the hardest shoot that I had ever done, that Zach had ever done, that Ed had ever done and that Todd had ever done."[18]

[edit] Post-production

In February 2011, it was reported that Christophe Beck would be reteaming with director Todd Phillips to score the film. The project marks the fourth collaboration between Beck and Philips, who also worked together on School for Scoundrels, The Hangover and Due Date.[32]

In April 2011, Variety reported that Liam Neeson's cameo as a Bangkok tattoo artist had been cut and Nick Cassavetes has been re-cast in the role. While editing, Phillips cut the scene that immediately followed Neeson's cameo, meaning it no longer had the information necessary to logically get the main characters to the situation in the next scene. Three weeks later, Phillips decided to reshoot the scene, but with Neeson in London filming Wrath of the Titans, the actor was no longer available. Phillips explained, "We were in a complete time crunch so I called up Nick and asked if he would do the part. He came in and crushed it and that is the scene that you will ultimately see in the film. [I'm excited for everyone] to see the film. It turned out great".[12]

[edit] Soundtrack

WaterTower Music has announced the release of the soundtrack on May 24, 2011. The soundtrack contains 12 songs from the film, along with eight dialogue clips from the film. Though the song "Monster", by Kanye West featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver and Nicki Minaj, was featured in the film, it does not appear on the soundtrack.

Among the songs included on the album are Ed Helms' "Allentown", a new song in the spirit of his popular "Stu’s Song" from the soundtrack of 2009′s The Hangover. Additional new music includes a song from Danzig, along with music from the Ska Rangers, Kanye West, Mark Lanegan, Deadmau5, Wolfmother and more.[33]

[edit] Release

The marquee at The Hangover Part II premiere outside Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California.

The Hangover Part II held its premiere on May 19, 2011, at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California.[34][35]

[edit] Marketing

The first teaser trailer was released online in February 2011.[36] The first full trailer was released in April 2011.[36] Later in the same month Warner Bros. pulled the trailer from theaters for violating an MPAA rule stating that films can only trailer before similarly rated movies. The trailer for the R-rated comedy was being promoted at screenings for the PG-13-rated Source Code against MPAA regulations. Warner Bros. released a statement saying, "In our haste to meet the placement schedule for this trailer, we failed to properly vet the final version with the MPAA. We acted immediately to correct the mistake and removed the trailer from screens".[37]

[edit] Tattoo lawsuit

In April 2011, tattoo artist S. Victor Whitmill filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. In the film, Stu wakes up with a copy of Mike Tyson's tattoo. Whitmill, who designed the tattoo for Tyson claims it as a copyrighted work and asked a judge to stop Warner Bros. Entertainment from using the tattoo in its posters or in the movie, which would amount to stopping the film from being released, as well as to demand monetary damages for what he calls "reckless copyright infringement" by the studio. Warner Bros. responded in a brief to Judge Catherine D. Perry, stating that any delay in releasing the film would have huge economic costs. It also argued that there was no legal precedent for Mr. Whitmill's assertion of copyright, saying he had put forward a "radical claim that he is entitled, under the Copyright Act, to control the use of a tattoo that he created on the face of another human being".[38] The Judge allowed the case to go forward, stating that Mr. Whitmill had a "strong likelihood of prevailing on the merits for copyright infringement" and that most of the arguments put forward by Warner Bros. were "just silly," but rejected Whitmill's request for a preliminary injunction to stop the release of the film, because, on balance, that rejection was "in the public interest".[39][40] In the event that Warner Bros. and Whitmill did not come to an agreement, the former party aimed to digitally modify the tattoo from Helms' face for the home video release.[41] In June 2011, Warner Bros. settled the lawsuit with Whitmill; the terms of the settlement were not disclosed.[42]

[edit] Home media

The Hangover Part II was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 6, 2011 in the United States by Warner Home Media, on December the 5th in the UK and on November 30 in the Netherlands. The film was made available in 3 formats: DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray Combo pack which included both high and standard-definition iteration of the film and an UltraViolet digital copy of the film.[43]

[edit] Reception

[edit] Box office

The Hangover Part II has grossed $254,464,305 in the US and Canada, and $327,000,000 elsewhere, for a worldwide gross of $581,464,305.[2] On its opening weekend, it earned $177.8 million, which was the highest-grossing worldwide opening for a comedy film, taking the record from The Simpsons Movie ($170.9 million).[44] On the weekend of June 17–19, 2011, it out-grossed its predecessor in worldwide earnings to become the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time.[45]

United States and Canada

The film was released on Thursday, May 26, 2011, in North America, coinciding with the U.S. Memorial Day weekend.[46] During launch midnight showings in 2,600 theaters, the film earned $10.4 million, breaking the record for the biggest midnight opening for an R-rated film, replacing Paranormal Activity (2007) with $6.3 million.[46] The film opened in a further 1,015 theaters during the launch day for a total of 3,615 – becoming the widest opening ever for an R-rated film[47] – and earned a further $21.2 million to accrue a launch day total of $31.6 million;[46] nearly doubling The Hangover's Friday launch opening ($16.7 million).[48] This amount broke two further records; the highest-grossing opening day for a live-action comedy[48] and the highest-grossing opening day for an R-rated comedy film, replacing Sex and the City (2008) with $26.7 million.[46] According to exit polling, the launch day audience was 51 percent female and 41 percent were aged between 18 and 24.[46] On May 27, the film took an additional $30.0 million, dropping only 5 percent from the takings of the previous day and becoming the highest-grossing Friday for a live-action comedy.[49] The three-day (Friday-Sunday) opening weekend accumulated $85,946,294 – an average of $23,923 per theater[2] – becoming the highest grossing opening weekend for a comedy film, replacing The Simpsons Movie ($74 million),[46] the highest-grossing opening weekend for a live-action comedy, replacing Austin Powers in Goldmember ($73 million),[50] the highest-grossing opening weekend for an R-rated comedy, replacing Sex and the City ($79 million)[46] and the second-highest grossing opening weekend of all time for an R-rated film, behind The Matrix Reloaded ($91.7 million).[51] For the Memorial Day four-day weekend, the film amassed $103.4 million to become the fourth highest-grossing Memorial Day weekend opening.[52] However, in its second weekend the film gross dropped 64 percent from the previous weekend – while the original film dropped only 27 percent during its second weekend – and grossed $31.4 million.[53][54] The film ended its Box Office run on September 15, 2011, on 113th day of its release.[55]

International market

The Hangover Part II debuted in 40 countries internationally over the weekend of May 26–29, 2011, across 5,170 screens.[46] In total, the film accrued $60.3 million[52] from its Friday-through-Monday opening weekend, more than tripling the international gross of The Hangover's debut in the same territories.[52] The highest weekend gross came from the United Kingdom where the film earned £10,409,017[56][57] from 920 screens, breaking the record for the highest grossing opening for a US comedy,[58] but this record was overtaken by The Inbetweeners Movie (£13,216,736[59]). Australia accrued a gross of $12.1 million to replace Sex and the City in the country as the highest grossing opening for an MA-rated film – no-one under the age of 15 permitted.[60] The film took $8.7 million in The Netherlands and $6.2 million in France and $3.1 million in Italy ($4.6 million with previews); a five-fold increase over the opening weekend gross of The Hangover.[61] On its second weekend, the film accrued $63.8 million from 53 territories, placing it second behind Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; the film having earned 79 percent of its predecessor's entire overseas run.[62] On the weekend of June 10–12, 2011, it surpassed its predecessor and Something About Mary in overseas earnings to become the highest-grossing R-rated comedy overseas.[63][64]

[edit] Critical reception

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that The Hangover Part II holds a score of 35% based on 221 reviews from critics with a rating average of 5.0 out of 10. The website's critical consensus is that the film is "a crueler, darker, raunchier carbon copy of the first installment" and "lacks the element of surprise – and most of the joy – that helped make the original a hit."[65] Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film a score of 44 based on 40 reviews.[66] CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was a A- on an A+ to F scale.[67]

Andrew Barker of Variety gave the film a negative review, stating, "The stock dismissal 'more of the same' has rarely been more accurately applied to a sequel than to The Hangover Part II, which ranks as little more than a faded copy of its predecessor superimposed on a more brightly colored background".[68] Christy Lemire of the Associated Press said, "Giving the people what they want is one thing. Making nearly the exact same movie a second time, but shifting the setting to Thailand, is just ... what, lazy? Arrogant? Maybe a combination of the two".[69] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times also gave the film an average review stating, "The Hangover Part II plays like a challenge to the audience's capacity for raunchiness. It gets laughs, but some of them are in disbelief".[70]

Conversely, Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter gave The Hangover Part II a positive review remarking, "What happens in Bangkok isn't as much fun as when it happened in Vegas, but it's still worth the trip".[71] Lou Lumenick of the New York Post said, "There are definitely laughs to be had, even if the three leads often seem to be going through the motions".[72]

[edit] Criticism

Crystal, a capuchin monkey who also appeared in the Night at the Museum films, portrays the drug dealing monkey. Director Todd Philips raised concerns after he joked that Crystal had become addicted to cigarettes after learning to smoke them for the film. Philips later explained that Crystal never actually held a lit cigarette on the film's set and the smoke was added digitally in post-production. Despite this, PETA protested about Crystal's appearance in the film for use of exotic animals for entertainment purposes and the film does not carry the American Humane Association's disclaimer that "no animals were harmed" since the group was denied set visits.[73]

In an interview with New York magazine, Ken Jeong responded to criticisms of the character Mr. Chow as an offensive caricature and stated doing the character was "very cathartic" for him and said the character "has the inflections of Vietnamese, with kind of the anger of my own Korean nature" although "it's definitely not about an accent, or a stereotype."[74]

[edit] Accolades

Group Category Recipient Result
2011 Teen Choice Awards[75] Choice Movie Actor – Comedy Ed Helms Nominated
Choice Movie Actor – Comedy Zach Galifianakis Nominated
Choice Movie Chemistry Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis Nominated
Choice Movie – Hissy Fit Ed Helms Won
Choice Movie – Male Scene Stealer Ken Jeong Nominated
Choice Movie – Female Scene Stealer Crystal the Monkey Nominated
2012 People's Choice Awards[76] Favorite Comedy Movie Nominated
Favorite Ensemble Movie Cast Nominated
Favorite Comedic Movie Actor Bradley Cooper Nominated
32nd Golden Raspberry Awards[77] Worst Supporting Actor Ken Jeong Nominated
Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel Nominated
MTV Movie Awards[78] Best Comedic Performance Zach Galifianakis Nominated

[edit] Sequel

In May 2011, director Todd Phillips said that "there already are plans for a third film but no script or start date".[79] About the possibility of a Hangover Part III, Phillips stated, "If we were to do a third one, if the audience, if the desire was there, I think we have a very clear idea where that would head. It's certainly not in the same template that you've seen these movies. The third would be very much a finale and an ending. The most I could say about it, what's in my head, and I haven't discussed it with these actors, is that it is not following that template but very much a new idea. As far as where it takes place, I said I'm very open."[80] During May, Craig Mazin, who co-wrote the The Hangover Part II, entered early talks to write the script for the third installment.[81] In December 2011, Bradley Cooper appeared on The Graham Norton Show to promote the The Hangover Part II Blu-ray and DVD release, where he stated he "hopes" that The Hangover Part III will start shooting in September 2012, and also stated that Todd Phillips is working on the script.[82] In February 2012, Mike Tyson confirmed that he will appear in the third film.[83] On March 22, 2012, Warner Bros. announced that it was moving forward with the sequel and that they were in negotiations with the actors and filmmakers. The studio also scheduled a release date of May 24, 2013, again aiming for a Memorial Day opening weekend.[84] In June 2012, it was reported that the third installment would return to Las Vegas and would shoot on the Las Vegas Strip and at Caesars Palace. The report stated that much of the film would also be shot in Los Angeles and Tijuana and include a storyline that involves the boys rescuing their troubled friend from a mental hospital.[85]

[edit] References

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