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Pray, where is the headache pill?

BARADWAJ RANGAN
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OH NO, HERE THEY GO AGAIN!:Despite the jokes, the film still underwhelms.
OH NO, HERE THEY GO AGAIN!:Despite the jokes, the film still underwhelms.

The Hangover Part II (English)

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis

Director: Todd Phillips

The Hangover Part IIdoes absolutely nothing to exceed the expectations built byThe Hangover.

Like a tired traveller dusting off an old map, the director, Todd Phillips, reuses the older movie's screenplay, not so much charting a new route as creating small diversions to enliven the same journey. This film, too, begins with preparations for a wedding and ends with the actual wedding.

Here, too, these preparations are inconvenienced by a call from Phil (Bradley Cooper), who has woken up miles away, unable to recall the events of the previous night.

“It happenedagain,” he wails, assuring us that what we seek is exactly what we'll get. (Elsewhere, he intones, “You know the drill.” Yes, we do indeed.)

Accordingly, Stu (Ed Helms) wakes up, once again, with a disfigurement (a tattoo here, a broken tooth earlier) and in the vicinity of a wild animal (a monkey here, a tiger there), as a companion (Mason Lee's Teddy replaces Justin Bartha's Doug) is revealed to be missing.

The wrong-man-retrieval scenario, Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) springing from an enclosed space and affixing himself to the nearest bystander like the creature fromAlien, the shot of Phil and Stu and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) in a descending elevator, posing like models in an ad for so-bad-it's-cool behaviour — it's all here. The one thing the sequel does better is attending to its premise of who we really are under the surface. Stu finally recognises that beneath that boring dentist is a demon straining at the leash of propriety.

The Hangover Part IIis alert in a way its predecessor never was to the question of what an individual is like when his id takes over.

BARADWAJ RANGAN

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