If you saw the original Hangover you will be well aware of the over-the-top antics that will take place in this version. No, they are not the same, but in theory the plot and the framework are.
Friend getting married.
Friends attend "bachelor party" Bangkok instead of Las Vegas
Friends wake up hungover in a hotel room.
Friends don't remember a thing.
Friends immediately know some crazy things took place.
Then the films turn into a mystery. Clues and bits of info obtained.
Craziness increases as more information is gathered
All hope for a return seems lost
Arrival at Wedding.
Insane pictures are found. Play over credits.
I don't like giving plots or any major bits of information away but really, what I've listed you already know.
Some other similarities between I & II
Major amounts of Alcohol
Less than desired sexual adventure
Animals Replace Tiger with Monkey.
Normally sequels let movie-goers down. I'm on the fence with blindly labeling anything and while this "rule" does typically occur with sequels, I don't think it's necessarily fair. In this case, I wasn't disappointed in the least bit, and I don't think you will be either.
The first film sets everything up for what's to come. The surprise factor is lost for most sequels. Yet, not here, Phillips and co. are basically telling you what to expect, through previews, interviews etc..
Typically a lack of surprise can be attributed primarily to the filmmakers feeling they need to go above & beyond in the sequels. Sometimes doing this takes the air out of the balloon, as it becomes so concentrated on getting bigger, going beyond, the structure gets weakened, and the story suffers for it.
Because movie-goers understand bigger is the normal fare for each sequel in a franchise, their expectations rise and when these lofty expectations are not met, then you have the disappointments that are often talked about in exit interviews, reviews et al. I'll say it again, I don't necessarily feel that is completely fair. Allow the sequel to first stand alone before you compare it to previous installments. That seems much fairer, and in viewing sequels in this matter, you should gain more enjoyment for your dollars and time spent.
The Hangover part II works as a stand alone and as a sequel. It follows the format that worked in the first film to perfection. While some of the stunts are a bit over the top, they aren't nearly bigger than the ones in The Hangover Part I. In my opinion, this is a good thing. But like I said, those people expecting more may be disappointed.
What people have to realize though, is Part I was so over-the-top, Part II would turn into a farce if they tried toping it. But the stunts used in this film are on par with Part I as far as being laugh producing. The main difference, from where I stand, is that these antics seem more realistic, more likely to possibly occur. You may be saying that's a stretch, but not as much as waking up with a tiger in your hotel room. The stunts, for me, work better, because I can actually see how a few of these incidents could take place in a drunken blackout. Perhaps this is why I actually think I laughed, if this makes any sense, better during this one, than I did in Part I. And that's saying a bit, seeing I laughed so much watching Part I in the theater, I was on the verge of tears.
I'm not going to list all the best parts, if you want that you can find it someplace on line. But this film works on many levels.
1. Zach Galifianakis, yet again, makes the film. Alan Garner is one of the funniest characters to appear in recent film, and for this reason alone, i'm hoping that they can get everyone back together for a third installment.
2. Ken Jeong's Chow- rivaled Galifianakis' Alan in the first movie, and while not upstaging him in this film, he layered additional levels of comedic presence. His character is a likable, yet despicable version of someone everyone has known at one time or another in their lives.
I credit the writers for finding a way to bring his character back. I wonder how that thought process worked. After all, he's not a member of the "Wolf-pack," and seemingly wouldn't be a fit for a second film. But when you see the manner they "resurrected," Chow, you will be amazed how smoothly his reinsertion was. Such a simple idea that will probably not get much attention by critics or in reviews.
3. The monkey. Can't say too much without risking a spoiler, but this monkey is integral to much of the action & comedy in this film.
4. The Monk. Just watch the film and you'll see why he's on this list.
5. Solid Storyline.
6. Solid framework.
Obviously I'm recommending The Hangover part II, but I will say if you thought the original was beneath your taste level, you, then, may want to pass. The sequel is as every bit seedy, as the Bangkok hotel room the characters awake to.
I'll also recommend that everyone stick around for the credits. It's worth repeating how funny the photographs are, definitely on par with the ones in the original.