I saw The Hangover Part II a couple weeks ago, and left the theater with one lesson: know when to leave well-enough alone.
The forthcoming rant isn’t an assault on sequels in theory. Nope. This is the indictment of an idea — the idea that because something works once, then we must milk it til it’s dry. If you haven’t seen The Hangover Part II yet, but you’ve seen the first one, then you’ve seen enough already. Save your coins for Bridesmaids instead. In the battle of girl funny vs. boy funny, the ladies win this one hands down.
I generally like the concept of the sequel. It’s like an addendum to the original. And in that capacity, I look forward to the ways in which the sequel advances the core story; I expect that it’ll provide depth and background and context. I don’t even understand the utility of making the same movie twice. But maybe it’s me. I’ve been no stranger to expecting too much of muhfukas.
However, is it really too much to expect that a movie as outrageously hyped as The Hangover Part II and released on the first weekend of Summer should be worth your time away from the sun? Worth you being crammed next to the over-laughers who missed The Hangover the first time around? These are the cats who mean to make-up the social points they lost having nothing to add to the “you remember that part when…” conversation from ’09. In case you’re still on the fence about whether the movie is worth it, let me be clear about it: Your time would be better spent plucking chin hairs than watching The Hangover Part II.
I can admit to being a “serious” person at times, desiring more wit than slapstick, favoring substance over sheen. But I’ve learned that everybody aint bout that life. Indeed, folk still laugh at a naked ass — just because it’s naked, and at monkeys who smoke cigarettes. I’m not saying those things can’t be funny. But I mean, do you laugh as hard the third time you hear the same knock-knock joke? Oh you do?
Ugh, fuck you then. Good for you.
I suppose a movie and it successors should be similar in a sense — they should share common threads to keep us invested. But shouldn’t they also have to ante up on creativity? Adding a corner boy monkey and more camera time for the Asian dude wasn’t a good enough stretch. Neither was reworking the “Alan’s a little off” shtick, extending the grace period on Zach Galifianakis’s fifteen minutes of fame. I adore Galifianakis and the offbeat thing he’s made hilarious elsewhere. But in Hangover Part II, it’s only moderately funny followed closely by moderately annoying.
Sure enough, soon enough you start to feel a bit played because these cats done definitely suckered you for your $9 — the cost of the fucking matinee. Yep, Galifianakis, the small Asian, and the monkey are all part of an elaborate ruse designed to distract you from recognizing that this movie should never have been made. Or better yet, that it was already made. And you’ve already seen it, and they just got you for $9 all over again. Mmhmm, I’m still bitter about it.
I believe our culture suffers from an inability to let a good thing stand on its own, for its own time. If it works, then we will duplicate it and market it into oblivion. If it’s a song, it will eventually show up in a movie, on a t.v. show, in a commercial, and potentially in a singing fucking Hallmark card. And sometimes all at the same time. It’s disgusting. Contemporary wisdom seems to suggest that a thing doesn’t have to be both new and improved because somebody with questionable taste will buy it anyway. In its every form . Even if the product turns out to be little more than a shitty, second-rate knock-off of the original. Sort of like what Ashanti and Plies did to The Deele’s “Two Occasions” — shit is unsavory, man. Downright disrespectful.
So join me, friends and patriots, in standing for standards. Demand that the producers of our entertainment create something, I don’t know, creative. Or, at the very least, genuinely funny. Or, at the even more very least, cheaper during matinee hours.
That smoking monkey mighta been a little funnier at $5 a ticket.