***/**** Image A Sound A Extras C-
starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Paul Giamatti
screenplay by Craig Mazin & Scot Armstrong & Todd Phillips
directed by Todd Phillips
by Walter Chaw I guess it says something about picking up speed at the bottom of that proverbial slippery slope that I thought The Hangover Part II was consistently funny and pleasantly vile throughout, and that the only time I felt genuinely offended was during the closing-credits snapshot montage, wherein Eddie Adams's infamous VC execution photograph is re-enacted in a digital tableau mort. That's the line, I guess, and kudos in a heartfelt way to director Todd Phillips and company for finding a lower place to draw it. Until then, The Hangover Part II is a vaguely linear instalment of Jackass, mapping the odd longitudes of male friendship set loose in fleshpot/den of iniquity Bangkok, the Asian equivalent of the first film's Las Vegas; where the original tackles that Sodom's sin-of-choice prostitution, this likewise spends some time with transvestitism and sex-trafficking. Ugly? Well, it's not pretty--but it is pretty funny as it reunites pretty boy Phil (Bradley Cooper), sociopath Alan (Zach Galifianakis), non-descript every-guy Doug (Justin Bartha), and dentist Stu (Ed Helms), for whose wedding the boys have reconvened some ill-defined months after the events of the previous film. Along for the ride this time is adorable little-bro-of-the-bride Teddy (Mason "son of Ang" Lee), who has the de facto Dragon Daddy issues as a Stanford pre-med and concert cellist and who, of course, will go through a heart-warming transformation through the loving attention of unbridled hedonism, drug abuse, organized crime, and mutilation. Oh, and there's a fellating, drug-dealing monkey in a denim Rolling Stones vest. Ah, Bangkok.
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