With a $31.7 million opening day haul on a Thursday, “The Hangover Part II” is set to dominate the Memorial Day weekend at the box-office. By Monday it’s expected to gross $110-125 million which makes it the best debut of the year and the highest ever for an R-rated comedy.
“Hangover” scored a solid “A-” CinemaScore from post-screening audiences, younger members in particular marking it high. Critics however tore into it, the film only scoring just 33% and 4.9/10 on Rotten Tomatoes, and 44/100 on Metacritic. This is considerably down from the 79% and 73/100 respectively scored by the original.
I saw it with a packed opening night audience on Thursday. The main issue is that it’s a carbon copy of the first film – the exact same story beats and character arcs as the first, just with tiny changes for the setting. On the whole the laughs were very labored and it all reeks of a super quick, lazy cash-in. Like “Bridget Jones” learnt, going to Thailand for a sequel results in only disappointment.
The audience I was with initially giggled and laughed at pretty much anything in the opening few minutes. By the last half hour there were a lot of lengthy silences. Some scenes still worked great, the closing credits photo montage for instance, others were just outright painful like Mike Tyson’s embarrassing cameo. I sensed disappointment around me, especially as many seemed to have much higher expectations than I did.
Now’s the time for your say. What did you think? Up there with the first film or one of the worst sequels ever made?