Hangover 2: Another Day, Another Tiger? - Macleans.ca

Hangover 2: Another Day, Another Tiger?

“A perfect storm of leverage” delayed the much-anticipated sequel


Nikki Finke’s deadline.com carries a compelling account of Warner Brothers’ sequel negotiations with the stars of The Hangover, who received less than a million dollars between them for the unassuming comedy that became a half-billion-dollar global box-office smash. (That $1 million doesn’t count the bonus of a million apiece the studio gave them shortly before commencing talks.) Production of Hangover 2 would normally be well underway by now, but Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, and Ed Helms presented a united front. Mike Fleming calls it “a perfect storm of leverage”.

The Hangover is a divisive movie—embraced with a greedy thirst by the masses, but considered seriously overrated by some. The funny thing about this is that the most notable quality of the movie, in general, is intelligence. (Sure, there’s low humour in it; can we take as axiomatic the patronizing explanation that there are pee jokes in Shakespeare and Swift and Sterne? I mean, I’m happy to patronize you if you really need it.) I found The Hangover much more admirable than hilarious. It took the cliché of the “increasingly chaotic and risky Vegas blowout” and essentially gave it a highly original time-travel twist without recourse to outright science fiction. Though I’ll concede that its ideas about the effects of Rohypnol are a little science-y and fiction-y.

The plot is intricate, but clear and free of detectable loose ends; it has the satisfying click-clack of a Rubik’s Cube, with the end credits as the satisfying flourish that finally restores order and clarity. All four of the main characters have or develop specifiable, interesting relationships with one another. Little comedy grace notes—most memorably, Ed Helms’ “Stu’s Song” piano number—impart some of the tenor of undirected real life to the tight, logic-driven narrative that yokes the characters. There’s legitimate suspense. And the whole thing kicks off with a demonstration of in medias res technique that would give a classics professor an erection. It’s a model exercise in screenwriting, and will certainly be used as one for decades.

So how, to ask the question that’s already on the minds of 60 or 70 million audience members, can the sequel not suck? The Hangover was attractive for its originality. By definition, it’s hard to see how a sequel could possibly succeed. And it’s easy to see how it could become a wearisome exercise in revisiting gags from the original. “Oh, no, it’s Mike Tyson! This can’t be good!” Even coming up with a first approximation to a premise for Hangover 2 is difficult; actually writing the thing seems like it would be a task on the same order of complexity as a lunar landing. Everybody wants the Wolf Pack reunited, but nobody wants to walk into the theatre on opening night and hear the words “Dammit, Alan! I can’t believe you roofied us again!”


Hangover 2: Another Day, Another Tiger?

  1. True – half the fun was the process of them piecing together what happened that night, which provided great opportunities for jokes and storytelling. For the sequel, I would imagine a shift in location will be key. So, what they will need is a premise to get everyone together again (another wedding). If I had to bet, my money would be on a trip to Mexico, likely Tijuana. It is the perfect venue for all sorts of crazy nonsense – crime, drugs, strippers, booze, donkey show, chicklets – you name it. Insert waka-waka……

    • Oh, that just sounded like a review for ' Bachelor Party', starring Tom Hanks. There was crime, as the crazy ex-boyfriend tried to kill Hanks several times throughout. There were drugs. Lots of strippers, I loved the club scene where her mother tries to grab a hotdog and it is the male strippers male organ. Classic and funny. Lots of booze was involved. A donkey show, where a stripper tries to perform beastiality but the donkey dies from a drug overdose and is placed in an elevator. Lots of chicklets, a bunch of women running around as strippers, with a sex crazed sister taking on a whole group of Japanese buisness men. A transvestite giving a nerdy guy a BJ at the party. The naked ex-boyfriend hanging out a window into a car with a couple. Wow, the only thing missing is the exotic locale. Yeah, we saw it in the theater when it came out. Loved Tom Hanks', 'Bachelor Party'. Now your next suggestion for a story line would be????

      • First of all – classic movie! The male strip club with "Nick the dick" – lol!!!! The nuns head on the naked girls body – lol!
        Good times. It's been ages since I've seen it. But who's kidding who? Several comedies have similar waka-waka plot/joke points.

        As mentioned in here, I think Vegas would only work with a different cast. Otherwise, you're stuck trying to out do the previous experience, which could be tough. A new location means you are not directly competing with that previous experience.

        What I was describing comes from personal experience.
        I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume you've never been to TJ? I've been a few times (as I have Vegas) with an entourage of friends. Very good times! All sorts of comic potential, though the limiting factor would be that it is not as notorious as Vegas. With that said, most people from California would understand. As it boarders San Diego, plenty of people head over for day trips, and night partying. To avoid paying Mexican auto insurance (and risking your car being stolen), people pay for parking by the boarder, and walk across. I went a couple of times with college aged friends, for the sole purpose of partying. Good times!

        Right when you cross over, you are assaulted by people trying to sell you things. I always cracked up when I was approached my Mexicans wearing lab coats, saying "Pharmacia – Vicodin – Viagra". My first thought was – dude, you're not some pharmacist – you're just a Mexican peddler with a lab coat! Much of the experience is people saying anything to get you to spend money with them! The "Donkey Show" is more urban legend, though maybe I just didn't go to the right places? One friend actually had a hot lap dance, only to be disgusted by the penis that was eventually revealed. Classic.

        Alas – from my understanding, things have changed. Over the last few years, TJ and the surrounding area has become much more dangerous, which means less people have been going there. Too bad.

    • yeahh im from tijuana fuck you too

  2. I always thought that the roofie angle was the only false note in the film. I would have preferred if they had just treated the collective amnesia an epic hangover, just "one of those things" that happens when you go to Vegas. Otherwise, it's close to a perfect comedy.

    I liked the early suggestions that the sequel would be a different cast of characters, and be about four women after a stagette.

    • Maybe, but in that case jokes predicated on "What happened to us last night?" would be less funny and you DEFINITELY couldn't use Rohypnol as a plot device.

      • From IMDB:

        Black Doug: I always wondered why they were called roofies, 'cause you're more likely to end up on the floor than the roof. They should call 'em floories.
        Alan Garner: Or rapies

    • I'm hoping you say this based on your experience of being roofied, and not the other way around? ;)

  3. Only 3 of the 4 guys stuck together?

  4. The smart thing to do would be to keep the cast together, have them be a different set of characters and have them go through a different group experience.
    I hate sequels for the sake of sequels (or should I say for the sake of cashing in on a recognized name).

  5. Hangover is the Entourage of movies. Although enjoyable, you can't help but thinking that, given its great premise, the execution could have been significantly better.

    For this reason, I think Hangover 2 could be better than the original. But only if it is done by somebody else.

  6. The biggest threat to the sequel is that now it's a studio product with a serious budget. Now that they have to cover those inflated salaries, there's no way the writers will get to follow the How To Not Suck best practices.

    • Yeah – more money means more people tinkering. This is where you need strong writers and exceptional producers.

    • Yeah – more money means more people tinkering. This is where you need strong writers and exceptional producers.

  7. They must title the movie "Hair of the Dog" and a dog must be some sort of plot device. Other than that my preference would be to have it start right at the wedding where The Hangover left off and the antics could take place on the honeymoon. As someone said above, somehow working in the stagette angle could complicate things nicely. Mexican based antics, including a donkey show, were also covered recently in The Heartbreak Kid. Anyone ever noticed the French title for The Hangover "Lendemain de veille" translates literally as "morning after the night before"? Too perfect.

    • Fair enough. I have not seen this movie, so I was oblivious.

    • I saw a French poster for The Hangover where the title–hilariously–was "Very Bad Trip". Arguably a little cleverer than the original.

  8. Remember "Weekend at Bernie's"….well Weekend 2 didn't just suck, it was a disaster!