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Why <I>The Hangover Part II</i> Is Not as Bad as You May Have Heard

The reviews are in for The Hangover's sequel, and they're pretty brutal across the board. I read a few of them before I went to the movie last night so I was expecting a boring, lazy, unfunny re-hash of the first movie - basically just a pointless cash-grab of a film. And while Part II certainly has its faults -- the ending is a laughable throw-away, there's a date rape bit that was ill-advised, and Alan's shtick flounces between hilarious and irritatingly Michael-Scott-at-his-worst stupid, to name a few -- I honestly laughed a lot and genuinely enjoyed the movie overall. The majority of critics clearly disagree with me, but here are the reasons that I think The Hangover Part II is much more watchable than it's being made out to be.

Las Vegas Has Nothing on Bangkok
I think the biggest reason this movie didn't feel like a mere carbon copy of the original is the fact that Bangkok is effing awesome. It's more terrifying, unpredictable, mysterious and certainly more beautiful than Las Vegas is, and there's an edginess about the setting that allows for a lot of big laughs that I don't think would work in a movie about Vegas. You can't exactly have Russian drug lords riding around shooting off Uzis on the Strip and have it be believable, you know?

Monkeys Are Funnier Than Tigers
The sequel trades the tiger from the first movie in for a little drug-dealing monkey, and after the guys wake up to find him in their hotel room, Alan falls in love with him immediately, letting the monkey become the fourth member of their Wolfpack. It's a huge upgrade -- the monkey is hilarious and adorable, and earns his paycheck a lot better than that scary-ass tiger ever did.

Chow is Back, and He's Better Than Ever
I've suffered a bit of Ken Jeong fatigue lately, so I wasn't particularly looking forward to seeing a reprise of his Hangover character, Mr. Chow, in the sequel. But he was utilized just enough (he's only in about a fifth of the movie) and given funny enough lines that it was perfect. Frankly, I laughed at his character more in this movie than I did in the first one, which is all I need to know that it was a good decision to bring him back.

They Are All Horrible Jerks, But That Works
A lot of the reviews are complaining about what slimy, irredeemable people Alan, Stu and Phil have turned into for the sequel, and while they absolutely are slimy, irredeemable people, I think they need to be. I can't imagine watching all these horrific things happen to characters I genuinely liked and still feeling like laughing at them. Hating them so much really frees you up to enjoy seeing people try to shoot them and give them unwanted face tattoos.

Alan Is Still Funny
Okay, sometimes he isn't, sure, but for the most part, Zach Galifianakis is hilarious in this movie. I didn't think he would be after I hated Due Date so much and thinking I was over him for good, but whether it was the script or the fact that he has two straight men in this movie to play off of instead of one, his ratio of laughs generated to eye rolls induced was about 80 percent to 20 percent. Considering most comedies, that's not bad at all.

Watch a freewheeling interview with the movie's cast.

Tell us what you thought of the movie, then see our list of the greatest TV hangovers ever!

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