May 15, 2011
In “The Hangover,” the Las Vegas shenanigans of the Wolfpack – Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms and Justin Bartha -- stayed in Vegas. This time, in “The Hangover Part II,” the gang travels to exotic Thailand for a bachelor party that’s supposed to be subdued and safe. However, things don’t always go as planned.
“The Hangover” was released in 2009 and took the world by storm—becoming the highest-grossing R-Rated comedy of all time and winning the Golden Globe for Best Picture-Musical or Comedy. Though the laughs were nonstop, it was not just the jokes that made it so appealing; it was a group of actors who were believable as friends and whose chemistry onscreen just clicked.
“It sounds corny, but it’s kind of a dream situation to work on a movie that’s a genuine comedy and going to work with people you like,” Galifianakis says. “It’s really, really cool.”
All involved were thrilled that the first movie connected with audiences around the globe. “I think physical comedy is pretty universal,” Galifianakis posits. “Also, you’re pulling for these guys. In spite of everything they go through, they’re really just trying to have a good time. That’s the common theme in these movies.”
“And, also, the hook of the movie is that it’s a kind of a whodunnit mystery,” Bradley Cooper adds. “So, there’s not just a bunch of comedy set pieces. It’s a movie that has a real engine. If you took all the comedy out, it could play as a thriller. It’s sort of hitting on those two marks.”
In “The Hangover Part II,” the characters follow the same trajectory as on their last adventure, but this time they’re in the exotic international city of Bangkok, Thailand. “[Director] Todd Phillips first became inspired by thinking of where they could go next,” says producer Dan Goldberg. “And every time you said Bangkok, for whatever reason, people would go, ‘Wow, that’s great.’ So, Todd and his co-writers, Craig Mazin and Scot Armstrong, did a ton of research on the real Bangkok and a story started to take shape that was different but definitely in the spirit of the first film.”
“To me, location is one of the movie’s main characters,” Phillips attests. “Vegas was such a big part of the first one and, for this one, it was really about finding a city or a place where when you say the word it means something. Once we decided on Bangkok, that pretty much defined the movie. It just sounds like trouble, especially for our guys.”
“There’s also something to just being in a foreign country and feeling adrift and untethered and helpless in a place where you don’t speak the language,” says Helms. “You don’t understand the customs. You’re not familiar with the food. They’re fundamental things that are all of a sudden different and it throws everything off-kilter, even more than usual.”
“They’re kind of flying without a net and that allows for us to do more crazy things or put bigger obstacles in front of them and that’s really the point,” Phillips says.
“It’s a totally new story,” Cooper describes. “There are new characters, but also some characters that come back. What we all love about it is you’re getting the same flavor that you felt in the first one, but we’re all focused on telling a new story. To me, it feels like we’re all trying to solve the puzzle together.”
Opening soon across the Philippines, “The Hangover Part II” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
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