Success has a way of succeeding itself in the movie industry.
So, the inevitable next step for The Hangover was to have another. Therefore, The Hangover Part II invades theatres starting May 26.
Whether the encore’s popularity can come close to the original is difficult to say: The 2009 film’s worldwide box office of $467.5 US million set a record for R-rated comedies.
Yet Part II wasn’t as daunting as some pundits predicted.
“We were tremendously excited,” said Bradley Cooper at Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotel Wednesday to promote the second Hangover. “We looked at it like an awesome experiment.”
In the Todd Phillips-directed film, teacher Phil (Cooper), dentist Stu (Ed Helms), and oddball Alan (Zach Galifianakis) find themselves in Thailand, to attend Stu’s wedding.
After a laid back pre-wedding dinner at a quiet resort, they decide to go out for one drink.
They end up trying to piece together their lives the day after the night before in Bangkok, as though it was the Las Vegas bachelor party from The Hangover, all over again.
The dazed-and-confused dunces haven’t lost Doug (Justin Bartha) this time, but must locate the missing-in-action Ted (Mason Lee) who happens to be Stu’s brother-in-law to be.
Besides slowly recalling their debauchery during the track-down shenanigans, there is more Hangover-style nostalgia to be had. Ken Jeong returns as Mr. Chow, the goofy gangster. So does former heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson.
New to the crew is Paul Giamatti. He portrays a mysterious businessman with a suspicious link to Mr. Chow.
And, of course, there’s no Mel Gibson. As most recall, Phillips withdrew Gibson’s invitation to play a tattoo artist when cast and crew objected to hiring the controversial actor.
As it turned out, Gibson’s replacement, Liam Neeson, didn’t make the cut either. He couldn’t fit in re-shoots. Nick Cassavetes, full-time director and part-time actor, ended up doing the two-minute cameo.
“And a lot of Nick’s tattoos are his,” said Cooper who became a Cassavetes buddy during filming.
And what about the Gibson controversy? He shrugged. They had more on their minds.
For one thing, they were focused on surviving the eight-week shoot in and around the chaotic streets of a sweltering Bangkok.
“The filming (in Bangkok) informed everything we did,” Cooper confirmed. “We looked sweaty and tired, and a little out of it, because that is exactly how we felt.”
For a portion of Part II, the actor also had to work alongside a drug-dealing Capuchin monkey by the name of Crystal. “And usually, Crystal was on my shoulder near my face.”
Still, there were no incidents, and everything went smoothly between them.