in theaters: the hangover

Funny man Ken Jeong is in The Hangover, from the makers of Old School. According to IMDb, he plays "Mr. Chow." I believe that's Ian Anthony Dale and Michael Li in the photo as his henchman. Don't know much else about Ken's role, except that he's a gay Asian dude with a bad accent. And it involves full frontal nudity. You've been warned...

UPDATE: Didn't see the The Hangover, but some less-than-favorable reviews started trickling in, particularly about Ken Jeong's role as the Gay Asian Gangsta... Here's a roundup of reviews regarding "Mr. Chow":
Guys get wasted and try to find out why. That’s about it. Plus the screenwriters and director Todd Phillips (Old School) throw their credibility card out the window in ridiculous scenes with taser-crazy cops, hyped-up Asian mobsters and stereotypes run amok." - Hollywood.com

"The random effeminate Asian villain is also trucking in one of pop culture's oldest and most damning stereotypes." - hitflix

"Take the casting of scene-stealer Ken Jeong (Knocked Up, Role Models) as the leader of an Asian crime ring. A smarter movie would have allowed Jeong to play against type; unfortunately this one falls back on broad caricature, requiring the actor to repeatedly mispronounce "Engrish" words and jump around buck naked for no discernible reason." - Giant

"And as much as one wants to go with the movie's broad-comedy flow, Ken Jeong's effeminate crime-kingpin character is so broad that he might offend Asian Americans and gay people. Also, why did another criminal character - a drug dealer this time - need to be African American, and why are the film's most prominent female characters (which is to say, not very prominent at all) portrayed in such unflattering lights?" - Sacramento Bee

"You'll also need an indulgence for racial (Asian) and sexual (gay) stereotyping, and the sight of inappropriate gentlemen with their pants off." - TIME

"There's the easy, lazy trafficking in broad ethnic caricature - Mike Epps as a black drug dealer, Ken Jeong as a prancing, lisping Asian gangster known as Mr. Chow - which is decked out in flimsy air quotes to make it seem as if the movie is making fun of racism." - New York Times

"A gay, Chinese gangster manages to discriminate against both groups." - Combustible Celluloid

"The Hangover arguably peaks with the opening of a car trunk, a scene that uncorks the most outrageous of the film's jack-in-the-box belly laughs, and then it slowly loses steam, becoming more ordinary as the pieces come together. More mean-spirited, too, with thin ethnic stereotypes (Mike Epps' drug dealer, Ken Cheong's gay Asian gangsta) and a virgin/whore complex so confused that the virgin (Harris's castrating Tina Fey-look-alike) is more of a whore than the whore (Heather Graham as the sweetest escort in all of Las Vegas)." - Boston Globe

"The surprises in this movie are everything, so without giving much away, I'll just say that a Vegas chapel figures into the mix. So does a crowbar-wielding Asian gangster (Ken Jeong) who might be the epicene brother of Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles." - Entertainment Weekly

"For some reason, almost everyone the guys encounter during their night of debauchery - from wedding-chapel owners to thugs to cops to Mike Tyson are people of color, giving the proceedings a queasy sense of White Panic. Not that The Hangover is even smart enough to realize that it has done so, but it's just odd to see this parade of wacky Middle Easterners and bad-tempered Asians with no apparent cultural context." - MSNBC

"Asians and gays are simultaneously slandered via Ken Jeong's Mr. Chow, while women are generally presented as shrill nags (save for Graham's heart-o'-gold whore, whose reward for being good is getting to flash her boob during breast-feeding), thus making the climactic reaffirmation of marriage and family come off as phony twaddle." - Slant
Ouch. Goddamn shame to hear all this, particularly because I think Ken Jeong is a really funny guy, and a hell of a scene stealer, given the right role. But this sounds pretty awful. Why, Ken? Whyyyyy? (Thanks, Rick.)

UPDATE: Here's a Los Angeles Times story on Ken, the new cameo king (Knocked Up, Step Brothers, Role Models, Pineapple Express), whose very legit career in medicine as an actual physician has taken a detour because of this Hollywood thing: The doctor is in (in movies, that is).

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