the hangover part II: just like the first one, with more genitalia

I was hoping I could just ignore The Hangover Part II, pretend it didn't happen and just wait for it to go away. But when a movie earns $137.4 million (and counting) at the box office over Memorial Day weekend, it's kind of hard to avoid. A lot of people watched this movie. And that means a lot of people just saw some full frontal Asian penis.

And that's The Hangover Part II: basically the same movie as the first one, almost beat for beat, except with more dicks. When I first heard the sequel would be bigger, badder, and set in Bangkok, I braced myself for the worst. My fears were realized. Forget story. Somebody apparently decided the best way to improve upon the first movie was to just add more shock, nudity and pain.

If you didn't enjoy the first Hangover, you will hate Part II.

This is not an exaggeration. At its core, the comedy in The Hangover hangs on a fear of what lies under the thin sheen of paradise. The first one was about seeing Vegas in the harsh light of day. Part II is about a group of privileged white guys finding themselves in a dangerous, exotic Asian city without a clue, facing the worst of their racial and sexual insecurities -- for laughs!

The movie seems to expend a lot of effort trying to convince the audience how much fun you had hanging with these characters the first time around. And this includes, of course, Ken Jeong as Mr. Chow. I don't have much to say about the return of this infamous international man of wackiness, except that there's a lot more of him, his over-the-top Oriental schtick, and his jangly bits. I did not have a fondness for the character the first time around. Can't say he grew on me.

Um, at least he's not quite the villain in this one.

I get why Mr. Chow and The Hangover are important to Ken Jeong. The part was a big break that came during a time of personal struggle for him and his family, and this crazy naked Asian gangster is responsible for busting his career wide open. But at what expense? I've followed Ken Jeong's career for years, through performances I've really loved and other parts I've disliked. But the role he's most famous for is the one that I can't stand. What are you gonna do?

As for the other Asians that pop up in the movie, there are some unsympathetic cops, a really aggressive silent monk with a stick and the hardass father of the bride. Jamie Chung is looking beautiful as ever as Stu's fiancee, without much else to do, in the role that pretty much had to be played by Asian actress, since the wedding is what brings the action to Thailand in the first place.

Mason Lee plays Teddy, the brother-in-law-to-be -- a stereotypically brilliant, cello-playing med student/good Asian son. He's fine, but mostly he's just there, and has even less to do but be missing for most of the movie. I was kind of hoping he'd get to join the Wolf Pack, but the monkey gets more screen time than Teddy. Fun fact: Mason Lee happens to be the son of Ang Lee, award-winning director of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain.

The funny thing is, because I was expecting the worst, there was very little in the film that really fazed me. You see most of it coming from a mile away. But The Hangover Part II works overtime to assault your good sense, and in the final moments of the film, I winced -- not because of masturbating monkeys or naked ladyboys, but because one of the photos recounting their forgotten wild night is Ken Jeong in a recreation of Eddie Adams' iconic photo of a Viet Cong guerrilla's point blank execution. Yeah, they go there. But I guess the whole movie goes there.

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