Friday, June 3, 2011

It's Called Bangkok...

Since I saw Bridesmaids, I decided I had to see The Hangover Part II to balance the gender scales. I didn't write too much about it but The Hangover was one of my favorite films of 2009.

The Hangover Part II starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms & Zach Galifianakis; (2011) - Official Website

I can't quite put my finger on it but the sequel didn't measure up to the original. The first time is always the best, right? Part II basically recycles the story from the 2009 original but changes the location to Bangkok, Thailand (pronounced "thigh-land" according to Galifianakis' character). Some of the newness of these characters (particularly Galifianakis) has worn off.

Also, Las Vegas is a superficial city but Bangkok is a dangerous and dirty place as Bangkok Dangerous and countless Thai films have shown us. As the song says, one night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble. To match the locale, Part II ratchets up the raunch and havoc to dangerous levels. Let's check off the truly dangerous activities in the film that are hard to laugh off - Bradley Cooper gets shot, another character loses his ring finger, Ed Helms has unprotected anal sex with a Thai "ladyboy," (I have to admit that was funny) and the boys get mixed up with Mr. Chow who has Interpol and gangsters hot on his tail.

Ken Jeong as Mr. Chow plays a much more prominent role in Part II. He's like a force of nature. You've heard the portmanteau "wigga" or "wigger?" Mr. Chow is a "chigga." A little bit of Chow goes a long ways.

More significant than Jeong's performance throwing off the balance of the Cooper/Helms/Galifianakis comedic troika, Part II evokes some darker emotions. Mason Lee (director Ang Lee's son) plays the missing bachelor. His character is 16 years old and is the one who lost his finger. Right there, we're talking about a child lost in Bangkok and bodily mutilation. As they search for the boy, people ominously keep telling them "Bangkok has him now." It's just not as funny when you take into consideration his age. In other another scene, Galifianakis handles an Uzi or some fully automatic submachine gun in a strip club. He accidentally sprays the place with bullets. I don't remember such mayhem in the first film.

Part II seems to want to balance these darker moments by dialing up the raunch factor to 11. Mr. Chow's penis plays a role as well as full frontal male nudity when the boys visits the "ladies" at the strip club.

When you boil it down, what's left? I liked Part II but I liked the orignal better.


The main tranny character in Part II is Kimmy portrayed by Yasmin Lee. The title of this post is one of the better lines in Part II and is spoken by Kimmy. In real life, Lee is a full fledged tranny porn star. Don't ask me how I know this.

As I was reading about the films in the upcoming Another Hole in the Head film festival (tonight through June 16 at the Roxie), I came across Red Ice which was filmed in San Francisco. I see the same Yasmin Lee is credited as the Succubus.

That was an awkward segue to say I haven't decided how many films I'm going to see at Another Hole in the Head. Their line-up looks a little weak this year and horror, sci-fi and fantasy are not at the top of my genre list.

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