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Todd Phillips Insists 'The Hangover Part II' Is Better Than The Original 'The Hangover'

by Kevin Jagernauth
April 23, 2013 11:16 AM
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Todd Phillips

This seems to be the week for filmmakers to make assessments on their past work. Yesterday, Michael Bay apologized for "Armageddon," revealing that the studio took the movie out of his hands and if he had his way, he would've completely reshot the final third. And today, Todd Phillips comes out swinging against folks who used "The Hangover Part 2" as a punching bag, criticizing the movie's lack of originality and carbon copying of the first film's template.

"Yes, we do a wake-up and a blackout," Phillips concedes to Empire before declaring, "but every joke in 'Hangover II' is completely different. My feeling is that it's the better movie of the two." Really? And if you think this is just Phillips temporarily standing up for his movie, guess again. He believes it will go down in history as one of the great comedies.

"I think in five or ten years time, people will come to realize how brilliant 'Hangover II' is," he proclaimed. Well, it's been two years so far and that feeling hasn't registered, so maybe we just need to let that one marinate a bit longer...

As for what he has planned for the third and final installment, we'll just have to wait and see, and while one can debate whether or not the differences between the first two movies were merely cosmetic, Phillips promises something completely new. "People die in this movie," he says. "Nobody's died in them before."

"The Hangover Part 3" arrives on May 24th.

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  • Brad | May 1, 2013 12:03 AMReply

    Watching Hangover 2 as we speak and I agree with Todd Phillips, Hangover 2 is brilliant and much better than the first. Allan in this film is one of the funniest characters of all time. Best lines ever, love this movie!

  • Rob | April 23, 2013 3:05 PMReply

    He's wrong. And we all know it.

  • jbean | April 23, 2013 1:31 PMReply

    hahaha...hangover 2 was pure shit...just the worst

  • Chris | April 23, 2013 1:12 PMReply

    Loved the first Hangover. The script to the second one was a joke on the audience. It was like they did a simple find and replace thing on Final draft, replacing baby with monkey.

  • PHILLIPS_WAS_RIGHT | April 23, 2013 12:04 PMReply

    Sorry Kev but I'm actually going to agree with Phillips here. The Hangover was just Dude, Where's My Car? but in Vegas and a little more grounded in reality. The Hangover Part II threw away the safe parts of Hangover 1 and went into strange dark territory. I don't think I've ever seen a mainstream comedy release with so much dark humor. Ken Jeong OD's on coke. Bradley Cooper gets shot. The infamous transgender whore house. Helms sporting a Tyson tattoo. That celloist kid losing his finger. The safe sequel would keep the same formula and then just change some of the jokes and maybe lighten it a little to broaden appeal. The Hangover Part II kept a similar formula and then went very dark and gruesome. And I loved it because it took me completely by surprise, instead of a by the numbers sequel it went fucking insane. That isn't to say the movie doesn't have its problems or that it's for everyone, but when I went to see it in the theater the audience loved it. The thing is, it is not the comedic masterpiece Phillips seems to be touting, it's just a sequel that is refreshingly darker than the original (which wasn't that original to begin with).

  • Superzoom | April 23, 2013 9:16 PM

    Are you really defending something by comparing it to "The Temple of Doom"?

  • PHILLIPS_WAS_RIGHT | April 23, 2013 4:00 PM

    @D - I want to reiterate that I don't think it's the comedic masterpiece that he's claiming or that it's insanely funny just that I had a great time watching it. I agree that a lot of dark "comedies" are not funny at all. A lot of my feeling about this is based on going to Hangover Part II with the expectation that it would be a boring safe formulaic sequel of a movie that to me already ripped off another one of my favorite comedies (which stole it's title from my favorite comedy), but it surprised me by going darker and weirder. It's like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. When you think of the Indiana Jones Trilogy (Never Mention Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) a lot of people think that Temple of Doom is too dark and weird and the weakest one of the three. Still Temple of Doom is noticeably different and stands out, where as Raiders and Last Crusade are shockingly similar in some respects. So basically in my opinion Hangover II = Temple of Doom. Plenty of people dislike Temple of Doom and that's okay. Plenty of people also hate Hangover II and that's cool too. I could understand an argument that says it went to far, but I just happened to like it and I respect that it didn't play it so safe.

  • d | April 23, 2013 1:35 PM

    But why are "strange" and "dark" is synonymous with "good" and "funny"? Some strange/dark comedies can be refreshing but some are also unfunny. Part II was that, for me.

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