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.