Okay, short review, no, it doesn’t live up to the first movie.  Falls way short.  You’re not going to wait for the rental, but you probably should.  Here’s what happened in the movie (spoilers) and here’s what I think went wrong.

First, as you probably know from the trailer, Ed Helms (Stu) is getting married to a woman in Thailand.  This is the excuse for the movie to go to Bangkok.  Fine, seems like a good place to up the ante.

Unfortunately, right out the gate Zack Galifianakis does the same thing he did in Due Date with Robert Downey, Jr..  He acts like a complete jackass from the moment he comes onto the screen.  In the first Hangover, his character, Allen, was endearing.  Sure, he was hapless and annoying, but he was family so he had to be a part of the group.  Bradley Cooper (Phil) and Ed Helms take an instant dislike to him, but because he’s awkward, not obnoxious.

Phillips first wastes time by having scenes leading up to Allen going on the trip.  We know he’s going, so they are pretty pointless.  Allen has this weird scene where he demands that his mother bring him a cupcake and he’s a dick about it.  Where’s nice Allen?

So anyway, they go to Thailand.  Stu is very wary.  And when they decide to go to the beach to have a drink, Phil even mentions that the beers he got are sealed.  Who the fuck is out to poison them now?  What Allen did the first time was an accident anyway.  He meant to put in Ecstasy.

Anyhow, it happens again.  Unfortunately, director Todd Phillips and and the screenwriters try too hard to pay homage to the first movie.  The events in that felt random.  Here they feel forced.  How they get drugged is just stupid and unbelievable, in my view.

Ken Jeong is, as always, genius.  He and Ed Helms kickass and almost carry the movie.  Bradley Cooper does okay.  Unfortunately, Alan is so annoying through most of the story, you wonder why they don’t just abandon him.  It’s not as bad as Due Date, but its close.

There are also moments of reality that just get glossed over.  One of the characters gets severely maimed in a way that he might not be able to do his life-long job anymore.  Apparently, it’s just not that big a deal.  Paul Giamatti is wasted in a role.

Where are the Rob Riggle characters?  The movie desperately needed them.  It feels so contrived by the end, you’re just glad its over.  What a shame.  This could’ve been good.  It’s merely watchable and really, only if you’re a fan of the first movie. My theory is, the movie was so popular, like the Sopranos, it already became a victim of its own success. There were rumors about Mel Gibson or Bill Clinton appearing, which would’ve been awesome. The movie definitely need some more celebrities. Not big names, just some comic actors to throw in the mix and have weird encounters with. Jeffrey Tambor is hilarious, but he’s only in it for a minute.

Sadly, this is a rental, in my book.  I give it 4.5 keggers.  Just above Bridesmaids.  But really, after the first one, that’s such a drop.  I really would’ve rather watched the first one again.