Sometimes, sequels take what made the original movie great and expands on it to create an even bigger, better universe in the world of the original film. More often than not, the sequels simply rehash the original movie’s ideas and prove the law of diminishing returns. “The Hangover Part II” seems to straddle the line between those two results by doing nothing more than rehashing the original movies storyline but, at the same time, remaining a funny comedy delivering numerous laughs like the groundbreaking first film in the series did.
Just like with “The Hangover,” the guys head to an exotic location, this time Bangkok, and wake up with no memory of what happened the night before while a member of their party ends up missing. The jokes, while as raunchy and hilarious as the first time around, are no longer shocking, stripping a lot of the humor from this newer version. That is not to say this movie is not funny, because it is, but it is not as surprising as the first as falls short of matching the brilliance of the original.
While “The Hangover Part II” does not quite match up to the original movie in the series, here are some sequels that did manage to surpass their original versions.
“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”
The original “National Lampoon’s Vacation” was a funny movie but has dated over time and is nowhere near as hilarious as it once appeared. However, out of all the sequels to National Lampoon movies over the years, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” not only surpasses the others in the series but remains one of the best of the holiday Christmas classics. Chevy Chase delivers one of his finest performances as Clark Griswold in this sequel and delivers, arguably, the best National Lampoon movie since the company’s breakout film, “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” Watch it, if for no other reason, than the final hostage situation that tears the movie apart at the end.
Kevin Smith is hit or miss with mainstream audiences but, for hardcore fans, he does little wrong. Smith began his career with the cult smash hit, “Clerks.” For years, Smith chose not to leave the comfort of the world he built with this debut, a world his fans refer to as the View Askewniverse. Characters from “Clerks” cameo in his other movies, the most popular being Jay and Silent Bob. Finally, with “Clerks II,” Smith developed a direct sequel to his debut film. While “Clerks” is a smart, interesting comedy, “Clerks II” is a straight slapstick comedy with many of the jaw dropping moments Smith is known for. Some mainstream fans didn’t like it but true fans of Kevin Smith had plenty to enjoy in a movie that is more accessible that even his popular debut film.
“Austin Powers in Goldmember”
The first two “Austin Powers” movies were very funny and helped Mike Myers develop his character in a unique, interesting franchise. In 2002, Myers carried his franchise to a brand new level with the third movie in the series, “Austin Powers in Goldmember.” From the start of the movie, with surprise cameos by Tom Cruise, Danny DeVito, and Steven Spielberg to the addition of Michael Caine as Austin’s dad Nigel and a great character arc for Seth Green’s, Scott Evil, this movie upped the ante. While it is the movie that concluded the franchise, it remains the best of the trilogy and ended the series on a high note.