“The Hangover Part II” basically feels like a mad lib created from the original. Making a film sequel in exactly the same way as the original is not healthy for a franchise and I feel like Todd Phillips will learn that with “The Hangover Part II”. With the same exact format, same cast, and attempt at the same general humor, the portions of the film that do stray from the original fall flat and uninspiring. A film that was widely admired for its distinct originality turns the page and completely copies everything it portrayed in the original, losing most of my respect in the process.
“The Hangover” is unafraid to go places and that is what comedy is made of. It plays the line between hilarity and raunch better than any comedy in recent history and after multiple viewings, the film still holds most of its original appeal. Though the hype may have killed its original glory, for me, the film will always have a special place in my heart and will always be high on my list of best comedy films ever.
The third film in the original trilogy, “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” takes everything that I loved about the first film and brings it back to the level of grandeur that was lacking in the second installment. The performances are perfectly on key and the constant side changes keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. The ‘Pirates’ franchise succeeds highly in creating deep and interesting characters and I believe that is what keeps you coming back. Barbossa and Davey Jones rank highly on my favorite characters of all time, showing treachery and villainy, but also showing compassion and humor. The underlying love stories also build off of the first two films nicely and fill in the gaps between action and strategery.
More so a vehicle to launch the third film, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” brings much less to the table than “Curse of the Black Pearl”. Without “Dead Man’s Chest”, however, the third film (“At World’s End”) would not pack as big of a punch. This makes “Dead Man’s Chest” a much less desirable film on its own but makes the trilogy, as a whole, much stronger.
For sheer scale, intricate plot, and in-depth character development, it is hard to top “Pirates of the Caribbean”. “Curse of the Black Pearl” is the perfect first film for a trilogy (soon to be franchise). Johnny Depp lands in one of his greatest roles while Geoffrey Rush becomes one of my favorite characters to ever grace the screen. Every young boy dreams of pirates when they are young and this film is everything I dreamed it would be.
We were there last summer (2010) when the conclusion of “Iron Man 2” revealed the protagonist for this summer’s blockbuster, “Thor”. The nerdiest members of the audience whooped and hollered at the hammer of Thor, as it solidified the continued build up to “The Avengers” film compiling years of story and characters into one single, “mega-film”. I am a fan of the comic book adaptations of late, but Thor never really jumped off the page for me. Even the first trailers for “Thor” did not seem to translate well into an on-earth piece or as grounded as say “Iron Man” or “The Incredible Hulk”. I felt that “Clash of the Titans” would take its slimy tentacles and reign again as God of the bad B-title remakes. I am sitting here today, singing a different tune. “Thor” proved me wrong.