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Thursday, December 8, 2011

"From the Outhouse to the Poorhouse" | Déjà vu: The Sequel Part II


Thursday, December 08, 2011
Written by Ed Palilla, talent network news staff
Twitter @pittsburghace
Photo Source: coverdude.com
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Hangover 2, Sequel Ed Palilla Rant    Stop me if you have heard this plot for a movie before: Group of guys blackout the night before a wedding of their friend; end up confused on the events of the night before because they were drugged; have to try to retrace their steps because someone is missing; as they begin to remember things, they recall how they got themselves into trouble the night before; the super conservative friend, a dentist, does something extremely radical he doesn’t remember; the group of guys has to call the bride-to-be to tell her they have lost an important person, until the dentist realizes what has happened and figures out where said person is; the group of guys then speeds back and gets there just in time for the wedding and the dentist friend confronts the father-of-the-bride.


  I know what you’re thinking. This is the plot for The Hangover, the highly successful comedy from 2009 featuring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis. You, however, are incorrect.  This is the plot for The Hangover Part II, which came out on DVD this week. (In the first Hangover, Ed Helms’ character Stu does not confront the father-of-the-bride, but rather his demandingly insane girlfriend. There is your plot twist). If you have not seen Part II yet, then you were smarter than me and did not waste your money going to see it in theatres. This movie is worth a watch, but not $7.50 worth it like its original version was 2 years ago. It is, however, worth a watch from the comfort of your couch.

     Warner Brothers did exactly what most large movie studios do. They saw green. They saw how successful The Hangover was and decided to capitalize on it by making a sequel as quickly as they could. A very smart business strategy. WB doubled the budget for it (from $35M to $80M) and still managed to cash in with over $270M in box office revenue. However, they really didn’t put much effort into it. It looks like they hammered out the script over a long weekend, and filmed it in a week. I don’t know if it is the actors mailing it in, or just the repetitive plot, but you just don’t get the same feel with Part II.

    What Warner Brothers did with The Hangover sucks, but it is no different than any other movie. Generally, sequels to successful films are not nearly as good. Jurassic Park, The Fugitive, Transformers, Scream - all movies that had fantastic first versions, but the sequels were considered busts, regardless of the money made. The success of the originals causes studios to throw money at the second versions, but not time. The only times that movies have made sequels that have worked are films with plots that were already written. Usually these were part of a series of books. Harry Potter; Star Wars; The Lord of the Rings. (Even though Jurassic Park had a book for its sequel, The Lost World, the book was great but the script was poor.) 

    Unfortunately, this pattern is not going to change anytime soon. Studios are going to focus on movies that make money before movies that make critics happy. Hollywood is going to be more likely to green-light yet ANOTHER Tyler Perry movie than a sequel to a creative or controversial film that is willing to put the time and effort into it, because of the perceived income they can make. Let’s just hope that they don’t try to make a sequel to Jack and Jill.


RELATED: (And Boom! Here Comes Number 3)
Bradley Cooper Talks ‘Hangover 3′ Production Start Date & Setting
 

Here, to quote, is what the actor had to say:

    “I hope we’re going start shooting in September [2012]. I know Todd Phillips is working on the script. We adhered to the formula in the second ['Hangover' movie], [and] the third would close the trilogy. I think it’ll take place in L.A. and not adhere to the structure, it might be different.”



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