The Hangover Part II set box-office records this weekend while getting bashed by the critics (Tomatometer score: 35.) And one could argue that the same cause has led to two different effects: While the familiarity of the sequel — the plot is nearly identical, and many quotes, scenes, and references are repeated — brought back the original movie's audiences in droves, it also left critics turned off by perceived laziness. Vulture put together a rough compendium to the similarities between the two movies and leaves it to you to decide: Was the copycat element in The Hangover Part II comforting or uninspired? And SPOILER ALERT.
Major plot points: Both movies revolve around the crew, assembled for a wedding, waking up after a night of forgotten debauchery to find someone is missing; the crew is once again surreptitiously drugged by a well-meaning Alan, this time via marshmallows; Mike Tyson shows up in an extended cameo, this time, inexplicably, as a lounge singer; after running around town for a day or so, the crew realizes that the missing person was in the hotel they were staying at the whole time, this time tucked away not on the roof but in the busted elevator; while the characters of Phil and Alan stay pretty much the same, Stu undergoes the same character evolution, again realizing he's not the meek, easily trampled-upon dentist people take him to be.
The Soundtrack: There's a Danzig song (“Thirteen” in the first movie, “Black Hell” in the second) along with tracks from Kanye and Wolfmother in both installments; Stu again makes up a song about their misadventures, with the first movie's "Stu's Song" (on piano) followed up by a take on Billy Joel's "Allentown" (on acoustic guitar, in a riverboat).
Quotes: Both feature early flash-forward scenes with Phil calling to say, "We’re not going to make the wedding”; both brides insist that their grooms “go hang out with the boys — it’s just one night"; Phil again instructs his friends to “check your pockets" for clues, this time adding, "You know the drill."
Scene Callbacks: The bride and her rich parents are again poolside making increasingly more frantic calls; Alan again interrupts a toast to read his own prewritten speech; Alan again reads facts about the wolf pack's destination out loud; there's the same shot of the three guys in the elevator, dazed and staring forward; Stu again figures out where the missing buddy is seconds before Phil is about to let everyone know that said buddy is missing, and again tackles Phil to prevent the reveal; Mr. Chow is naked through much of his screen time, and at one point leaps out of the ice machine just like he leaps out of the trunk of the car in the first film; Bryan Callen again appears, as a man of Middle Eastern–ish descent (wedding-chapel owner Eddie in the first film; strip club owner/gun runner Samir in the second), to provide clues; while sitting poolside at the end, the characters discover they have photos from their night of debauchery, and another photo slideshow ends the flick.
Character Callbacks: Alan makes a reference to knowing the Jonas Brothers tour schedule offhand; Stu gets mocked for being a dentist, not a real doctor; Stu finds out he had an intimate union with a sex worker, following up marrying a hooker in the first film by sleeping with a transsexual stripper in the second; the crew finds out mid-movie they've stolen a highly coveted animal, with Mike Tyson's tiger replaced by the drug-running monkey; Alan befriends another miniature being, with the baby being replaced by the monkey; also, Alan follows up the "making the baby mimic masturbation" scene with a "making the monkey mimic a blow job" scene.
What'd we miss?