Movie Math: Why the 'Hangover' wolfpack owes a debt to the 'Sex and the City' gals


Loved The Hangover, but wish the baby had been a monkey instead? Then you’ll be tickled pink by The Hangover Part II — except this time, there’s also a Cosmo-flavored twist. Let’s examine the evidence:

1. Every single plot point, joke, and twist that appears in Hangover The First is either recycled wholly or replaced by a direct analog in the sequel. This time, Doug (Justin Bartha) is present and accounted for, but Teddy (Mason Lee) has gone missing; instead of awaking to find he’s lost a tooth, Ed Helms’s character awakes to find he’s gotten a sick face tattoo; a kidnapped tiger becomes a kidnapped Thai monk; sweet prostitute Jade (Heather Graham) is swapped for statuesque prostitute Kimmy (Yasmin Lee); etc., etc., etc. Both films also include an impromptu song composed and performed by Helms’s character, a scene featuring a naked Ken Jeong, a shady Middle Eastern character played by Bryan Callen  — though, bizarrely, he has a different name in each film — and a surprise (…ish) Mike Tyson cameo. Frequently, Part II just feels like a shot-by-shot remake of Part I. No wonder characters in the former keep saying things like, “I can’t believe this is happening again!

2. There are a few differences between the films, though. Number 2 is even cruder and more mean-spirited than its predecessor; it’s also, as you undoubtedly already know, set in Thailand, an exotic locale that’s alternately depicted as idyllic and backward. So it seems appropriate to multiply The Hangover by the second Sex and the City movie, another major franchise sequel that knows a thing or two about Orientalism and excess. Also, Doug is totally Part II‘s Charlotte.

Comments (19 total) Add your comment
  • Wha’ever

    Hum… I understand the comparison but I disagree with it. This sequel formula is nothing Sex & the City created. A lot of sequels are basically the same story but in another. I mean, even in Disney’s The Rescuers, the sequel was exactly the same story but in a different exotic location (Australia).

    • Wha’ever

      “A lot of sequels are basically the same story but in another location”.

  • also the hangover guys have at least one likeable quality each


  • crispy

    So it sucks then?

    • jasmine


  • Erin

    All I know is I enjoyed Hangover Part 2 a hell of a lot more than SATC 2.

  • Marten

    Hangover Part II was like Die Hard 2: Die Harder. It was the same plot with the same gags, but in a different location. Doesn’t mean it sucked (per se) but it doesn’t mean it feels really tired about half way through.

    • Marten

      meant “but it does”

  • Ally

    But none of this should have been surprising…seeing as all the previews already prepared us for all of this..

    • Ally

      OR as Zach Galifianakis said “It has to have some similarities to the first one because it is a sequel … No one said to the makers of Indiana Jones, ‘I can’t believe he has a whip again.'”

  • coolhandkate

    This article appears to be largely about the similarities between the two Hangover films and not a comparison of “evidence” that shows Hangover owes any ties Sex and the City. Not really sure the point here considering, as others have said, many sequels change locations to more “exotic” places.

    • Lauren

      yeah, i’m not sure if you made your point. i thought you were going to do more of comparison between this and SATC movies. hmmm

      • Joe

        There is nothing to compare. It is freshman journalism, if you want to call it that.

        The same comparisons can be made for the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movies.

        Sex was funny when it was on HBO, on the screen, it was watered down and like watching 30 somethings in DC trying to cruise for mid level staffers in Georgetown on the weekends.

  • shelly

    I get the impression that the writer is not a fan of The Hangover to begin with.

  • Dommy

    totally true… but the difference is that male critics and male fans are way more forgiving with male movies… i’d say both sequels are equal… they repeat the same type of story, there’s no real point, they travel to exotic location, everything is bigger and they are not as good as the originals… that being said… i enjoyed both sequels but the reaction to sex2 was so way over the top crazy negative… box office waise sex2 went from 415 to 290… still not bad… a 30%drop… hangover 2 could do that too but male fans will see anything so it very well could do better

  • Ap

    I’m still trying to figure out what was so funny about the first one…

  • Jenna

    is there any naked girls in this movie?

  • Josh

    First off, this article hardly shows any evidence to contridict why The Hangover II is in SatC’s debt (which is why I’m posting this, seeing as I never watched SatC)

    Secondly, I feel The Hangover wasn’t meant to have a sequel to begin with. It was just a one time only story, and it seems like even the directors knew this. They just wanted to rake in more money.

    Sure, sequels of comedies are recycled, but they also have parts that make them more unique than the first one. The Hangover II just had nothing to set it apart from the first one.

  • Loran

    Great post with lots of ipromtant stuff.

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