New on DVD/Blu-ray: The Hangover 2 (2011)

Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and Bradley Cooper in The Hangover 2 (2011) Movie Image

A devious monkey, exotic locales, tattoos gone awry, a missing day, and crazy Chinese guys. It must be some kind of delirious dream brought on by too much sun, funny looking drinks, and an illicit pill or two, right? Nope. It’s just the sequel to “The Hangover”, this time set in the wonderful adult paradise of Bangkok, essentially the Asian version of Vegas, minus the slot machines and glitz and, er, sanitary conditions. Ready to dive in? Warner Bros. Home Video brings the over-the-top craziness of “The Hangover 2” to home video on DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack on December 6, 2011.

Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) travel to exotic Thailand for Stu’s wedding. What could go wrong? Director Todd Phillips’ explosively funny follow-up to his award-winning smash hit demonstrates that though what happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, what happens in Bangkok can hardly be imagined!

Sure, it’s more of the same, but isn’t that what you wanted? If the film’s $254 million domestic haul (and $581 overall, worldwide take) are any indication, then Yes, this is exactly what you wanted. I would have preferred a little more deviation from the original film, but I guess the saying, “If it ain’t broke…” comes to mind here. As it turns out, you folks didn’t mind at all.

Director Todd Phillips and company (the main cast of the original returns for the sequel, plus some new additions) have made a concerted effort to keep everything pretty much the same, with minor tweaks here and there, most notably the location. The bottom line? If you saw “The Hangover” and thought, “Man, I wish this movie didn’t end!” Then “The Hangover 2” was made specifically for you. It is very much a continuation of the first movie, with the gang transplanted to an all-new environment with which to ply their shenanigans. In this case: Bangkok, Thailand. (Or, er, Thighland, as man-child Alan calls it.)

The familiar premise finds the foursome of Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifi anakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) in Thailand for Stu’s wedding to the beautiful Lauren, played by Jamie Chung. (I would have liked to see Heather Graham return myself, but alas, no.) This time around, the gang is forced to bring along Lauren’s little brother Teddy (Mason Lee), who promptly comes up missing the following morning. Well, most of him, anyway. To make matters worse, the gang can’t remember what happened the night previous, and must retrace their steps in order to locate Teddy before the girls find out. (Just keep telling yourself, “If it ain’t broke…”)

Ed Helms, Ken Jeong, and Bradley Cooper in The Hangover 2 (2011) Movie Image

If you enjoyed the first movie, and are fans of raunchy humor, then “The Hangover 2” is your ideal date. It’s got it all: mischievous monkeys, Ken Jeong, missing digits, hideous facial tattoos, and an oh-so-seedy Bangkok. If you had to relocate the first film somewhere, choosing the infamous Asian tourist destination was probably the best choice the filmmakers could have possibly made. The city, even more so than Vegas, is its own character here, with plenty of its many colorful locations selected to make the film’s adventures as diverse as possible.

If anything, “The Hangover 2” is a little bit more raunchy than the first film, which is saying something. The sequel does miss that Mike Tyson effect, though — that celebrity cameo (or in Tyson’s case, extended cameo) that somehow worked so well it actually made the film ridiculously better for it. (You do get Paul Giamatti in the sequel.) Justin Bartha, who didn’t get to participate in most of the first film’s Tomfoolery, still gets shortchanged in the sequel (which, I guess, is a running gag in its own right), though Ken Jeong more than makes up for that. There is no limit to what a slightly crazed Chinese guy can do, as it turns out.

Ed Helms and Ken Jeong in The Hangover 2 (2011) Movie Image

The Blu-ray Combo Pack arrives with the film on Blu-ray and standard DVD, along with a digital copy and Ultraviolet option for streaming.

Bonus extras include a 25-minute “Unauthorized Documentary”, an expose on the making of the film (with a cameo by documentarian Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me”), natch). This is basically 25 minutes of the cast, crew, and everyone involved with the film goofing off about the making of the sequel, including hilarious cameos by J.J. Abrams, of all people. It’s basically a slick, extended “Saturday Night Live” skit hosted by the improbably named Miles Davis-Davidson (actually actor Rob Benedict, aka “Chuck” from the TV show “Supernatural”). If you stick around for the end, there’s a cameo by a familiar “Hangover 2” castmember.

You also get a 13-minute “Behind the Story” feature which gives you three mini-spots about the actual making of the film, including a 3-minute ode to Crystal the monkey. Who wouldn’t fall in love with a denim jacket wearing monkey? There’s also the obligatory gag reel (5 minutes), and a brief “Action Mashup” filled with action moments from the movie. There is no audio commentary, which is disappointing.

Despite being raunchier and definitely more crass in certain places, “The Hangover 2” nevertheless feels a whole lot safer than the first movie. I know that’s odd to say, but it’s true. Of course, the fact that you’ve essentially already seen this movie probably had a little something to do with that.

Buy “The Hangover 2” on DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack from Warner Bros. Home Video on December 6, 2011.

The Hangover 2 (2011) Movie Blu-ray Cover