I, like many, enjoyed the bejeezus out of last summer’s “The Hangover.” While hardly an innovative concept, it boasted sharp writing, a trio of extremely charismatic actors bouncing off one-another like a well-oiled comedy team and pitch-perfect direction under director Todd Bridges. Arriving in the midst of a busy blockbuster season, it was an unknown quantity that had the much-desired element of surprise on its side, and performed well-beyond expectations – both critically and commercially.
Smoking its way up the box-office charts, and earning almost half-a-billion dollars worldwide, the picture became the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time. Not too bad for a pretty cheap studio production fronted by a group of relative unknowns.
It was reported even prior to release of the film that Warner Bros. was interested in green-lighting a sequel, and, now that Deadline has revealed that the core three cast members, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis, have finally locked down their deals, it looks like we’ll all be weathering a second “Hangover” in the very near future. Say, around Memorial Day 2011.
The film will reportedly cost a fair deal more than the $32-million-dollar original, with each of the actors and the director making significantly more coin for their efforts. The story also notes that Justin Bartha, the vanishing groom from the first flick, will also be returning. No word is given, though, on whether Heather Graham will reprise her hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold role.
On one hand, I’m a tad thrilled to see these hilarious talents reunite on-screen again, but the comedy genre has a bumpy track-record when it comes to sequels. Comedy movies typically thrive on freshness and jumping whole-hog into the unknown, and follow-up ventures (especially expensive ones) usually hinge on familiarity and tend to lead to stagnation and tired call-backs to the triumphant initial go-around. Unless it’s a series that can easily be serialized (the Peter Sellers “Pink Panther” franchise, for example) the results often feel like pale shadows of their popular predecessors.
Hopefully Bridges and company are doing their homework on how to properly develop and deliver a new entry worthy of the audiences’ attention. They’ll have an easy hit on their hands no matter how lousy or great the movie is, but it would nice to experience another “Hangover” that’s as deranged and startling as the first.
How do you fine folks feel about a follow-up to “The Hangover?” Are you pro or con? Stumble on over to our forums and let us know!
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Follow Cam Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/camspcepisodes.