Movie sequels often disappoint

After releasing a comedy movie that unexpectedly turns into a box office hit, studios are always itching to make a sequel in hopes of recreating the money-making success of the original. More often than not, these turn out to be failures, like Home Alone 2, Weekend at Bernie’s II, and Miss Congeniality 2, to name a few. Usually, studios will leave the game early, maintaining some degree of dignity and respect for the first movie. Other times, studios try desperately, making part threes and part fours (like the unfortunate Shrek movies) until the magic that made the first movie is completely replaced with a cheap, overworked franchise.

When a comedy movie unexpectedly becomes a big hit, the original idea usually consists of a brilliant lightning bolt of inspiration that is combined with a serendipitous mixture of the perfect cast and script. This chance occurrence that leads to a great comedy is usually impossible to recreate when trying to follow the same formula that led to the original success. This is why sequels of such movies just end up stretching the magic of the first movie so thin that it turns into a disastrous nightmare. It’s therefore easy to fear that The Hangover Part II, which is coming out at the end of May this year, will meet such a fate.

The trailer of The Hangover Part II gives away that the plot will be very much like the original: A couple of friends suffer from acute memory loss after a night of drunken debauchery, and hilarity ensues as they try to piece together their night through a series of ridiculous circumstances. The difference is that instead of the bizarre combination of waking up to find a baby, a lost tooth, and a missing groom-to-be in Vegas, the sequel consists of the trio waking up to find a monkey, an inexplicable face tattoo, and a missing brother-in-law in Bangkok. While those are the ingredients that gave the first movie such unprecedented success, making the sequel an enhanced rehash of the original might not be the best way to give audiences what they want. This will just lead to a close comparison of the first and second movies, magnifying the mistakes which the sequel will likely make.

Todd Phillips, the director of The Hangover movies, told MTV News, “I think [the sequel is] a funnier film, and I think it’s a more epic film. It just turned out to be a more satisfying film. We had less constraints on us — and I don’t mean money; just freedom to do whatever we wanted.” While Phillips seems to have no concerns about the possible failure of the sequel, Bradley Cooper, who plays the very handsome and slightly arrogant Phil Wenneck, had some reservations about making a sequel. When approached about The Hangover Part II, Cooper told The Guardian, “This was not a knee-jerk reaction. We met many times to discuss the script. And it was the hardest movie I’ve ever done.” However, the Limitless star believes in the sequel’s potential, saying that “the script was better than the first one. The scope is larger. And Bangkok is like Vegas on steroids.”

When asked of their opinion on The Hangover Part II and if they are willing to see it, Carnegie Mellon students had mixed feelings. Soo Hyun Park, a sophomore biomedical and chemical engineering major, said, “The first movie was just so hilarious that there is no way they can top that. I feel like the second one will just ruin it for me.” Sophomore chemistry major Sarah Rajasekera said, “I don’t care if it’s better or worse than the first one; it’s probably gonna be funny anyway, so yeah, I’ll watch it.”

Hopefully, The Hangover Part II will deliver and live up to the expectation of fans. But if it doesn’t, then that’s just one more Bradley Cooper film that’s out there, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that.