Two years after the events of the first movie in Las Vegas, Stu Price, Phil Wenneck, Alan Garner and Doug Billings travel to Thailand to celebrate Stu's upcoming wedding to Lauren. Much to Alan's dismay, they are joined by Lauren's younger brother, Teddy. At the rehearsal dinner, Lauren's father reveals his disapproval of Stu during a toast. Later that night, Stu hesitantly joins Phil, Doug, Alan and Teddy for a beer. Sitting at a campfire and roasting marshmallows, the group toast to Stu and Lauren's future happiness.
The next morning, Phil, Stu and Alan, along with gangster Leslie Chow - whom Alan befriended after Las Vegas - and a chain-smoking capuchin monkey, awaken in a dirty hotel room in Bangkok. Stu has a face tattoo (a replica of Mike Tyson's) and Alan's head is completely shaved. They cannot find Teddy, and discover only his severed finger. Chow begins to relay the events of the prior night, but he seemingly dies after snorting a line of cocaine. Panicked, the trio dispose of Chow's body in an ice box.
Through a tip from Doug who is still at the resort (he left the campfire earlier than the others), they go to a police station to pick up Teddy but are given a wheelchair-bound elderly Buddhist monk, who knows more about what happened; however, he refuses to reveal anything, having taken a vow of silence. After finding a business card, they travel to the smoldering ruins of the business. They enter a nearby tattoo parlor where Stu got his tattoo, and they learn that they started a fight that escalated into a riot. The trio returns the monk to his Buddhist temple, where they are encouraged by the head monk to meditate. Alan is able to recall that they had been at the White Lion strip club, where they learn that Stu was sodomized by a kathoey stripper named Kimmy. Upon exiting, the trio are attacked by two Russian mobsters who steal the monkey, and one shoots Phil in his arm.
After Phil is treated at a clinic, Alan confesses that he had drugged some of the marshmallows from the previous night with muscle relaxers and ADHD medication in order to sedate Teddy but accidentally mixed up the bags. Phil and Stu become furious that Alan drugged them again. Stu blames Alan for ruining his life and attacks him. Phil breaks it up and tells them that they have to stick together. They notice something on Alan's stomach: an address and a time for a meeting. They meet a gangster named Kingsley, who demands Chow's bank account password by the next morning in exchange for Teddy. They return to the hotel to try to find Chow's password, only to discover that he is still alive. They steal the monkey (who had the code given to him and put inside his jacket for safe-keeping by Chow) back from the Russian mobsters through a violent car chase, during which the monkey is shot and injured. After taking the code and leaving the monkey at a veterinary clinic, the group completes the deal with Kingsley. Suddenly, Interpol agents appear and arrest Chow. Kingsley turns out to be an undercover agent, who tells the trio that the police had used the information that Teddy had disappeared to arrest Chow and Kingsley actually does not know where Teddy is.
Desperate and out of clues, Phil calls Doug's wife Tracy to tell her they can't find Teddy. Stu decides to call off the wedding and live in Bangkok and say that Teddy died. While Alan is playing a game of PAC-MAN the power goes out again. Stu suddenly realizes where Teddy is. The trio rushes back to the hotel to find Teddy who is in the elevator unharmed (albeit still missing a finger). Teddy had woken up in the middle of the night to get more ice for his severed finger (after the first bucket of ice had melted) but became trapped after the power went out. The four use Chow's speedboat, the Perfect Life, the keys for which were in Teddy's pocket, to travel back to the wedding reception.
Arriving on land just as Lauren's father is about to cancel the wedding, Stu makes a defiant speech where he rejects being boring and instead states that he is in fact quite wild. Impressed, Lauren's father gives the couple his blessing. After they exchange their vows, Alan presents Stu with a special gift at the post-reception dance: a musical guest performance by Mike Tyson. Teddy later discovers that he had taken many pictures during the night on his cell phone. The group, along with Tyson, agree to look at the pictures together once (some of which reveal Teddy lost his finger playing the knife game) before erasing the evidence of their exploits once again.Bradley Cooper as Philip "Phil" Wenneck
Ed Helms as Dr. Stuart "Stu" Price
Zach Galifianakis as Alan Garner
Justin Bartha as Douglas "Doug" Billings
Ken Jeong as Leslie Chow
Jeffrey Tambor as Sidney "Sid" Garner
Jamie Chung as Lauren Srisai, Stu's fiancée
Mason Lee as Theodore "Teddy" Srisai, Lauren's brother
Bryan Callen as Samir, a strip club owner in Bangkok
Paul Giamatti as Kingsley/Detective Peters, an undercover Interpol agent
Sasha Barrese as Tracy Billings, Doug's wife
Gillian Vigman as Stephanie Wenneck, Phil's wife
Yasmin Lee as Kimberly "Kimmy"
Nirut Sirijanya as Fong Srisai, Lauren's father
Crystal the Monkey as the drug-dealing monkey
Cooper, Helms, Galifianakis, Bartha, Jeong, Barrese, Vigman and Tambor reprise their roles from the first film. Mike Tyson also reprises his role as himself and sings a cover of the 1984 Murray Head song "One Night in Bangkok" for the movie. The film is the Hollywood debut of Mason Lee, son of director Ang Lee. Nick Cassavetes has a cameo appearance as a Bangkok tattoo artist. Liam Neeson was initially cast in that role, which was originally envisioned for Mel Gibson.
In April 2009, Warner Bros. hired Todd Phillips, who directed The Hangover, to write a sequel with Scot Armstrong. The deal, reached two months before the release of The Hangover in June 2009, came as result of The Hangover's positive screen tests, and a trailer which drew a strong reaction from audiences at ShoWest. The writers from the first film, Scott Moore and Jon Lucas, decided not to come back to write the sequel because, according to Lucas, "they were done with that story...and didn't want to just write Hangover sequels their whole careers".
Variety reported in July 2009, that production on The Hangover 2 would begin in October 2010, for a May 26, 2011 release, following the same production schedule used for the first film. Also in July, Zach Galifianakis stated in an interview with Latino Review that the film will be set in Thailand, "Well, I think we're going to Thailand. The problem with Hangover 2 is that we have to live up to what we did which is very difficult. So we get, I think, kind of kidnapped. It has nothing to do with the bachelor party. We're definitely not doing that again but we do end up in an exotic location. That's all I know".
In January 2010, Phillips dismissed rumors that Zac Efron would join the cast of The Hangover 2, though Ed Helms stated that Efron would be a welcomed addition, commenting, "I love that guy. He's actually really funny".
In March 2010, Phillips denied reports that the film would take place in Mexico or Thailand stating, "I don't know. There's a lot of rumors. There was rumor also that it was going to Mexico or something and neither are true". Also by March, Galifianakis, Helms, Bradley Cooper and Justin Bartha completed negotiations and signed deals to reprise their roles in the sequel.
Cooper stated that "we made [the] decision early on" to keep the same plot structure. "I remember we did this photo shoot for Vanity Fair and that was when we first talked about a sequel in a realistic way; and we were all in the room together afterwards and we were saying 'here's the choice: do we stray from the structure or do we run straight for it?' And we all agreed, no question about it, we hadn't earned the ability to take these 3 guys out and put them in a new structure. There needs to be a ticking clock, there needs to be a missed night and there needs to be someone who's gone and a woman who is waiting to get married and a guy who needs to get married."
In June 2010, before accepting the Guy Movie of the Year award on the Spike Guys Choice Awards, Phillips announced that there would be a Hangover 2 and that they were hoping to begin filming around October 15, 2010, for a July 4, 2011 weekend release.
In July 2010, it was confirmed that film would indeed be set in Thailand and earlier comments made by Phillips denying such reports were a deliberate case of misdirection. The following month, Bradley Cooper stated he believed the rumors to be true and was looking forward to filming The Hangover 2 in Thailand.
In October 2010, Phillips confirmed that the film would take place in Bangkok and Los Angeles and that Galifianakis, Cooper, Helms and Ken Jeong would be returning.
On a budget of $80 million, principal photography began on October 8, 2010, in Ontario, California with the first images of production being released a few days later. It was also reported in October that actress Heather Graham would not be reprising her role as Jade from the first film. Later in the same month it was reported that Mel Gibson would have a cameo appearance in the film as a Bangkok tattoo artist. Four days later Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures and director Todd Phillips confirmed that Gibson would not be appearing in the film. Phillips stated: "I thought Mel would have been great in the movie and I had the full backing of [WB president] Jeff Robinov and his team. But I realize filmmaking is a collaborative effort, and this decision ultimately did not have the full support of my entire cast and crew." Liam Neeson replaced Gibson after being invited by Cooper, who worked with Neeson on The A-Team, to take the part. Neeson, a fan of the first film stated, "I just got a call to do a one-day shoot on 'Hangover 2' as a tattooist in Thailand, and that's all I know about it". Gibson was reportedly furious over the decision. A source close to Gibson stated, "He doesn't understand why Mike Tyson, a drug user who turned his life around, was given a chance while Mel was kicked to the curb. Everybody deserves a second chance".
In November 2010, it was reported that Jamie Chung had been cast in the film as Stu's fiancée as well as it being renamed, The Hangover Part II. In an interview director Todd Phillips revealed that Mike Tyson would be back in the sequel. Also in November, it was reported that Paul Giamatti had joined the cast. The next day it was reported that former U.S. President Bill Clinton filmed a cameo appearance for the film in Bangkok while he was in the city to deliver a speech on clean energy. Ed Helms clarified that Clinton merely visited the set and would be surprised if he appeared in the film.
In December 2010, it was reported that Bryan Callen, who played the owner of the wedding chapel in The Hangover, is working again in The Hangover Part II, as "a smarmy strip club owner in Bangkok". Also in December, Australian stuntman Scott McLean was seriously injured in a traffic accident while filming a stunt sequence near Bangkok. Warner Bros. issued a statement stating McLean was put into a medically induced coma but is expected to recover.
Bradley Cooper said that "logistically, to get from point A to point B [was] incredibly difficult and the bureaucracy and getting things done. There are always tons of people around the set and Todd loves a lean set and it was always the opposite, so watching a director deal with that – especially when it was Todd Phillips – was interesting." He then went on to say, in a later part of the interview, that "it was the hardest shoot that I had ever done, that Zach had ever done, that Ed had ever done and that Todd had ever done."
In February 2011, it was reported that Christophe Beck would be reteaming with director Todd Phillips to score the film. The project marks the fourth collaboration between Beck and Philips, who also worked together on School for Scoundrels, The Hangover and Due Date.
In April 2011, Variety reported that Liam Neeson's cameo as a Bangkok tattoo artist had been cut and Nick Cassavetes had been re-cast in the role. While editing, Phillips cut the scene that immediately followed Neeson's cameo, meaning it no longer had the information necessary to logically get the main characters to the situation in the next scene. Three weeks later, Phillips decided to reshoot the scene, but with Neeson in London filming Wrath of the Titans, the actor was no longer available. Phillips explained, "We were in a complete time crunch so I called up Nick and asked if he would do the part. He came in and crushed it and that is the scene that you will ultimately see in the film. [I'm excited for everyone] to see the film. It turned out great".
The soundtrack was released on May 24, 2011, by WaterTower Music. The soundtrack contains 12 songs from the film, along with eight dialogue clips from the film. Though the song "Monster", by Kanye West featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver and Nicki Minaj, was featured in the film, it does not appear on the soundtrack.
Among the songs included on the album is Ed Helms' version of the Billy Joel song "Allentown", rewritten in the spirit of his popular "Stu’s Song" from the soundtrack of 2009′s The Hangover. Additional music includes a song from Danzig, along with music from the Ska Rangers, Kanye West, Mark Lanegan, Deadmau5, Wolfmother and more.
The Hangover Part II held its premiere on May 19, 2011, at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California.
The first teaser trailer was released online in February 2011. The first full trailer was released in April 2011. Later in the same month Warner Bros. pulled the trailer from theaters for violating an MPAA rule stating that films can only trailer before similarly rated movies. The trailer for the R-rated comedy was being promoted at screenings for the PG-13-rated Source Code against MPAA regulations. Warner Bros. released a statement saying, "In our haste to meet the placement schedule for this trailer, we failed to properly vet the final version with the MPAA. We acted immediately to correct the mistake and removed the trailer from screens".
In April 2011, tattoo artist S. Victor Whitmill filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. In the film, Stu wakes up with a copy of Mike Tyson's tattoo. Whitmill, who designed the tattoo for Tyson claims it as a copyrighted work and asked a judge to stop Warner Bros. Entertainment from using the tattoo in the film or in marketing materials, which would effectively halt the film's release, and asked for monetary compensation for what he referred to as "reckless copyright infringement". In response, Warner Bros. claimed that any delay in the film's release would result in huge financial costs and argued that there was no legal precedent for the case, saying that the use of a permanent tattoo on a human's face could not be controlled. The Judge allowed the case to go forward, stating that Mr. Whitmill had a "strong likelihood of prevailing on the merits for copyright infringement" and that most of the arguments put forward by Warner Bros. were "just silly," but rejected Whitmill's request for a preliminary injunction to stop the release of the film, because, on balance, that rejection was "in the public interest". In the event that Warner Bros. and Whitmill did not come to an agreement, the former party aimed to digitally modify the tattoo from Helms' face for the home video release. In June 2011, Warner Bros. settled the lawsuit with Whitmill; the terms of the settlement were not disclosed. In January 2013, the University of Illinois Law Review published an article addressing this case and discussing in detail the implications of Whitmill's claims.
In 2011 an Australian stuntman who was injured whilst filming in Bangkok sued Warner Bros. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
In June 2012 Warner Bros successfully defended a lawsuit brought against them by Louis Vuitton over the use of a fake case in one scene.
The Hangover Part II was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 6, 2011, in the United States by Warner Home Media, on December 5 in the UK and on November 30 in the Netherlands. The film was made available in three formats: DVD, Blu-ray and a Blu-ray combo pack which included both high and standard-definition versions of the film and an UltraViolet digital copy of the film.
The Hangover Part II grossed $254.5 million in North America and $332.3 million in other territories for a worldwide gross of $586.8 million, against a budget of $80 million. In its opening weekend, it earned $177.8 million, which was the highest-grossing worldwide opening for a comedy film, taking the record from The Simpsons Movie ($170.9 million). On the weekend of June 17–19, 2011, it out-grossed its predecessor in worldwide earnings to become the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time.United States and Canada
The film was released on Thursday, May 26, 2011, in North America, coinciding with the U.S. Memorial Day weekend. During launch midnight showings in 2,600 theaters, the film earned $10.4 million, breaking the record for the biggest midnight opening for an R-rated film, replacing Paranormal Activity (2007) with $6.3 million. The film opened in a further 1,015 theaters during the launch day for a total of 3,615 – becoming the widest opening ever for an R-rated film – and earned a further $21.2 million to accrue a launch day total of $31.6 million; nearly doubling The Hangover's Friday launch opening ($16.7 million). This amount broke two further records; the highest-grossing opening day for a live-action comedy and the highest-grossing opening day for an R-rated comedy film, replacing Sex and the City (2008) with $26.7 million. According to exit polling, the launch day audience was 51 percent female and 41 percent were aged between 18 and 24. On May 27, the film took an additional $30.0 million, dropping only 5 percent from the takings of the previous day and becoming the highest-grossing Friday for a live-action comedy. The three-day (Friday-Sunday) opening weekend accumulated $85,946,294 – an average of $23,923 per theater – becoming the highest grossing opening weekend for a comedy film, replacing The Simpsons Movie ($74 million), the highest-grossing opening weekend for a live-action comedy, replacing Austin Powers in Goldmember ($73 million), the highest-grossing opening weekend for an R-rated comedy, replacing Sex and the City ($79 million) and the second-highest grossing opening weekend of all time for an R-rated film, behind The Matrix Reloaded ($91.7 million). For the Memorial Day four-day weekend, the film amassed $103.4 million to become the fourth highest-grossing Memorial Day weekend opening. In its second weekend the film gross dropped 64 percent from the previous weekend – while the original film dropped only 27 percent during its second weekend – and grossed $31.4 million. The film ended its Box Office run on September 15, 2011, on 113th day of its release.International market
The Hangover Part II debuted in 40 countries internationally over the weekend of May 26–29, 2011, across 5,170 screens. In total, the film accrued $60.3 million from its Friday-through-Monday opening weekend, more than tripling the international gross of The Hangover's debut in the same territories. The highest weekend gross came from the United Kingdom where the film earned £10,409,017 from 469 screens, breaking the record for the highest grossing opening for a US comedy, but this record was overtaken by The Inbetweeners Movie (£13,216,736). Australia accrued a gross of $12.1 million to replace Sex and the City in the country as the highest grossing opening for an MA-rated film – no-one under the age of 15 permitted. The film took $8.7 million in The Netherlands and $6.2 million in France and $3.1 million in Italy ($4.6 million with previews); a five-fold increase over the opening weekend gross of The Hangover. On its second weekend, the film accrued $63.8 million from 53 territories, placing it second behind Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; the film having earned 79 percent of its predecessor's entire overseas run. On the weekend of June 10–12, 2011, it surpassed its predecessor and There's Something About Mary in international earnings to become the highest-grossing R-rated comedy overseas.
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 33% based on 233 reviews with an average rating of 4.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A crueler, darker, raunchier carbon copy of the first installment, The Hangover Part II lacks the element of surprise -- and most of the joy -- that helped make the original a hit." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 44 out of 100 based on 40 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.
Andrew Barker of Variety gave the film a negative review, stating, "The stock dismissal 'more of the same' has rarely been more accurately applied to a sequel than to The Hangover Part II, which ranks as little more than a faded copy of its predecessor superimposed on a more brightly colored background". Christy Lemire of the Associated Press said, "Giving the people what they want is one thing. Making nearly the exact same movie a second time, but shifting the setting to Thailand, is just ... what, lazy? Arrogant? Maybe a combination of the two". Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times also gave the film an average review stating, "The Hangover Part II plays like a challenge to the audience's capacity for raunchiness. It gets laughs, but some of them are in disbelief".
Conversely, Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter gave The Hangover Part II a positive review remarking, "What happens in Bangkok isn't as much fun as when it happened in Vegas, but it's still worth the trip". Lou Lumenick of the New York Post said, "There are definitely laughs to be had, even if the three leads often seem to be going through the motions".
Crystal, a capuchin monkey who also appeared in the Night at the Museum films, portrays the drug dealing monkey. Director Todd Phillips raised concerns after he joked that Crystal had become addicted to cigarettes after learning to smoke them for the film. Philips later explained that Crystal never actually held a lit cigarette on the film's set and the smoke was added digitally in post-production. Despite this, PETA protested about Crystal's appearance in the film for use of exotic animals for entertainment purposes and the film does not carry the American Humane Association's disclaimer that "no animals were harmed" since the group was denied set visits.
In an interview with New York magazine, Ken Jeong responded to criticisms of the character Mr. Chow as an offensive caricature and stated doing the character was "very cathartic" for him and said the character "has the inflections of Vietnamese, with kind of the anger of my own Korean nature" although "it's definitely not about an accent, or a stereotype."
As the film comes to a close, many photos are revealed depicting the events of the previous night. Among them is a photo which loosely depicts a famous war photo by photographer Eddie Adams of a public execution during the Vietnam War. Film critic Roger Ebert was amongst those who criticized use of the photo, calling it "a cruel shot that director Todd Phillips should never, ever have used."