CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Film Review: ‘The Hangover Part II’ a Funny, Formulaic, Desperately Shocking Carbon Copy
CHICAGO – Business and creative people go together as well as fine wine at a burger joint. Riding on the heels of the monumentally profitable “The Hangover,” the brass win out over the artists in “The Hangover Part II”.
Sequels usually fail because they’re just subpar as compared to their initial flash of genius. On the surface, “The Hangover Part II” appears to take chances by radically upping the ante on the film’s shock factor. But delving beneath the smoke and mirrors, the film actually is trying desperately not to let you down by riling you up even more.
Part two puts a new meaning to “Bangcock” when the film’s bachelor finds a woman who – if she was a Ms. Potato Head – was misassembled with one body part that makes you go hmmmm. Successful comedy, though, doesn’t come from having to drop more “F” bombs or falling down more stairs. Just ask Bill Cosby. That innovator could even make the vanilla subject of his family funny.
|Read Adam Fendelman’s full review of “The Hangover Part II”.|
Instead, “The Hangover Part II” falls victim to a pure game of numbers. Two years ago, the surprise hit “The Hangover” unpredictably grossed a whopping $467 million globally on a budget of $35 million. As sequels typically score a fatter budget the second time around after their first was highly profitable, “The Hangover Part II” more than doubled the initial budget to $80 million.
And with more than twice as much money to work with, the stakes are even higher this time around to dish out another cash cow. That’s why the creative team behind “The Hangover Part II” was only allowed to write the same kind of material within the same exact formula as the first film. Warner Bros. already knows that equation works, so in the sequel, they figured it’d be too risky to upset the applecart with a bold new direction.
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures