Criticwatch - Best Sequel Ever or Dumbest Whore Ever?

By Erik Childress
Posted 05/28/11 02:01:39

Warner Bros. appears to have a full-on blockbuster on their hands with The Hangover Part II. And why shouldn't they? It's the highest grossing comedy of all time. Just hit the reset button and the fans will flock to it, regardless of what the critics say. Hell, even Ghostbusters II TRIED to do something different while Todd Phillips and company have recycled every beat, joke and situation to asinine effect for a sequel he dares to make comparisons to The Godfather Part II. (Because he thinks it's better than the original and thus earns the "Part II" moniker.) Personal feelings aside from these movies, the fans should look past I think (as they have for two years now) and consider what they are being sold. By Todd Phillips, Warner Bros. and the usual spate of whores that no other studio has shown such allegiance to this year.

The numbers tell the tale on The Hangover films. In 2009 the original garnered a 79% with only 46 negative reviews making it one of the best reviewed live-action comedies of that year. In the only case someone can make that Part II has flipped the script, it is only at 49 POSITIVE reviews for a rating of 32% which ranks it somewhere in-between Big Momma's: Like Father, Like Son and Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family. Here is a sample of some of the naysayers:

"One of the most uninspired and unoriginal sequels you'll ever see. Or not see, if you're lucky." - Richard Roeper

"According to Phillips, the 'Part II' in the title is a nod to the second Godfather, which matched the genius of its forerunner. Ironically, his own sequel offer is one you should refuse." - Nick De Semlyen

"The Hangover Part II is such a complete copy of the original 2009 hit comedy that I'd be surprised if the writers even bothered to create a new Microsoft Word file when they wrote it." - Rob Thomas

"If you superimposed a diagram that mapped out all the narrative beats, characters and jokes in The Hangover Part II over one for "The Hangover," the two would align almost perfectly." - Manohla Dargis

"If you want to avoid plot spoilers for The Hangover Part II, don't watch The Hangover." - Eric D. Snider

You're not the only one who can repeat themselves, Todd Phillips. And if you want more proof, check out this side-by-side comparisons of the friggin' trailers of the two movies. Today, I echo the sentiments of my colleague, Brian Tallerico from Hollywood Chicago, who said two years ago:

"When the years have passed and the buzz has worn off, I honestly feel that people will look back at The Hangover and wonder what they laughed at in 2009. It's the Zima of movie comedies." - Brian Tallerico

Amen! Even Pete Hammond originally called it "a bit overrated" in the same year he called both Old Dogs AND The Proposal "riotously funny," proclaiming the Sandra Bullock film "without question the year's best comedy" and six months later saying that "movies don't get any funnier than" Nancy Meyers' It's Complicated. But who needs Pete Hammond when you have all these other one-adjective whores:

"Epic. Outrageous." - Fred Topel
"Hilarious!" - Mose Persico
"Hysterical" - Bonnie Laufer
"Wild." - Mia Gradney, The CW
"Brilliant." - Nik the Web Chick, Q102 Philadelphia
" A double-shot of hilarity." - Sam Hallenbeck, NBC-TV
"Pure comedic genius." - Paul Perrello, Metro Networks

Leave it to Warner Bros. to bring out their not-so-secret weapons though:

"The Wolfpack delivers again!" - Shawn Edwards
"Relentlessly wrong and funnier than the first." - Mark S. Allen

This is Allen's first quote in over two months, last seen pimping WB's Red Riding Hood, one of the five worst reviewed films of the year, as "amazing." Edwards, on the other hand, delivered his 11th and 12th quotes of 2011 this weekend along with Kung Fu Panda 2 ("a classic.") Hangover Deux is Edwards' fourth quote for WB after Unknown, Hall Pass and the "sexy cool" Red Riding Hood. Funny anyone would use the word "deliver" for a director who has no concept on how to deliver a joke, let alone set one up. Don't take my word for it though. Just beware someone who uses the same word over and over again.

"Intelligent and inspiring! A rare achievement in film. Angelina Jolie is terrific and delivers an engaging and courageous performance." (Beyond Borders)
"****! Moving and gripping! Freedomland is a heart-stopping, riveting and utterly compelling film. Samuel L. Jackson delivers one of the finest performances of his career and Julianne Moore is superb." (Freedomland)
"Intriguing and immediately engrossing. Ben Kingsley is riveting! He delivers a frighteningly chilling performance." (Suspect Zero)
"Insanely funny! Will Ferrell delivers another winner." (Semi-Pro)
"The funniest comedy of the year. The Wayans brothers have delivered another comedy classic". (White Chicks)

Then you have Mark S-for-Soulless Allen telling you that The Hangover Part II is even "funnier than the first." Exhibits A, B & C please.

"Brilliant! Funny, action-packed and cooler than the first!" (Ice Age: The Meltdown)
"Amazing, remarkable chemistry and better than the original!" (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2)
"Charming, funny and even better than the original" (Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous)

Exhibit D being that those last two quotes were also for WB films. And the theme of repeating oneself continues. However, the Grand Prize winner this week is the quote that Criticwatch has been receiving e-mails and tweets about ever since folks caught wind of it on the commercials earlier in the week. You know it. You hate it. Perhaps the single most idiotic quote you will see attached to a film all year.

"Best sequel ever." - Rick Florino

First off, feel free to examine the obvious. Let it sink in for a moment and then begin to make the lists. Aliens, The Dark Knight, Dawn of the Dead, The Empire Strikes Back, Evil Dead 2, The Road Warrior, Spider-Man 2, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Superman II, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. It does not matter if you even agree with any of those films being superior to their originals. The notion of a great sequel is in the relative property of how successful it is compared to its previous entry. Even merely good sequels are competing with Florino's assertion and we didn't even put The Godfather Part II. So, unless Rick Florino really hated the original Hangover or really hated any of those 11 films that most film scholars would have on a ballot for the same title, this fucking moron has just announced The Hangover Part II as the best sequel of all-time. Better than Empire. Better than Khan. Where, oh where, is Michael Corleone to deliver the kiss of death to this guy. Of course, I knew it was you Florino to come up with something so moronic since you were the same jackass who said:

"The scariest movie since The Exorcist!" (The Haunting in Connecticut) Rick Florino, LAX Magazine

In 2009 he was insulting the good name of one of WB's most revered films. To make amends in 2010, he pimped out six of his seven quotes for WB properties.

"An epic adventure." (The Book of Eli)
"It's breathtaking." (Clash of the Titans)
"Explosive" (The Losers)
"Endearing, engaging and enchanting. One of the year's most unforgettable films." (Flipped)
"One of the funniest movies of 2010." (Lottery Ticket)
"...the funniest film of 2010. A new comedy classic." (Due Date)

Two of the very worst films of 2010 in Florino's mind were two of the funniest. From one Todd Phillips "comedy classic" to the next being the "best sequel ever," Rick Florino must be pronounced persona non gratta by every moviegoer who sees his name on another ad. Pronounce the film dead. Not funny. Not good. Just complete shit. I Am Number Four is "the perfect film to ignite 2011?" If you mean lighting a match to coat the stench, sure. Sucker Punch is "explosive" and "will blow you mind?" How many matches do those films need? So take note WB and other studios. Choose your critics wisely and stop repeating yourself by putting out the same old shit. Movies - and - quote whores!

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