As you’ve guessed, I have decided to keep going with this “If I Did” thing, mostly because it didn’t take long for me to churn out another What If scenario. So I figure this is the perfect place to put it up.
I write a lot of comedy. I know a lot of it must fail from time to time, but I enjoy banter and surreal scenarios all the same. As such, I enjoy a good comedy movie, and sometimes I find it in the strangest places. I found The Hangover was to be strangely endearing and entertaining, for example, and it worked very well as a self-contained story. Then I heard about the sequel, and immediately I thought ‘This can’t go well’ and by god did I turn out to be right.
What if I could save it, though? What if you gave me a time machine and sent me back to the room where all those movie execs started planning the sequel? Well, I’d have them all locked in a safe before they could make such a stupid mistake, but if they broke out the chequebooks before I closed the door on them then I’d change my tune. Maybe.
I admit it; part of me believes that Hangover 2 could have been a good movie if they changed up a few of its fundamental elements.
Namely, the main cast.
See, The Hangover is a wonderful coming-of-middle age tale, the story of an unconventional rite of passage that four friends go through in order to discover the truth about themselves and their absurdities while on the vacation from hell. As far as I’m concerned, their arc is done, and it’s time for a new batch of characters to take the stage. Let’s not just make a new group of characters, though: let’s cast them!
So our four new mains would be just as diverse as the main four from the first film. In this case, we have four university students in Thailand on an exchange program: Honour Roll student and all-round keener Billy Cummings, athlete and playboy Tyler MacAfee, quiet introvert HueySullivan, and Christian fundamentalist Emma Clay. The four of them lucked out and got a chance to explore Bangkok for two weeks. On their final night, their teacher, Phil Wenneck, takes them out for drinks. Tyler decides to spice things up, though, when he spikes his colleagues’ drinks with some drugs left over from a Full Moon Party he attended the previous week.
And then comes the next morning. The four students wake up to find that they are all scattered across Bangkok. Huey awakens in a wrecked car on the far west end of town with half his clothes burnt and the police on his tail. Emma awakens in a Buddhist monastery with her head shaved, her possessions compromised, and their faith allegedly renounced. Tyler is the only one to wake up in their hotel room, but he’s not alone – he’s joined by Bang, a young shemale prostitute he apparently saved from gangsters the night before. Billy, meanwhile, is in the biggest pickle; he’s now in the employ of a nationalist group hell-bent on assassinating the Vietnamese President when he arrives that evening.
Long-story-short, the movie becomes a race to get to the airport before their flight leaves. Emma flees the monastery and has the monks in hot pursuit; Huey gets a lift from two Australian swingers who proceed to make all kinds of unsavoury stops on the way there; Tyler and Bang get followed by the gangsters – led of course by LeslieChow – and end up in an intense chase no doubt involving fruit stands, monkeys, and fried cricket vendors; and Billy becomes an unwilling suicide bomber and sent off in a taxi. On the way there, though, Billy runs into Stu and JadePrice and gets the police called on him when they see the bombs underneath his shirt.
During the chaos leading up to the end, we find out that Huey and Billy torched a bar in the downtown core using only a pair of pliers and Tyler’s undershirt, which is how Billy got scouted by the nationalists and why the cops are after Huey. Meanwhile, Tyler eventually gets over his discomfort towards Bang and begins to fall for her while Emma re-baptises herself at the Bangkok International Church of Seventh-Day Adventists. Eventually, everyone meets at the airport and everything gets sorted– the Nationalists get ratted out, Billy gets disarmed, and Huey’s crimes are instantly forgotten when he says that Lesley threatened him, resulting in the police chasing the Chow gang away.
The youngsters and Phil get pulled aside by the border police, who give them a stern tongue-lashing and prepare to not only ban the five of them from Thailand, but also abolish the university’s exchange program. Suddenly, the new American ambassador appears before them: Alan Garner. He proceeds to pardon the gang and prepares to set himself up in the Bangkok embassy.
Then we get our ending. Emma boards the plane with a fresh conscience while Huey and Billy vow never to touch anything remotely resembling an intoxicant again. Tyler, meanwhile, exchanges e-mail addresses with Bang, gives her a kiss goodbye, and returns to America with a better understanding of himself. The gang line themselves up in their seats, and prepare for a long ride back home. Then for the sake of trolling the audience, I’d have Mike Tyson and his tiger as the co-pilots.
And there you have it: a better Hangover 2. Well, certainly better than what we ended up with.
See you next time,