Men still behaving badly in "Hangover Part II"

Tue May 24, 2011 3:29pm EDT
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By Iain Blair

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Forget the old line about comedy not getting any respect.

Director Todd Phillips single-handedly demolished that perception with his raunchy 2009 blockbuster "The Hangover," which grossed a staggering $468 million worldwide, making it the most successful R-rated comedy of all time.

Now Phillips is back with "The Hangover Part II", which opens in U.S. theaters and much of Europe on Thursday.

Once again, the movie stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianikis (and a scene-stealing, drug-dealing monkey). But this time it's dentist Stu (Helms) who is getting married, in Bangkok. Predictably, more mayhem and bad behavior ensues.

Successful comedy sequels are notoriously tricky to pull off. So how did Phillips approach the project?

"I know expectations are high, but liked the idea of the challenge," Phillips said. "I knew I'd have this great cast again who're willing to try anything I come up with, so why not give it a shot?"

Commercial hopes are also hefty. Despite mixed early reviews, some industry projections see the Warner Bros. movie bringing in more than $100 million at the North American box office alone on its opening weekend.

The formula remains much the same -- after another blackout and some appalling revelations (including a severed finger, a shaved head and hermaphrodite hookers) the guys try to figure out exactly what happened the night before.   Continued...

<p>A scene from "The Hangover: Part II". REUTERS/Warner Bros Pictures</p>