Bachelor Party [1984]

Director: Neal Israel
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tawny Kitaen, Adrian Zmed, George Grizzard, Barbara Stuart
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 105 minutes

Does lightning strike twice in 24 years? If one follows the formula laid down by the original Bachelor Party--broad comedy with liberal doses of nudity and outrageous behavior--the chances are pretty good, at least enough for producer Ron Moler and screenwriters Neal Israel and Pat Proft to craft this new take on the 1984 gagfest that helped mold Tom Hanks into a dependable comic leading man. Though it's billed as a sequel, Bachelor Party 2 is actually a remake of the first feature: the essential plot of earnest groom-to-be (Josh Cooke) attempting to resist temptation at a no-holds-barred bachelor party thrown by his pals (Harland Williams, Greg Pitts, and Danny Jacobs) is preserved here, though the gross-out humor goes further than anything suggested in the original. And that's the stumbling block for Bachelor Party 2, because while it was never going to be mistaken for a '30s screwball comedy, the first Bachelor Party generated most of its laughs from the breezy performances of Hanks and his co-stars. Here, the best efforts of top-billed (and likable) Josh Cooke and capable comics Williams and Pitts are overwhelmed by a tide of bodily function jokes (though a bit involving nebbishy Jacobs and a German masseuse has its moments). Seeing as the American Pie franchise has spawned five sequels and countless imitators, the lowbrow humor may not be a negative for many viewers, but one wishes the filmmakers tried for a few more jokes that didn't engage the gag reflex. The unrated DVD includes rowdy commentary by the male leads and director/co-writer James Ryan, a whopping 18 deleted (and extraneous) scenes, a making-of featurette with interviews with the cast and crew, an 18-minute gag reel that quickly outwears its welcome, and the self-explanatory "Analysis of a Stripper Fight." -- Paul Gaita

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