Firefighters in Thailand were called to the set of Owen Wilson's new film The Coup late on Wednesday (20Nov13) after a blaze broke out. Flames ripped through the film set in northern Thailand shortly after Wilson and his co-star Lake Bell had finished work for the day. Both stars had left the set and were unharmed.
Emergency services were called to tackle the blaze, which is believed to have broken out after the crew filmed an action scene in an area dressed as a government office. No one was hurt, but some of the film equipment was damaged.
Chris Lowenstein, executive director of local production company Living Films, tells The Hollywood Reporter, "The day's shooting proceeded uneventfully, with the final shot being the destruction of the office, as it's supposed to look like it is being hit by a tank shell. The scene involved air mortars with dust, cork and debris, but no explosion, fire or other pyrotechnics... The air mortars fired and the wall was destroyed as planned. The director called cut, the assistant director called wrap on the day, the actors exited the set, the director... producers began to view playback and discuss what had been shot and the shooting for the next day, and the crew started to wrap the equipment. Shortly thereafter, a small fire broke out in the ceiling of the set."
The film revolves around the story of an American family caught in a political uprising. Pierce Brosnan is also part of the cast, but he has yet to join the shoot in Thailand.
Filming continued as planned on Thursday (21Nov13).
When crafting a follow-up to the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time it’s understandable that one might be reticent to mess with a winning formula. But director Todd Phillips and writers Craig Mazin and Scot Armstrong seem to have confused revisiting with recycling: The Hangover Part II so closely mirrors its blockbuster predecessor in every vital aspect that it can scarcely claim the right to call itself a sequel.
The only significant new wrinkle introduced in Part II is its setting: Bangkok Thailand a location that at least theoretically augurs well for a second helping of inspired lunacy. The story structure of the first film has been copied wholesale a game of Mad Libs played with its script. The action is again set around a bachelor party this time in honor of buttoned-down dentist Stu (Ed Helms). Again the boys (Stu Bradley Cooper’s boorish frat boy Phil and Zach Galifianakis’ moronic man-child Alan) awaken the next day in a hideously debauched hotel room with little memory of the previous night’s revelry. And again there is a missing companion: Teddy (Mason Lee son of Ang) the brother-in-law to be. (Poor Justin Bartha is once again relegated to the sidelines popping up now and then to push the plot forward via cell phone.)
The amnesiac/investigative angle of the first Hangover made for a refreshing twist on the contemporary men-behaving-badly comedy. Repeated here its effect is arguably the opposite: Too often the action feels rote and formulaic. Gone is any hint of surprise an aspect so crucial to good comedy and a huge part of the first film’s appeal. Key comic set pieces – a tussle with monks at a Buddhist temple a visit to a transsexual brothel a car chase involving a drug-dealing monkey – reveal themselves to be merely variations of memorable bits from the first film.
Tonally Part II is darker cruder and a bit nastier than its predecessor. Female characters never a priority in the first film are further marginalized in the sequel. (The only woman with significant dialogue a Bangkok prostitute also happens to have a penis. I’ll let you ponder the implications of that one.) The three leads Helms Cooper and Galifianakis still work well together and despite the inferior material enough of their chemistry remains to make the proceedings bearable – and occasionally funny. But their characters feel somehow degraded reduced to coarse caricatures of their former selves. Speaking of caricature Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) the fey faux-gangsta villain of the first film returns in an expanded capacity in the sequel his garbled hip-hop slang more gratuitous – and more grating – than before.
I can’t help but wonder what might have been if a planned cameo by Mel Gibson playing a tattoo artist hadn’t been scrapped reportedly due to objections by Galifianakis. Liam Neeson Gibson’s replacement apparently proved ineffectual in his first go-round and when he wasn't available for re-shoots his scene was eventually shot with Nick Cassavetes in the role. In its existing incarnation the scene is purely functional a chunk of forgettable exposition. The presence of Gibson an actor of not inconsiderable comic talent would have at least added an air of unpredictability something the scene – and indeed the movie – sorely lacks.