Despite a certain lack of imagination, of spark, of wit, The Hangover II managed to pull in over half a billion at the box office (and birth a third installment). And it felt there, for a little bit, at least for people overly emotionally invested in box office tallies, that there was no justice in the universe. But, perhaps as some implicit karmic righting-of-the-balance, since its release The Hangover II has been the recipient of something other than oodles of money: a comical amount of legal trouble!
There was the tattoo artist who sued the movie because they re-created the design he created for Mike Tyson’s face tat on Ed Helms’s character. For a little while it looked like the studio, Warner Bros., would have to digitally alter Helms's tattoo for the video release, which really just would have compromised the integrity of the whole thing. Eventually, Warner Bros. paid up, and the tattooist walked away with an undisclosed, hopefully hefty sum. Later, the movie was sued by a stuntman injured during a car chase scene and, even better, by a guy who declared Hangover II stole his life story, via a script he had submitted. According to THR, the latter fellow "claimed he had been defamed in the film by the inference that he was under the influence of drugs when he ditched his girlfriend and proposed to a male-to-female transsexual prostitute."Both of those guys "dismissed their lawsuits voluntarily," which may or may not mean they got giant settlements, too.
And the latest suit comes via a more powerful institution, Louis Vuitton, whose feathers have been ruffled over a knockoff bag featured in the film. As THR reports, the company is trying to convince a judge that it should be allowed to "go forward with its claims against Warner Bros. for infringing and diluting its trademark by showing, for one brief moment in the movie, Zach Galifianakis telling someone who pushes his bag, 'Be careful, that is that is a Lewis Vuitton.'" LV’s case has been ongoing but may have just caught a boost, thanks to a related decision in a similar case involving a Hyundai commercial. Not to pile on in a time of continued trouble for The Hangover II, but hopefully Louis Vuitton's deep pockets and legal know-how lead it to yet another court victory over the flick. Somehow, some way, Hangover II should definitely have to continue giving some of that money back.