Movie Review – The Hangover

As much as I would love to think my taste in movies is sophisticated, I have to admit that “The Hangover” in all its testosterone, over done, modern slapstick grossness was pretty darn hilarious and I liked it! Staring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and Justin Bartha and from director Todd Phillips who brought us “Old School” and “Road Trip” – this boys-gone-wild Las Vegas flick follows friends Phil, Stu and Alan as they take buddy, Doug, to his Bachelor party in Sin City. Does what they say, “What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” apply if you can’t remember what actually happened while there? “Hangover” answers just that question. With a number of key cameos along with the adventure of figuring out what really did happen the night before, I describe “Hangover” as a mystery and comedy all in one!


- Location, Location – Las Vegas is the only feasible place for this movie. Where else could offer the sheer potential for the variety of random things to happen and it not seem so random?

- The Right Group of Guys – Although the story is basic – 4 guys take their friend to Vegas for a bachelor party – those 4 guys are anything BUT basic. The actors - Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and Justin Bartha – bring their own touches to what could have been stereotypical characters. Critic extraordinaire Roger Ebert describes Zach Galifianakis’s performance as, “the kind of breakout performance that made John Belushi a star after "Animal House." Great job guys!

- The “What Next Factor” – As coined by critic Ty Burr of the Boston Globe (read his review) a lot of the hilarity from this movie comes from the unconventional, odd events this group has been through. From stealing a celeb’s tiger, to a small, angry Chinese man, to a hospital visit – the surprise originality yet believability of the events keeps the laughs coming.

- Great Camera Work – The cinematographer portrays a beautiful, scenic Las Vegas that not everyone sees while bustling through the hotels on the Strip. He also uses the camera to literally put us in the moment of waking up after a heavy night of drinking to the point of sleeping face down on a linoleum floor in a Sin City suite. By strapping a camera to actor’s Ed Helms’ waist, we get my most favorite visual moment in “Hangover” with Stu, the first to wake up the morning after, and a wobbly, very close up shot and a quick feel for what this particular hangover actually feels like for these guys.


- (I know I say it a lot, but…) Unnecessary Nudity!!! – MAN! This is an annoyance I am seeing waaaaay too often these days and “Hangover” is no exception. There’s plenty of BBB (boobs, butts and balls) throughout the hour and half flick that I REALLY didn’t need to see and didn’t, at all, add to the movie.

- Poor Groom – The groom Doug, actor Justin Bartha, is hardly in the darn movie! His worried fiancé has more lines than he does! It would have been great to get flashes of Doug’s memories of the drunken night to help the story along too.

“The Hangover” will make you laugh and cringe in unexpected ways, which I applaud, because it’s kind of rare these days. Also, not all the funny moments are in the trailers, which I LOVE, so you’ll be surprised at a lot of the mishaps these boys encounter. It’s creatively written and not too predictable. So, for me, this makes it one of the best comedies I’ve seen in a long time!

Did you laugh? Where the jokes typical or pretty creative? What did you think of the 4 actors? A good combo or were they lame?

"Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra
So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gary and Jake really want to see this one, so it's good to hear I might like it, too. But can I just say....will the gratuitous boob shots ever end?! Don't get me started....