“The Hangover” is the epitomy of a guy-movie, lots of ridiculous situational comedy combined with filthy language and a bachelor part in Vegas. If that doesn’t sum up man-flick then I’m at a loss for words frankly. With relative unknowns helming this I think it was a pretty large gamble to shoot without a single marquis star, but I honestly dig that about this film, just get some strong actors together and let them do their thang. It’s what needs to happen more often in Hollywood, make room for new faces.
Why you’ll like this:
Raunchy guy humor; wittier than a “Dude Where’s My Car”; wild situations in Vegas
The setup couldn’t be more simple, four guys go to Las Vegas for a bachelor party and wake up the next morning to realize they’ve lost the bachelor and cannot remember a single thing from their outrageous night of partying. This leads three of them on an epic quest to find their friend by looking for clues of what transpired during their drunken stupor. Enter strippers, tigers and Mike Tyson.
Now, I’m a year late on this film, so I wasn’t sure if the magic would still be there or if it was a moment in culture that you had to ride the wave in order to appreciate (how I envision “Lost” will be a year from now), but this worked on pretty much every level. During the time between its release and my viewing I’ve become a fan of Zach Galifianakis via his strange interview clips, I’d head over to YouTube if you don’t know what I’m referring to. Zach plays the insane moron with scary precision and I was kind of shocked at how well his kookiness mixed with Ed Helms’ brand of humor and Bradley Cooper’s smoother intensity, because I didn’t quite see how I would buy them as a legitimate entourage, but I think the kudos here have to go to Cooper for getting it all to gel appropriately. Of course, Bradley Cooper supplied his own stamp of insanity as well, lest we forget his comedic chops from “Wedding Crashers”.
For a guy’s movie surrounding idiocy in Vegas I was actually surprised by the lack of raunch overall, but I suppose what it lacked in quality it made up for in male genitalia quantity. Tomato, Tuh-mott-oh. For a $35 million budget, there was no shortage of great shots and locations, which I can’t imagine is an easy feat in Vegas, but I suppose that’s where it helps to not spend all your cash on actors since a big name often runs $20m on its own these days. Considering the piles of cash this raked in, I’m sure we’ll be seeing far more of Todd Phillips in the near future, along with a sequel to “The Hangover”.
Why you won’t like this:
Girls won’t like this; should be watched with the fellas
The laughs came pretty frequently and reminded me of Todd’s other work like “Old School” which has picked up its own little cult following, so I’m sure he was glad he gained a much faster audience this time around and if he can get a solid sequel out of this we’ll probably be seeing his name attached to trailers much like we’re seeing with Judd Apatow nowadays. This is a total guy movie, not to be watched without a few compadres, and certainly not with your girlfriend lest you sober up before knocking back a few laughs.
3.5 out of 5 Stars.
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Heather Graham, Mike Epps
Director: Todd Phillips
Rating: R (language, sexual content, nudity, drugs)
Running Time: 1 hr. 40 min.
Release Date: June 5, 2009