Monday, November 15, 2010

The Hangover

Directed by Todd Phillips.
2009. Rated R, 100 minutes.
Bradley Cooper
Ed Helms
Zach Galifianakis
Justin Bartha
Ken Jeong
Mike Tyson
Heather Graham
Sasha Barrese
Mike Epps

Plot: Doug's (Bartha) buddies take him to Las Vegas for his proverbial last night of freedom before getting married. AFter a wild night of which no one can remember a thing, Doug has turned up missing and the boys scour the capital of sin trying to find him.

The Good: Yes, our heroes are stupid. However, they're stupid in a way that's not at all unlike many of us when we've over-indulged the night before and try to piece together how shamefully we behaved. Years later, we can laugh at ourselves or if it happened to someone else we can laugh at them, immediately. Well, here its happened to someone else. Two other elements heighten both our amusement and the stakes. First, no one in group remembers anything at all from what was obviously a "good" night (the boys awake to find a live chicken, a baby and a full grown tiger in their hotel suite). Second, the groom-to-be is nowhere to be found. This easily sets up our heroes to go numerous places, trying to retrace their steps. The movie exploits this well and keeps us laughing. On top of that, just when we may be getting a little bored with the boys, we're introduced to a character that gets us cracking up all over again. Heather Graham (playing stripper Jade), Ken Jeong (Mr. Chow) and surprisingly enough, Mike Tyson (himself) all handle their roles perfectly.

The Bad: I was kinda hoping for flashbacks as the boys uncovered each piece of the prior night's mystery. These may have lengthened the movie quite a bit but may have also added to the hijinks and shenanigans, making it even funnier. We get it once in the form of security footage but I'm greedy and wanted more. I'm also on the fence about the ladies left at home. Should they have had some sort of bachelorette bash and gotten into their own bit of trouble? I'm not sure if I think that would've helped or finally pushed it too far over the top.

The Ugly: What happens to Stu's tooth. Ouch!

Recommendation: This is definitely "a guy thing." I found it thoroughly entertaining, and laughed all the way through. My wife, on the other hand, was only mildly amused. More than that I got the feeling most women would react this way. That said, though it is raunchy, its not so raunchy it will totally disgust them, usually. So guys, if you're just going to watch alone or with the fellas, have at it. If its your turn to pick the flick for movie night with your gal, proceed with caution. Think back to how she felt about The 40 Year Old Virgin or maybe Superbad or I Love You, Man and decide accordingly.

MY SCORE: 9/10

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