Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Doug (Justin Bartha) is getting married in a couple days. But let’s skip all of that rigmarole such as meeting our characters and the montage drive to Las Vegas and checking into the hotel. Forget all of that. The only thing that matters in Todd Phillips film ‘The Hangover’ is the next morning when they wake up because this is when things gets f’d up.

So let’s see… There’s a live chicken in their villa suite, which you know is already a really bad sign because live chickens are hard as hell to catch. There’s a live tiger in the bathroom, which is probably a worse sign because I would think a live tiger would be even more difficult to catch than a live chicken. I can neither confirm nor deny this because while I have snagged a live chicken or two in my day I have yet had the opportunity to catch a live tiger. There’s also a baby in one of the closets. They’re easy to catch. Most importantly Doug is nowhere to be found. Doug just might be dead. Phil (Bradley Cooper) the school teacher, Stu (Ed Helms) the henpecked dentist and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) the unemployed pedophile have no idea about anything surrounding Doug’s disappearance, the chickens or the baby because for all intent and purposes the night before didn’t happen because our heroes can’t remember a gatdamn thing. But about Stu being henpecked… how in the hell can anybody be henpecked by their girlfriend? Wives I kind of understand (not really) but girlfriends can get to stepping. Shown the Door. Kicked to the Curb. Immediately.

These cats have to be back in Los Angeles in 24 or so hours so Doug can marry his lovely fiancé Tracy (Sasha Barrese) which goes a long way in explaining why Alan is along for the ride because he’s Tracy’s brother. Alan wears a jockstrap. All the time. Not cool. Tracy’s dad Sid (Jeffrey Tambor) also entrusted Doug with his prized classic Mercedes Benz on this trip, and though we have no idea how this movie is going to turn out I think every single one of us knows that the Benz is screwed. The fate of the Benzo being a given, our heroes still have to work their way backwards and find out

where in the heck Doug could possibly be. And thus our boys embark on a trip across the darkside of Las Vegas which will run them into, among other things, Mike Tyson, the woman Stu married the night before, Stu’s missing incisor, Phil’s stay at the local hospital, the worlds angriest Asian dude, a short stay at the police department, a random Mike Epps sighting, and even a little elementary school community service. And more! As fun as all of that sounds Doug is still missing, the wedding is in a few hours and the Benz hasn’t been destroyed yet. Just wait for it. I know its coming.

‘The Hangover’ is a funny movie. I actually went to see this movie, on my own dime no less because I had something else to do during the screening. The reason I made this special financially painful trip is due to the fact I had heard how funny this movie was. That being said ‘The Hangover’ wasn’t nearly as funny as I had heard it was supposed to be. Now don’t get you’re panties in a bunch you people that have declared ‘The Hangover’ the greatest filmed comedy ever because this is actually a good thing. You see ‘The Hangover’ isn’t just a funny movie but a good movie all around. I’ve seen my share of movies that have made me laugh but kind of sucked at being movies. Such is not the case with this one. I had to get that out because you would be surprised how upset some people can get when you don’t think the way they do about something, especially when that something centers around a thing as benign as a movie. What’s up with that? Where I come from we call that ‘fascism’.

The thing I like about this movie is that Phillips didn’t just try to string together a series of loose fitting sight gags, which can at times be a funny approach, to make this film. Instead we get a little bit of a mystery we have to deal with and since we spend so much time with Alan, Phil and Stu we get to know Alan, Phil and Stu. This pretty much forces us to care about these cats, flawed as they are with Alan being completely brain dead, Phil being an asshole and Stu having no spinal cord. More importantly we do hope they find Doug alive somewhere.

But ‘The Hangover’ is billed as a comedy and all that other mess don’t mean jack if the movie isn’t funny and it is very funny. Zach Galifianakis is like some kind of comic genius, the situations that they find themselves in is consistently amusing, Mike Tyson is like some kind of comic genius… note that Phil comments after Mike drops Alan with a solid right hook that ‘Mike still has it’. Actually one would hope that Iron Mike, even at 41, could drop a 240 pound stationary doughboy. I do know that if I’m Zach Galifianakis I’m requesting that Mike’s rehearse that scene 200 times with a mannequin before I’d actually agree to shoot it. Like I said the movie is consistently amusing and even has a couple of really big laughs but I gotta say that I wasn’t guffawing and coughing up snot throughout the whole flick like I was led to believe I was gonna do, but that’s cool. I hate coughing up snot.

This movie here is proof positive that Hollywood executives have no earthly idea what you people out there will pay your good money to see. Some superhero movie? Sure. This? With no real proven track record stars and a bachelor party in Vegas storyline that we know full well has been done a few times before? It is a surprise that it has broken the bank. Good for them. Good for us.

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