Friday, May 24, 2013

The Hangover (Movie Review)

By now you've heard the story. Three friends go to Las Vegas to throw a bachelor party for their friend in his last night of freedom and wake up with a missing groom and no memory of the previous night. This is the film which skyrocketed the careers of both Zach Galifianakis and Bradley Cooper (now an Academy Award Nominee) who are both taking over Hollywood in lead roles. 

The main reason this movie works is because of it's characters. The script takes its time in setting them apart from the beginning, so by the time things get out of hand you know their personalities. Doug (Justin Bartha) is the groom who is forced to take his brother-in-law Alan (Zach Galifianakis), who is the immature kid trapped inside of a very fat and hairy man's body. Alan has the most one-liners in the movie and Galifianakis' stand-up comedy is delivered in much of the same manner. Hollywood has since typecast him for eccentric characters who are all clones of Alan. 

Phil (Bradley Cooper) is the young teacher who's bored with life and treats the trip as an escape route, and Stu (Ed Helms) is the whipped boyfriend trying to escape from his controlling girlfriend (he doesn't mention their plan to crash in sin city). Todd Philips put these realistic characters in a city which is like an amusement park for adults, and gives them an excuse to go wild. 

None of the night is filmed, which was a good move by Phillips who resisted the urge to make the movie another boring raunchfest, instead he cuts to the next morning when they are all passed out in their ravaged hotel room filled with wild animals, and a baby—which Alan names Carlos. While the film does have it's raunchy moments it doesn't solely rely on them for laughs. Together they try and account for the night but none of them can remember anything, so they use clues to recount the night and locate their friend. From that point they run in with cops, a stripper, a crazed Chinese gangster named Mr. Chow (hilariously played by Ken Jeong) and a famous athlete who likes Phil Collins.

There are people who don't find much to like about this movie and others who call it one of the best comedies of all time and I don't agree with either of them. I think it's successful in it's goal of making likable characters go through crazy situations but it is overrated compared the massive hype people gave it during it's release but I don't blame them. Comedies were at an all time low and fans who gave it a chance made it the highest grossing rated-R movie up to that point (later beat by Ted). 

The big reveal at the end will leave some cheering for them and leave others feeling underwhelmed, but altogether the movie is pieced together well and filled with many types of comedy so that all of the characters share moments of humor and vulnerability.  The movie is best the first time but even after repeated viewings, the movie doesn't lose it's charm; the setups are original and so are the situations as the "wolf pack" recklessly pushes through them. Director Todd Philips made another film about a group of guys reliving their younger days in Old School, and once again he manages to bring together a talented cast and a hilarious script, and does it even better this time around. 


My Rating:


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