Thursday, June 18, 2009

Movie Review: The Hangover

Rated: R

Website: The Hangover official site

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Heather Graham

My Review: It would be really easy to dismiss The Hangover as just another “men behaving badly in Vegas” movie, but you’d be missing one key element; it’s a friggin’ hilarious “men behaving badly in Vegas” movie.

The premise is simple and borders on cliché: Four guys from California head to Las Vegas for one last hurrah before one of them gets married, looking forward to binge drinking and irresponsible gambling, and the dimwitted one of the bunch even shouts “Road trip!” on the way there. Then they wake up the following morning with a trashed suite, unable to remember a thing from the previous night, and find a live tiger in the bathroom, a baby in the closet, and the groom-to-be missing. And then the cliché ends as they use various clues to piece together what exactly happened that night and where their missing quartet member is.

The funniest moments in The Hangover are the surprises that happen along the way, so I won’t spoil anything that happens. As the hungover trio pieces together what happened the previous night I was expecting each occurrence to be tied to another, like one of Law & Order’s mysteries of the week, but the fact that everything seems to have been just a random series of events adds to hilarity and absurdity of the entire movie. Like me, you might find yourself wondering, “Well, how did they go from X to doing Y, and then end up at Z?” But save yourself the trouble of making sense of it all, and chalk it up to simply, “Hey, it’s Vegas!” By the end of the movie, most of the mysteries have been satisfactorily solved, and while the chronology of the entire night may not make total sense, it’s still one hell of a “Road trip!”

Bottom Line: The Hangover is one of the best and most consistently funny adult comedies I’ve seen. Even the presence of a screaming baby in the theater wasn’t able to detract from my enjoyment of the movie, and that’s saying something.

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