- Todd Phillips
- Reviewed by
- Gon Curiel a.k.a. Groucho
- Review date
- Monday, August 24, 2009
Itís not hilarious, but being what it is, one couldnít ask for much more. As soon as you get the premise, you expect something and you get it. There are a few details that add something extra, but overall, it is what it is, and thatís good. Itís harmless fun, not a waste of time, but nothing to write home about.
The story is about a bachelor party in Las Vegas where the four guys involved get so wild they canít remember anything the day after, but thereís evidence that they did more than a few things they should worry about. The bachelor is missing, thereís a tiger in the bathroom, a baby in the closet, and many more signs of Vegas fun taken to the extreme.
The key to this comedyís success, I think, is its frankness. Though itís farfetched to say the least, it never treats its characters as anything special. They are what they are and we never see them out of character. We only see the before and the after, not the during, which helps because we donít really have to believe they would do what weíre told they do, because they donít believe it themselves.
Except for the bachelor, Doug, played by Justin Bartha, the guys are peculiar in different ways: Bradley Cooper is Phil, a ďcoolĒ schoolteacher whoís more than eager to go wild as he did in the old days; Ed Helms is Stu, an uptight dentist whoís about to marry a controlling, abusive woman; and Zach Galifianakis is Alan, Dougís extravagant brother-in-law-to-be. They all stay in their place: Phil always proud of what it seems they did, Stu constantly terrified of his fiancťe, and Alan providing outrageous commentary on the goings-on.
The guysí investigation of last night is much funnier, for sure, than the night itself would have been for us, which makes The Hangover rise above most party movies that go nowhere. Whoever has had a terrible hangover, complete with memory loss, understands the fear of having done something regrettable and not being able to remember it or do something about it. This is the only good film Iíve seen about that, and it should be praised for doing it so well.
However, true to its nature, never wanting to be more than it is, despite its potential to be much more, The Hangover stays put inside its boundaries and scores as a summer blockbuster thatís sure to make millions and sell a few DVDs and Blu-Rays and be forgotten in a few years. Itís definitely not memorable, but itís surely a movie experience to comment with the guys, especially when youíre months away from going to a bachelor party in Las Vegas, hoping to come back with good memory of all the fun.
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