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The Hangover
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Reviewed on 2009-06-05
Received[3]  out of 4 stars
Two Reviews below by Keith Cohen and Jolene Mendez.

The guilty pleasure comedy hit of the summer has arrived. Director Todd Phillips (“Old School” and “Road Trip”) in a clever and original screenplay from screenwriters Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (“Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” and “Four Christmases”) renders a “can-you-top-this” account of a bachelor party gone terribly awry.

The fresh material in this boys gone wild laugh riot combines the box of chocolates metaphor of “you never know what you’re going to get” from “Forrest Gump” with the famous lyrics of “Get Me to the Church on Time” from “My Fair Lady” about getting married in the morning.

The movie opens with a prologue involving a frantic call from a groomsman to a freaking out bride-to-be on her wedding day that the groom is missing. The movie flashes back two days earlier.

Conservative and straight-laced Doug (Justin Bartha who was Nicholas Cage’s sidekick in the “National Treasure” movies) is accompanied by his two best friends, high school teacher Phil (Bradley Cooper from “He’s Just Not That Into You”, “Yes Man” and “Alias”) and dentist Stu (Ed Helms from “The Office”), and his nutcase future brother-in-law Alan (stand-up comedian Zach Galifianakis) for a bachelor party in Sin City they vow they’ll never forget. Doug’s future father-in-law Sid (Jeffrey Tambor from “Arrested Development”) tosses Doug the keys to his Mercedes convertible and tells him to have a good time. He also reminds him that what happens in (Las) Vegas stays in Vegas.

The boys drive from Los Angeles and check in to a large $4,200 per night luxury suite at the famous Caesar’s Palace. They climb up to the roof and drink a toast to Doug’s last night of freedom.

The movie immediately goes to sunrise of the next day. The camera pans their beyond trashed living quarters. We see a bubbling Jacuzzi hot tub, a chicken walking on the floor, the feet of a barefoot woman tiptoeing out the door, a smoldering armchair, a snarling Bengali tiger in the bathroom and a crying baby in the closet.

Stu is lying on the floor with blood coming from his mouth and a front tooth missing. Phil has a hospital bracelet around his wrist. Alan can hardly stand up and walks like he’s on an airplane experiencing turbulence.

The worst news is that Doug is missing. The trio can’t remember anything that happened the night before. They spend the rest of the movie piecing together clues and retracing their steps.

The supporting cast includes a perky stripper (Heather Graham from “Boogie Nights”), Stu’s nagging and unfaithful girlfriend (Rachael Harris), an effeminate Asian gambler (Ken Jeong from “Knocked Up” and “The Pineapple Express”), a fanatic police officer (KC’s Rob Riggle from “The Daily Show” and Saturday Night Live”) and former boxer Mike Tyson playing himself.

The cinematography takes full advantage of scenic panoramic views of the Strip during the daytime and at night. Cooper, Helms and Galifianakis work together like a well-oiled machine with perfect chemistry and a winning air of camaraderie. The funny props that add to the hilarity are a Holocaust ring, a stolen police gar, a stun gun, a crowbar and a man-purse.

The foul language is not forced and fits within the context of the story. The movie has a vulgar, rowdy and raunchy sense of humor. The movie is slanted toward the male perspective and will appeal primarily to an age range from 18 to 30. Anyone who has recently attended bachelor parties is cognizant of the wild and crazy things that occur.

This could be the breakout role for Galifianakis. He looks like an overgrown teddy bear with his full dark beard and overweight physique. There is no thinking involved in this purely escapist adventure.

The soundtrack includes many familiar tunes including “It’s Now or Never”, “Who Let the Dogs Out” and “In the Air Tonight.”

The movie even borrows a page from “Rain Man” involving counting cards at the blackjack table. There are even more surprises during the closing credits when an array of nasty and naughty explicit photographs are revealed.

You should encourage your friends and acquaintances to see this hilarious comedy, but try to restrain yourself from saying too much because it would spoil all the fun.

Review By:
Keith Cohen "The Movie Guy"


Review Below By:
Jolene Mendez

4 out of 4 Stars

Wild thing…I think I love you. Sentiments I would never expect to express after watching a raunchy comedy surrounding an all boys trip to Las Vegas. When three groomsmen gather together to give the groom a night he will never forget, it turns out to be something they all forget. Doug (Justin Bartha) is getting married in two days and as a final hurrah his friends Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) drag him to Vegas. Along for the ride is the bride’s brother Alan (Zach Galifianakis), a quirky character who adds a certain flavor to the film. As they arrive like royalty to their suite at Caesar’s Palace they get the party started. Dressed to the nines they head to the roof for an initial drink to toast the groom and offer him an evening he will not forget, or will he.

Flash forward. The men wake up to the darkest of hangovers. They find a Siberian tiger in their bathroom, a trashed room, a groomsman with a missing tooth and a baby in the closet. It could not get any worse, except they realize Doug the groom is missing. With twenty four hours till the wedding the search is on. Turns out on their night of lushness they visited Mike Tyson’s home, the emergency room, a strip club, a chapel and wound up back at the hotel in a police car that they valet parked. Things only get stranger when someone leaps at them out of the trunk naked, after recovering their car. You find yourself asking “What the hell is going on?” Things are not getting much better when Phil has to inform the bride that the wedding is not gonna happen…you can’t get married without the groom.

“The Hangover” is the wackiest and funniest film this year, quite possibly of the last decade. From opening credits to the closing, which features reminiscent bachelor party photos this film had me laughing non-stop. Appealing film for the females, but a little racy for the younger crowd. Something you can expect from this comedy especially based on the title. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis had wonderful chemistry. Galifianakis stole the show with his wacky performance, any man who can pull of white pants and a purse is a definite show stopper. You will find yourself talking about “The Hangover” hours later and telling all your friends about how great it is. Pushing the envelope unlike anything the industry has offered us this year; “The Hangover” provides the escape factor. So sit back and relax and prepare yourself for the wild wide. I know I will ride it again!

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