NO REALLY, WHAT HAPPENED IN VEGAS?

“The Hangover” is about a uhm.. hang on… a hangover. I apologize I’m a bit hangover from last night. I mean, because of last night. I had the dim-light-bulb idea of writing this with a throbbing head. So stupid. Or … maybe not so stupid … so I can lower your expectations just in case what you are about to read is a crappy rambling review. That’s right. You’ve been warned.

Two days before his wedding, Doug (Justin Bartha), the dapper groom drives out to Las Vegas for an all-out bachelor partay. He is joined by his bud Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu the dentist (Ed Helms), and weirdo bro-in-law Alan (Zach Galifianakis). After one rowdy night, two things strangely vanish: the memory of the night and the groom. To solve this mystery, Phil, Stu, and Alan are left with these clues: a chicken, a baby, a police car, and a Siberian tiger. Raaawwwrrr. (Sorry, that was my stomach. Let me hurl just a sec.)

“The Hangover” is a smartly structured comedy, chugging its mystery gimmick to the last drop. It’s strangely fun to figure out the clues which could be as bewildering as deciphering a vomit. Of course, you say who gives a puke about a comedy being smart. Is it funny? And I’d say, absolutely! But then, I’d smack your head and say it’s funny because it’s smart.

Lose the memory loss and “The Hangover” would be a trying comedy about some dudes getting wild in the infamous city. They get drunk, go gambling, see some strippers, have a quickie wedding, etc. It will simply amount to glorifying dirtbag frivolities. What the movie does is move the focus away from hedonism and more about the high-stakes adventure. We’re following Dr. Jekylls here, wondering what the effing havoc their Mr. Hydes had wrought the night before.

The movie has a good cast. But the breakout star here is Zach Galifianakis as the too-stupid-to-be-insulted Alan. Squint a little and he eerily looks like a bearded Joaquin Phoenix. The Office’s Ed Helms is hilarious too. I want to give him a high-five. I want to punch Bradley Cooper in the face. That’s how good he is at playing an asshole. I want to kick (taser tease) Rob Riggle and (junk in the trunk) Ken Jeong in the nuts because they had the balls to try and upstage our three buds. They’re trying too hard for laughs. It takes away the danger. I just wish it would have amped up the confusing adventure aspect because comedy will come easy if the tension is heightened.

“The Hangover” will be revered as a “classic” by its fanboys. Maybe think it even greater than what they remember. No doubt it’s the film that puts Las Vegas back in the movie map. I’m sure it will get mentioned the next time my friends and I visit the Sin City. And I’d remember and smirk at the absurdity to have the best night of your life and not even remember it. So much for ignorance is bliss.

Thanks for reading. I’m gonna pass out now.

Grade: B+

CAST
Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Jeffrey Tambor, Heather Graham, and Justin Bartha
Written by
Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
Directed by
Todd Philips
Rated R for pervasive language, sexual content including nudity, and some drug material

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