"The Hangover" was the wildcard movie for me when I first saw the trailer. It was funny, but I still had a thought in the back of my head like it was going to be a typical road-trip like movie with tons of the same elements. But like the Spill Reviews may have informed you, it's actually more like a comedic mystery movie where they have to backtrack to find out what happens. And you get involved with what exactly happened that night when they got hammered beyond belief.
Most of you know the premise by now with 4 guys going to Vegas, they all feel good and happy, and then we cut to a wrecked room containing thousands of beer cans, chickens, strippers, and even a tiger. And thus, they have to slowly backtrack to what happened because their friend who is about to get married is completely missing. It's like, imagine you are playing a fantasy game and you have to perform a certain quest that asks you to go from Point A to Point B. But when that happens, you may take up extra quests along the way that offer up exposition. So while the plot of The Hangover can be predictable, it can be still very satisfying and surprising when it side-tracks you or takes you to a new part of the movie.
But let's move on to the more important concern with the movie, the characters. The characters are dependent on how well the jokes work, and it really shows here. I believe the best character here is played by Ed Helms who plays a dentist that is constantly under the thumb of his domineering girlfriend. Being the most sensible man in the group, it's really funny to here him utter a hilarious line and he has the best freak-out scenes. Something about being the less crazy really works for him, because you can kind of feel his roles from The Daily Show
and The Office
in this. Especially during one of the moments with the tiger.
Bradley Cooper, I don't really know all that much about him, but he also brings a good amount of charm to the film. As the guys described it, he's the Vince Vaughn type who is likable because of how confident he is, but that leads to his downfall. But what's surprising is about him is how he is able to take or adapt to the situation at hand. The way he delivers lines too, feels very natural and that works for this movie.
I kind of have a problem with Zach Galifianakis character however. It's kind of interesting though, because while he is a manchild in this movie, everyone treats him like it in a disrespectful way. They know he's weird and messed up, but it's refreshing to see how he's handled throughout the movie. Other than that though, he feels really dull and every time he speaks, it's to make some nonsensical statement. But the good part about that is half the time he says something nonsensical, it's funny. Also, movies like these always have throw-away side characters, but it's fun to see how everyone interacts with them in this movie because of how they play a role in the mystery. Heather Graham, Rob Riggle, Ken Jeong (That Asian guy you've seen in the last 10 comedies), and Mike Tyson's cameo really stand out.
A lot of the comedy in the movie feels really fast, so that kind of works as it's downfall. You can miss a lot of the jokes if you get distracted or if you have to take a piss. But the other flaw to that, is because so many jokes are delivered at once, none of them really seem to have you laugh-out-loud laughing. You will definitely smile and chuckle throughout the whole mess of things, but how much you laugh just depends on your tolerance level. But while I don't believe the comedy of the movie is in full effect, the mystery and the constant string of fun plot points really sucks you in.
It's a great movie, and it shocked me how it took Number 1 for the Box Office, but it does have some good flaws in it. Some of the really good jokes are already revealed in the trailer and commercials. (Just Like Up, oddly enough) It's a great comedy, but not the best I've seen this year. (That goes to I Love You, Man.) It's definitely however a really satisfying movie and something that will keep you well entertained.
Spill Rating: Enthusiastic Matinee