Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Hangover

Film Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Groom-to-Be Gets Lost in Vegas in Bawdy Buddy Flick

With Doug (Justin Bartha) about to get married, his pals decide to throw a bachelor party to help him celebrate his tying the knot. After assuring his anxious fiancĂ©e Tracy (Sasha Barrese) that they’re only going to drive from L.A. up to Napa Valley for a quiet evening of wine tasting, they borrow her father’s (Jeffrey Tambor) classic Mercedes convertible but instead head straight for Las Vegas because “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
Each of Doug’s buddies is eager to enjoy a wild night on the town, since family man Phil (Bradley Cooper) finds his life boring, nerdy Stu (Ed Helms) has been henpecked for three years by a girlfriend (Rachael Harris) who beats him and Tracy’s troubled brother, Alan (Zach Galifianakis), is a registered sex-offender who isn’t allowed to come within 200 feet of a school or a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. So, upon arriving, they check into a luxury suite at Caesar’s Palace where they share a toast “to a night none of us will ever forget.”
Unfortunately, that champagne is the only thing any of Doug’s groggy cronies can remember the next morning as they gradually awaken to the realization that he’s disappeared into thin air. With their memories foggy, they look around the hotel room for hints as to what might have transpired. Stu is missing a tooth, Phil has a hospital bracelet on one of his wrists, and Alan finds a baby in the closet and a tiger in the bathroom.
Without ever letting on exactly where they are, Phil calls Tracy to inform her that, “We’ve lost Doug.” When she reminds him that the wedding is in five hours, he matter-of-factly responds, “Yea, that’s not going to happen.” This is the urgent scenario established by The Hangover, a raunchy whodunit directed by Todd Phillips (Old School).
It’s just too bad that in the process of rapidly unraveling the multi-layered mystery the picture periodically pushes the envelope further than the average moviegoer is probably capable of stomaching. For this irreverent adventure essentially undermines itself via ill-advised departures into such taboo subjects as child molestation and date rape, all in search of a cheap joke.
The image of a pedophile playing with a baby’s genitals is so patently tasteless and offensive that is guaranteed to prevent many a viewer from enjoying the rest of the movie. The same can probably be said about the scenes featuring Mike Tyson who, let’s face it, is a convicted rapist who chewed-off an opponent’s ear in the ring. This might makes it hard to laugh at him here delivering a sucker punch or lying in bed with a blonde.
Nonetheless, that sobering disclaimer out of the way, there is still much to like about The Hangover. For most of Phil, Stu and Alan’s antics are hilarious as they follow clues around Vegas in a frantic search for the missing groom-to-be. En route, they have to deal with the prostitute (Heather Graham) Stu married in a drunken stupor, an irate Tyson who wants his tiger back, and a naked man (Dr. Ken Jeong) bent on revenge they find stuffed in the trunk of their car.
And all the while, Doug proves harder to find than Waldo.

Good (2 stars)
Rated R for graphic sexuality, nudity, pedophilia, drug and alcohol abuse and pervasive profanity.
Running time: 100 minutes
Studio: Warner Brothers


Anonymous said...

A pedophile playing with a baby's genitals? Not quite. We only know that Alan isn't allowed within 200 feet of a school (or a Chucky Cheese's), but not why (based on his character it could be drug deals or just endangering the general public). Also, no one play's with a baby's genitals, just his arm. Moving the arm up and down well above the baby's crotch to make a masturbating gesture may disturb some, but it is hardly playing with the genitals. It is exaggeration like this that causes people that don't even watch the movie to start protesting things that aren't even in it. Get your facts right.

cat said...

lighten up!
its a comedy!

Axel said...

Someday maybe we will all be able to read a comedy review from someone that actually has a sense of humor. Until then, unfortunately, we are stuck with half-witted, lackluster reviews that show to the people that actually did watch the movie just how pointless having the current critics reviews are.

Anonymous said...

As a pedophile, I think I will enjoy this film!

Anonymous said...

You obviously weren't even paying much attention to the film that you were reviewing, as the other commenters have pointed out. They never tell the fiancee they're going to Napa (even her father knew they were going to Vegas - it's his car, remember?), that was the Dentist's girlfriend. It was Jagermeister, not champagne, and they remembered a few hours of the night, not just the toast. And as far as the pedophile thing is concerned...really? And were they really joking about date rape, or just using the drug on themselves as a plot device?

Random Thoughts of a 30s-something Adult said...

Apparently this reviewer only tunes into the movie occasionally as their facts are off on many instances. As previous commenters have stated it's jagger; no genitals were played with except the grown man's (which was only seen during the credits); and SOMEONE knew they were going to Vegas....
This movie, although predicatable and raunchy in parts (the reason it's rated R), is an enjoyable escape and who for the most part would not enjoy having this experience. I would just prefer to have all my teeth and not have to return the busted up car.... or have the sunburn. LOL