Friday, May 29, 2009

The Hangover That Happens In Vegas, Doesn't Stay In Vegas

Today Hollywood gives us one type of comedy, smash mouth and raunchy. There isn't anything wrong with this type of so called comedy if it makes you laugh. In "The Hangover" we get "In The FACE" raunchy. The hangover is one of those buddy type films that just misses the mark, the friends are so different from each other that you wonder if that is what attracted them to each other? On the eve of his wedding to Tracy Garner (Sasha Barrese) Doug Billings (Justin Bartha) will be treated to a party to beat all parties. It is the standard male ritual that the bachelor should have his send off in style, so Doug knows that trying to talk his friends out of this Vegas party is useless, especially his friend Phil Wenneck (Bradley Cooper) who is the wild one of the group. Also coming along is Dr. Stu Price (Ed Helms) who is only a dentist, as his friends are more than happy to point out. The one odd ball tagging along is Tracy's brother Alan (Zach Galifianakis) who will be, at times the weirdest, and at others the sanest.

Of course things don't go according to plan, and in a party where four adult men are drinking, nothing ever goes according to plan, here though they fall apart right from the start. Phil has the receptionist change their room from a two bedroom suite to a huge villa, Stu who is brow beaten by his girlfriend has to keep calling her, so that his story of going to Napa Valley won't fall apart. Alan disappears to go pick up a few things and when he returns it's with drink so that they can do the standard male ritual make a toast to their friend. What they don't know is that Alan has added a little something to the liquor, and this is where their night goes completely wrong. We of course don't see first hand what happens, we get slow revelations as the trio look for their buddy Doug.

The next morning when they wake up the room is a mess, Stu is worried because they have his credit card, Alan goes to the bathroom and finds a tiger in there, Phil wakes up with the mother of all headaches, when they decide to just leave, they notice that their friend Doug is missing. Of course the joke wouldn't be complete if it wasn't for the surprise they find in the closet, a baby boy, Alan takes charge of the baby and these are some of the funnier scenes in the movie. The three decide to try to find where Doug is and here we get the standard slow revelation of just what happened to the friends the night before. They notice a hospital band on Phil's wrist so they decide of course to start there. Included in this visit to the hospital is a little bit of gross out humor that I for one didn't need to see. This visit to the hospital reveal that the group had been to a wedding, after the Dr. tells them - in one of the funniest lines in the whole movie - where to find the chapel, the friends go there and find out that one of them is now married. This leads to of course going to the home of Jade (Heather Graham) who is not only the newlywed wife but is also a stripper. Each clue takes them one step closer to finding Doug, when the friends are at Jade's house the police break in and arrest the trio, they had stolen a squad car the night before, and they make a deal with the two officers, Franklin (Rob Riggle) and Garden (Cleo King) to participate in a stun gun class for some students. This is by far the funniest scenes in the movie, one by one the three are shot with the stun gun, here is where officer Franklin refers to Alan as Fat Jesus. The oddest character is Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) who played craps with the friends and was basically kidnapped and held in the trunk of their car, when he escapes, he brings his henchmen back to confront the trio of friends, telling them they have his eighty thousand dollars and he has their friend Doug. Chow wants his money so the trio decide that Alan's plan to count the cards on the black jack table is their only hope, winning enough money to rescue their friend they drive out to the desert to find that the Doug (Mike Epps) that Chow has isn't their friend after all, but a drug dealer. Mike Tyson makes one of the films best cameos seen in along time, I think Tyson has found himself a new career, one where the only one he can hurt is himself. Mike a word of advice on your new endeavor... Stay away from films like this.

Of course the friends find Doug, he was almost right over their heads the whole time, Stu and Jade come to an understanding about their wedding and Stu asks if he can come visit her again for a real date. The wedding goes on without a hitch, Phil and his wife are their, Alan and Stu, who confronts his girlfriend and tells her that this what ever this is, isn't working for him. The final scene is one of revelation to the friends as well as the viewers, Alan finds a digital camera that shows pictures of the friends as they go from drunk stupor to just plan stupid.

I give The Hangover a 1 and on my avoidance scale a 2, unless you like jokes about drugs, body parts and excrement, this is a movie that you can avoid until you yourself are bored silly and want to just laugh. Otherwise you will be better off to just avoid this movie all together.

The Hangover is rated R for Pervasive Language, Sexual Content Including Nudity and some Drug Material
Running time is 1 hr. 39 mins.

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