The Hangover creates lasting memories
“People do stupid shit when they are fucked up.”
This discernible fact of life from none other than boxing legend Mike Tyson forms the basis for two hours of the funniest comedy to likely hit theatres this year.
The Hangover provides an intricate mix of ridiculous situations in the Nevada desert and relatable content to anyone who has ever gone full-bender.
The premise is simple: three buddies — Doug, Stu and Phil — head out for one last night under the Las Vegas lights, dragging along Doug’s strange soon-to-be brother-in-law Alan before Doug officially says “I do.” The next morning the party animals awake to a villa that resembles a war zone and soon realize their prized bachelor is missing.
Director Todd Phillips, who should be best known for his work behind the lens the greatest comedy of all-time Old School, shows his true genius with playful camera angles and enough background ambience to make this movie watchable time after time. The greatest shot in the movie may be the spinning camera as Stu (played perfectly by Ed Helms, best known as Andy in The Office) awakes from a night filled with roofies, tiger-humping, and teeth pulling.
While Helms is consistently funny in an uptight manner and Bradley Cooper has his moments as Phil, the elementary school teacher who leaves students, wife and son behind to sniff out some of Las Vegas’s finest pole dancers, it is Zach Galifianakis who steals nearly every scene as Alan.
From his opening speech about the formation of his “wolfpack” to his successful outing as the Godfather of blackjack, Alan provides the glue that holds this excursion together. Initially you assume that his act as a dumb, overweight loner will get old by the halfway point of the movie but it never does.
Unlike Old School, none of the cast members in The Hangover (besides maybe Heather Graham, who as usual plays a sleazy party girl) are overly prominent and this works to the movie’s advantage. The audience really has no idea what to expect coming in and nearly everyone of them will leave wiping away tears of laughter from the hilarious closing sequence as the credits roll.
The Hangover is a career-maker for the four main characters and proves that Judd Apatow is not the only funny man left in Hollywood. You will hard-pressed to find another flick with as many one-liners and ridiculous situations. Go see this one as soon as possible, then afterwards crack a few drinks and make some memories of your own.