The Hangover Movie (2009)


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The storyline in this film is as simple as it gets. Some guy is tying the knot, so he, brother-in-law, and a few friends head out to Las Vegas to enjoy his last days as a bachelor. The four are what you would typically describe as boys being boys. They hit it off with a toast at the rooftop, and 12 hours later, no one can remember a thing.

The apartment they spent their night in is completely trashed, and for some reason, there’s a huge tiger in the washroom. From there, it gets even weirder. They managed to get a baby with them in the room; a guy lost a tooth while another managed to get a hospital waistband around his arm. They can’t remember how they managed to get possession of a police car, and the groom is nowhere to be seen. They come to their senses just as things go downhill.

There’s a similarity between this movie and a few other boys-bonding-gone-wrong films like Old School (2003) and Road Trip (2000), both of which are by Director Todd Phillips. The Road Trip is about young college students, while Old School is about matured, college students. In this film, they are all matured up with real lives. The director Phillip has also grown since the two films. The Hangover has a much better plot, but it could have been better. The film has some naturalness because the characters naturally associate with each other.

Enough with the simplicity. For a Film de Debauchery, the plot lacks substance in its construct. What you see is what you get, no sideshows. The film is likely to push your buttons in every way in nearly every scene, and it relies heavily on shock value to induce laughs. While they do get themselves in quite a pickle, which is funny-ish, it’s almost impossible to make people laugh when the opening credits present such a premise.

The film’s script needs some work, as do performances by Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, and Bradley Cooper. Most of the credit, not all the credit, goes to the character of Zach Galifianakis. He carried the show right to the end. His absence would have been loud and noisy.
Sadly, the film’s trailer laid bare nearly every major scene. So, if you watch the trailer, you are likely not to find half of the funny bits in the film funny. The remainder of the film is just Zach trying not so amusing jokes as Ed complains about how useless his life has become.

Morals? No, let’s not focus on that; I mean, the film is rated R. It is a movie about three grown men partying the hell out of themselves the whole night, so you don’t need to be reminded that it’s not for kids. If you are a bit conservative and do mind curse words, and the image of men and women, or sexual allusions, keep off. There’s a lot of it, plus plenty of disturbing images in the opening credits that are not worth mentioning. It’s no surprise that there’s parts 2 and 3.

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