The Hangover probably has been a little over-hyped with praise from both critics and college students alike, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad – far from it actually. The Hangover is the best “bro-comedy” out there; in fact it’s the only one that I have ever enjoyed. After a four-year bombardment of Judd Apatow films, I was glad to see a comedy of this genre directed by someone else (Todd Phillips; Old School and Starsky & Hutch). I found The Hangover to be a refreshing brand of its own style. The structure of The Hangover is however somewhat similar to any Judd Apatow film. The crudeness is still all there, and Seth Rogen‘s been swapped out with Zack Galifianakis. With that said, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what The Hangover has that sets it apart from every other “bro-comedy”, but it felt inventive and original.
The sin city backdrop of Las Vegas makes The Hangover somewhat believable. They say, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. For the sake of these characters, I hope this is true. After a series of events that have been severely distorted and the memories misplaced by a night of heavy drinking, resulting in a bad hangover, three best friends awake to a trashed hotel suite á la Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. The last thing they recall is the four of them toasting on the roof of the hotel. That’s right, the four of them. Now, three best friends must pull together their individual intuitions in the search for their missing friend, who has less than 24 hours to be home for his wedding. Along the way, they begin to discover what had happened the previous night. Some of the events are a little ridiculous and over the top, but then again, this is Vegas.
The acting in The Hangover is decent, as long as you remember that it’s a comedy and not a drama. Zack Galifianakis’ humor translates from stand-up into narrative well and I think he had a strong influence on why I enjoyed The Hangover as much as I did. Also starring is The Office‘s Ed Helms, who does a fine job of playing the geekier, wife controlled, character. Mike Tyson cameos halfway through the film. The cameo was well received when I saw this in the theaters so I needn’t say anymore about his role. If you’re looking for a fun comedy that’s original and set apart from most of the other “bro-comedies” with over-the-top, un-intelligent humor, then try The Hangover and I doubt you’ll have as hard of a time remembering what happened as the characters in the film did. – [DVD] [Blu-Ray]
DVD Release Date: 12/15/09