Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Hangover (2009)

Maybe You Have To Be Drunk To Love This Movie?

- An example of pure shoddy audience manipulation: The Hangover (2009) begins with Phil, Stu, and Alan contacting their buddy Doug's fiancĂ© the day after his bachelor party. It seems as if Doug has gone missing after their night in Las Vegas and none of the remaining three have a clue what happened because neither can remember what happened that night. The film then rewinds to days earlier when the four friends set out to Vegas for a night of drinking, debauchery, and other stupidities - then it fast forwards hours ahead to the morning and subsequent hangover, where Phil, Stu, and Alan cannot find Doug. This hopeless trio continues to get into more trouble as they try to figure out what happened to their friend and what even happened the night before.

The #1 US box-office-grossing R-rated comedy to date, The Hangover is of the Judd Apatow/Will Ferrell school of supposed comedy that is ruining the modern comedy genre: where supposedly "grown up" males act like moronic adolescents, get plenty stupid on the sauce, and are generally void of any intelligence whatsoever. Nope - no substance here.

The acting and characters are not worth much either. Bradley Cooper slithers his way through the film on greasy charm and arrogance, Ed Helms has been way funnier on "The Daily Show," and Justin Bartha is a complete write-off (though I suppose I should be grateful that he is not annoying like he is in the awful National Treasure films). Zach Galifianakis is clearly the funniest one of the bunch but even he and his character often resort to gross shock humor over any real comedy or wit.

However, despite all of the worthless aspects of the film, I will say that The Hangover does include a hefty-sized handful of genuinely creative and funny moments that does set it apart from other modern comedies and does, ultimately, make it watchable. The Hangover did not leave me barreling around on the floor belly laughing but it did not disappoint: this messy, idiotic film was what its trailer had promised.

CBC Rating: 6/10

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