7 August 2009 | Simon_Says_Movies
Entertaining as much for its puzzle-piece story then for its raunch
Sometimes the title of a film can sell itself, or at the very least pique a viewer's interest. Director Todd Phillip's new comedy The Hangover does this and more by introducing an infinitely relatable premise and infusing it with a clever story to keeps the gimmick supported for the duration. While providing the requisite raunch, stupidity and laughs, The Hangover is bolstered more by its puzzle piece narrative then by straight up humour. The mark of a good comedy is one that can keep your interest in between the laughs; be it by human drama, character development or in this case, a meandering riddle.
What do we really know about a hangover? We know we have one, and we know we drank too much. Often everything before, after and in-between can be a blur at best, and for three friends, Phil, Stu and Alan they certainly got the worst. Travelling to Las Vegas for a night of sin, gin and wins to celebrate their friend Doug's (Justin Bartha) bachelor party they awaken the next morning to find their hotel room a tad dishevelled, a tiger in their bathroom, their memories wiped clean and their groom to be MIA. Playing the three worried bros respectively are Bradley Cooper as the bored-with-his-life school teacher, Ed Helms as the neurotic dentist and Zach Galifanakis as the awkward weirdo and soon to be brother in law of Doug. So unfolds the mystery; trying to find their missing friend before the wedding by piecing together the clues of their epic night out.
For me the standout of the group was certainly Ed Helms. He plays the role straight, he is likable and he is funny. His characters arc is the most complete and entertaining and he certainly grounds his wilder counterparts nicely. The other players are certainly funny, yet the characters of Phil and Alan are not fully likable. Cooper's Phil is a bit of a prick and Alan is flat out creepy. That aside the actors put forward such commendable efforts all is soon forgotten and the quick pace and continual humour keeps things fast, fun and frantic.
As promised by the trailers, we get a cameo from the Mike Tyson who is funnier for being himself then for his actual performance, darting in an out with a great supporting performance is heather Graham as an escort and Mike Epps makes good use of his time as quote 'Black Doug'. More hilarious yet is a closing cover for rapper 50 Cents' Candy Shop which is as inspired as it is hilarious. The Hangover is certainly one of those comedies that is re-watchable, and likely to improve with repeat viewings. However it is probably a good thing actual hangovers are not this much fun; I'd rather die of laughter then alcohol poisoning.
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