What does THE HANGOVER
have in common with THE DARK KNIGHT
Pretty much nothing. BUT…
What does THE HANGOVER have in common with director Chris Nolan?
Oddly enough, MEMENTO. More on this weird comparison in a bit.
Now I like me a good ‘ol, men-targeted, immature, outlandish, crude comedy film. I grew up on SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT, ANIMAL HOUSE, PORKY’S, CADDYSHACK and the like and can watch them over and over again.
I recently had the opportunity to see THE HANGOVER twice -- a couple of weeks ago and then again last night (June 1, 20009). I rarely see a movie more than once in a theater nowadays, unless it’s something that just blows me away -- like THE DARK KNIGHT for example. Anyway…
I didn’t have to go see it again to write this review, you know? I went to see it again because I wanted to -- and that tells me a lot. If a film warrants a second viewing -- especially at the theater -- then there’s probably a reason for that. In the case of THE HANGOVER, the reason is that it’s FUNNY AS HELL!
The plot here is pretty simple: Phil, Stu, and Alan (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zack Galifianakis) take their buddy Doug (Justin Bartha) to Las Vegas for a one-night bachelor party. The next morning, the groomsmen wake up with -- you guessed it -- massive hangovers and absolutely no clue as to what took place the night before.
They discover that their suite at Cesar’s Place is totally trashed, a infant baby has been left in their care, a chicken is walking around the place, and a live tiger is in the bathroom.
Oh yeah, Doug the groom is nowhere to be found.
The boys then head off into Vegas trying to not only find their buddy and get him to the church on time, but figure out exactly what the hell happened last night!
OK, you’re probably thinking “What does MEMENTO have to do with this move?” Well, if you combined BACHELOR PARTY with OLD SCHOOL (also directed by Todd Phillips), and the added in a dash of the abovementioned Chris Nolan film, you’d get THE HANGOVER.
It’s vulgar, crude, and disgustingly hilarious like those two comedies I mentioned. Really, what kind of film do you expect with a title of THE HANGOVER? But it’s also a smart vulgar, crude, and disgustingly hilarious film, you know? Yeah the situations they guys find themselves in are absolutely ridiculous and unbelievable, but the script’s cleverness combined with the top-notch performances by the cast, makes one shrug their shoulders and says, “OK, cool. I can dig that.”
Kudos to writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore for taking the clichéd “Dudes loose in Vegas!” storyline, throwing in Mike Tyson and his tiger, a Chinese mobster, a hooker (Heather Graham), a baby, and other such preposterous stuff and making it work.
“So what the hell does MEMENTO have to do with this?” Well, the film kinda-sorta plays backwards. Remember, the guys have no idea what went on the night of the bachelor party. To find their missing friend, they have to retrace their steps and slowly discover that that were involved in some crazy-ass stuff!
Like Leonard in MEMENTO, but there are three of 'em and they’re goofballs.
I do have some qualms with the film however. It starts out like gangbusters -- I was literally laughing my you-know-what off the first hour of the film. It then starts to drag a bit, culminating with a rather predictable and “That’s it?” sort of ending. BUT…
All’s well that ENDS well, you know what I mean? In other words…
STAY FOR THE CLOSING CREDITS!
Trust me, that’s where it all finally comes together.
All in all, THE HANGOVER was one fun and funny movie. I don’t think it’ll reach the “classic comedy” level as it’s probably just a notch below that, but I’d bet that this one will end up being the sleeper hit of the Summer
A bachelor party to remember?