The Hangover

There may be no better and worse ad for Las Vegas than The Hangover. This movie demonstrates that Las Vegas may very well be the ultimate party place -- and that can be way too much for some visitors.

Doug (Justin Bartha) is two days away from marrying Tracy (Sasha Barrese), so he needs a bachelor party. He heads to Vegas for the weekend with his friends Phil (Bradly Cooper), a party animal, and Stu (Ed Helms), a nerdy dentist totally whipped by his girlfriend Melissa (Rachael Harris). The three buddies are joined by Tracy's brother Alan (Zac Galifianakis), who's more than a little bit off: "I'm not supposed to be within two hundred feet of a school. Or a Chuck E. Cheese." The four head to Vegas, get a villa, and have celebratory shots on the roof of the hotel.

Cut to the next day. Phil, Stu, and Alan are all hung over. Their villa is a wreck, Stu is missing a tooth, there's a baby in the closet, there's a live tiger in the bathroom, and no one remembers what happened the night before. Oh yes, and Doug is gone.

The Hangover isn't so much a road trip movie as a retracing-our-steps flick. The three groomsmen spend the whole movie following clues in the hopes of finding their missing friend, a quest that leads them to roofies, an emergency room, thugs, a stripper (played by Heather Graham) Stu may have married, Mike Tyson (playing himself), a stolen police car, and blackjack.

The Hangover may be the latest in the "crude guys with a heart of gold" movies, and as such it's a good one. The characters are a nice range of characters, all reacting in different ways to a frustrating situation and a ticking clock. The actors are all very good, especially Zac Galifianakis, whose character isn't so goofy as to be a cartoon, leaving him just weird enough to be perfect. Director Todd Phillips, who directed Old School, once again shows what makes men tick, and how it also makes them ridiculous. There's no depth to the movie (and not much for the female actors to do), but The Hangover is amusing and good for quite a few laughs. What happened in Vegas this time was pretty funny.

Overall Grade: B

Reviewed by James Lynch

No comments: