Saturday, 19 September 2020
The Hangover
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 17:14

hangoverposterAlthough it wasn’t newly released I chose The Hangover as this weeks pick for a couple of different reasons. Firstly, I really had no interest in seeing The Taking of Pelham 123, surely a cookie cutter action flick starring two of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood – Denzel Washington and John Travolta. I realize that as a movie critic I shouldn’t judge a film before I’ve even seen it, but it just looked like such glorified action-schlock that I couldn’t bear it.

Not to mention the fact that I get pretty tired of seeing these same guys playing the same roles over and over again. Secondly, The Hangover was the top movie in Canada for two weeks in a row so I thought it deserved a look.

What would I do if my fiancée insisted on going to Vegas with the buddies for his bachelor party? Well, after seeing this movie I’d probably do what most girls would do - chain him to the bed frame to keep him from going, and if that didn’t work I’d insist on going along. After all, I want to have a crazy time too! The Hangover is about a group of guys who head to Sin City in honor of their friend Doug who is about to be married. Doug’s a real stand-up kind of guy, trouble is some of his friends leave a lot to be desired. After a night of debauchery they wake up hung-over with their best friend nowhere in site and no memory of what happened. The rest of the movie is spent trying to piece together the happenings of the night before and find out what happened to Doug before he misses his own wedding.

hangoverpic1The Hangover is a completely irreverent, raunchy and laugh-out loud funny, although certainly not the kind of funny I would take my grandmother to see. It pushes the envelope of good taste but does so in such a clever and inventive way that it’s hard to resist. Strip clubs, male full frontal nudity, abandoned babies and shotgun wedding chapels are all just part of this Vegas experience.

Though artistry isn’t exactly something one would expect from a shocker comedy, it’s actually an exceptionally well-crafted movie. Right from the opening scene I loved the film style, which depicted Las Vegas in daylight hours looking rather bleak and forlorn. As the movie progresses the style changes to reflect the mood of what is happening. One of the best scenes is when the guys slowly wake up in their trashed room – the audience gets to discover the disaster in bits and pieces like they do. It’s very well done.

hangoverpic2The cast is a nice mix of relative unknowns with the exception of Bradley Cooper (He’s Just Not That Into You) whose ice-blue eyes seem to be popping up everywhere lately. Zach Galifianakis steals the show as Alan, the soon-to-be brother-in-law who may or may not be mentally unstable. We see waaay more of him than necessary. Heather Graham plays (what else?) a stripper with a heart of gold, and Mike Tyson even makes an appearance playing (who else?) himself.

This is definitely one of the funniest movies this year if you can stomach it! Good performances and an original script make it worth recommending. The guys will especially love it, but you can bet if the party’s in Vegas – I’m going along for the ride.