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Review: The Hangover by Jamie
16/07/2009, 8:00 am
Filed under: Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Imagine one of those typical teen comedy road movies. Now take out the road and make the characters in their thirties. Now to top it off, make the movie fucking hilarious. That’s a pretty apt description of The Hangover. It follows the traditional formula of a road movie, to a point at least, with the characters moving from place to place, encountering strange characters and even stranger situations. Rather than travelling across America, however, all of the action takes place in the city of Las Vegas the morning after a monster bachelor party held in honour of Doug. The problem is that when his three friends, Phil, Stu and Alan wake up the next day Doug is missing and none of them have any memory of the previous nights antics. Also they seem to have acquired a tiger and a baby. And so their mission is clear, find out what happened the night before and find the missing groom.

From so simple a plot comes a damn, damn funny film. Seriously, thank fuck for this movie because 2009 and was really, really starting to piss me off. Anyway on with the review, which will probably be a short one because it’s kinda hard to impress upon you just how funny this movie is through the written word. The three lead characters work together incredibly well in spite of, in fact probably because of, their very, very different personalities. There’s Phil, the arrogant prick who’s so enthusiastic that you can’t help but like him, Stu, the responsible dentist who just wants to do the sensible thing and Alan, the man-child who’s a little, well, strange. In most of these kinds of comedies it seems as though the strange, fucked up things are just thrown at the characters and their reaction to them is secondary. In this film it’s very much about, and the comedy is primarily derived from, how these characters deal with the situations that they find themselves within.

Having said that, the film isn’t laugh out loud funny and I’m not entirely sure why. There are several moments where you will find yourself laughing hard but for the most part you’ll just find yourself being entertained and chuckling slightly. The only thing I can think is that the story is genuinely engaging. Having the three friends trying to find out what happened to them the night before introduces a mystery element and you find yourself becoming really invested in the story, pleased when they find a new clue and end up cheering for them. It’s the mystery element I think which really separates this movie from similar ones. In general other ‘road’ movies are just crazy situation leading into crazy situation with a little travelling to join the scenes together. In this film the crazy situations all seem to yield a clue which helps to push the story along.

So to sum up, The Hangover is a damn funny film and the only thing that stops it from being laugh out loud funny is the fact that you find yourself properly pulled into the story. which is no bad thing. Overall four pints out of five…. Fuck, I’ve gotta stop watching films that I enjoy. The reviews are in no way as fun as movies that piss me off. Still, after I’ve reviewed The Reader and Slumdog Millionaire it’ll be time to move on to the Razzies Worst Picture nominations which will feature such classics as Disaster Movie, Meet the Spartans and The Love Guru. Good times ahead… And I get the feeling I’m not gonna like The Reader anyway.

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