Anthony's Film Review

The Hangover (2009)

This comedy features a clever plot from sober screenwriters and wacky humor from drunken characters...

The Hangover is a movie that definitely has a creative premise. It's so creative that it's already funny even before one actually sees the movie. In fact, I first heard about The Hangover when a good friend of mine told me about it. He explained that this comedy involves guys drinking and cuts right away to their hotel room where all sorts of really strange things are found. I immediately laughed, because the idea is so absurd yet original. It's funny enough for people in real life to have hangovers without remembering who they slept with or whatever else they did. It's even funnier when the events during the drunken state are too strange to be true. Now that I've seen The Hangover, I am telling you about it the same way my friend told me about it: with an admiration of its interesting plot idea.

So here's the story. You got actors Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis as three guys respectively named Phil, Stu, and Alan, plus actor Justin Bartha as Doug. Basically, Doug is going to get married, and he plus the other three guys go to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. At night, they climb up to the roof of Caesar's Palace, the hotel they're staying at, and start drinking. The movie then fast-forwards in time to transition from night to day and goes into the scene where the madness (and comedy) really begins.

What ensues is the weirdest hangover that anyone has ever experienced. There is absolutely no obvious explanation for any of the highly unusual things that Phil, Stu, and Alan discover in their hotel suite: a baby in the closet, a tiger in the bathroom, a live chicken, and Stu missing a tooth (which is ironic because Stu, as mentioned earlier in the movie, is a dentist). Oh, and Doug is missing without any hint of his whereabouts. Of all the characters who could possibly go missing, it has to be the groom. By not mentioning a single detail about what happened overnight, the movie does a good job making the audience feel as if they, too, are having a hangover.

But it's not just this one scene that's funny. The subsequent scenes are just as funny, if not funnier. Phil, Stu, and Alan (while carrying that mysterious baby) begin a sleuthing effort to solve the mystery of the night before. They empty their pockets in case there's something they haven't seen before. Then they notice a hospital band around Phil's wrist. So they go to the hospital to find out why they were all there in the first place. And I'm not going to say any more about what happens. Basically, just understand that the movie continues to be funny because the trio discover even MORE weird things that they have no memory of.

This isn't the only reason The Hangover gets better. For one thing, the three main characters are quite amusing to watch, especially when they get into situations they don't expect (not to mention have no memory of) and become desperate to get out of their predicament. And on the way, they slowly learn about the crazy things they did in their drunken state. Yes, that includes the really weird mystery of the tiger in the hotel bathroom. As for the most important question of all, about where Doug is, all I will say is that the answer is discovered in a clever way. Oh, and just wait until the credits start rolling. Everything else will finally be explained, once and for all.

So let's review what we got here (as if we're drunks becoming sober). The Hangover presents humor related to unexplained oddities, comical characters, and hilarious dilemmas and give it all to us nonstop. Also adding to the laughs are appearances by Heather Graham as a stripper named Jade, Ken Jeong as a guy who first appears in the movie completely naked, and even boxer Mike Tyson. Overall, The Hangover is a movie that is definitely smart and funny. It is nowhere near as stupid as drunk people doing idiotic things. The way I see it (and please excuse me for using one more reference to drinking), the movie was made by sober minds, yet leaves you laughing like a silly drunk. It is THAT funny.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about The Hangover, visit the Internet Movie Database.

In addition, check out my reviews of The Hangover Part II and The Hangover Part III.


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