Movie Review: The Hangover Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Heather Graham) 2009

Posted: December 10, 2012 in Comedy


Doug (Justin Bartha) is getting married in three days.  His friends Phil (Cooper) the cool guy, Stu (Helms) the henpecked wimp, Alan (Zach Galifianakis) Doug’s future brother in law, and a druggie burnout, want to throw Doug a bachelor party in Vegas.  They get there, they drink Jagermeister, unbeknownst to everyone thee laced with roofies, which Alan thinks is ecstasy. Consequently the guys party all night, wake up the next morning, only to find Doug missing and them with no memory of what happened the night before.  His friends have 24 hours to find Doug before the wedding, can they do it?

When a movie has this much hype surrounding it, it’s either brilliant like Borat, or disappointing like 40 Year Old Virgin, or Wedding Crashers, or Knocked Up.  Count me as disappointed.  When it starts out with a chicken, and a tiger in the same room, and no one remembers what happened I said, hey, this movie has promise.  But it quickly devolves into a series of clichés, the characters are clichés, one cool friend who does everything and comes out unscathed, one uptight friend, who can’t enjoy himself no matter what. And the druggie friend who helps them all cut loose.  The story itself is clichéd, how many movies have there been about Bachelor parties?  In fact the movie Bachelor Party with a young and funny Tom Hanks was funnier than this, and it showed all the wildness of the bachelor party it didn’t hide it.  The movie tries to pattern itself after Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Ferris was the cool kid, Cameron was the uptight kid, and there was even a car that Cameron was afraid to wreck. Trouble is, Ferris Beuller actually had a story and theme enjoy yourself before your youth is gone, The Hangover is just stupid mindless, hedonism.  The clichés even extend to Vegas itself.  There are scenes of quickie marriages, prostitutes, with a heart of gold of course, gambling, and even a still of Wayne Newton.  I haven’t seen him much in Vegas themed movies much…wrong.  There’s also a lot of bathroom humor, with sinks the common denominator, and the fact that it lifts a scene from Rain Man, doesn’t exactly add originality points. The acting is average, only Cooper comes off as likeable, don’t know the groom long enough to like him or not, Alan is basically a one joke character, the kid you dared in school to eat something disgusting and he did.  Heather Graham is a walking talking cliché as the aforementioned hooker with a heart of gold.  When is Hollywood going to realize that Heather Graham is not funny?  Obviously, not yet. Helms basically plays the same character that he plays in the Office, a nerd trying too hard to be accepted.  There’s even a black character and a Chinese character added in to round out the demographic, that’s how cynical I think the marketing was on this movie. They made a sequel, I won’t see it.

The Hangover.  Sleep it off.


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