REVIEW: The Hangover

After having received critical acclaim from critics worldwide and being a comedy receiving that reception is quite rare, The Hangover became a must-see at the time back in 2009. After seeing it the first time, it was decent but didn’t find it laugh-out-loud hilarious like a lot of people have said it is and it was put aside for a few years. However, second thoughts about not watching it came back (mostly persuasion due to the sequel coming out) and it needed a second viewing, and gladly I enjoyed it a lot more this time and did appreciate it more, but still didn’t quite find it hilarious. I mean, it was funny and it did pull off a few good laughs, but this is the funniest film of the 00s? Don’t think so.

Some of the jokes are quite cliched and sometimes aren’t even funny, but to be honest it is a film that tries too hard with the jokes and that is clearly seen as desperate to gain the audience’s approval, so it just didn’t work all around in my mind. However, despite some of the weaknesses in The Hangover, there are some key segments that made it absolute genius. The film has the theme like a teenager’s film involving teenagers, but because it involves adults, it shows all four of the guy’s utter stupidity and that whatever they seem to do, there is always trouble and chaos there awaiting them. Director Todd Phillips has had plenty enough of experience at making comedies (especially road-comedies) aimed towards teenagers and adults, and this is perhaps his best known feature film and the only one to receieve the ‘critical acclaim’ status (even though I personally can’t understand why).

Just two days before his marriage with Tracy Garner, Doug Billings, in the company of two friends: Phil Wenneck and Stu Price; and Tracy’s eccentric brother, Alan, head out to party in Vegas. Driving his father’s Mercedez, they rent a pricey villa at Caesar’s and head for the rooftop to have a good time. Three of them later wake up with a hangover, unable to re-collect what exactly happened. With the villa in a wreck, they find that they have a baby in the closet; a grown tiger in the bathroom; Stu has a missing tooth and a hooker for a bride; and Doug is missing. Hilarious chaos results as the trio head out to re-trace their steps as well as try to locate Doug and bring him home in one piece before the wedding.

The characters of Alan, Stu, Doug and Phil have the body features of men, but still have the brain cells of teenagers. In fact, they are like the adult versions of Jim, Kevin, Finch and Oz in the American Pie franchise and of Will, Simon, Jay and Neil in British teen sitcom The Inbetweeners. All four characters in The Hangover are totally different with looks and personalities but they all have one thing in common: they are all disaster and accident prone! For what the actors have expressed to the audience now, it has inadvertently perhaps increased the enthusiasm for teenagers to go out and get drunk, rather than to make them stop drinking because disaster and accidents come around.

Bradley Cooper leads the wolfpack as Phil Wemmeck. Phil is the one of the four with perhaps the easiest life seeing as he is a married man with children, but still occasionally complains about that. He is a decent character, but he is definitely not the best one out of the four. Justin Bartha’s role as Doug Billings was brilliant, of what we see of him in the film anyway. He is best friends with Phil and Stu and Alan’s brother in law. Let’s face it, just by looking at Doug and Phil, question arise and you think: why are they friends with muppets like Alan and Stu? Ed Helms’ performance as Stuart Price was just amazing! Stu is definitely my personal favourite of the four because he has a strong profession (dentist) and yet, he makes the craziest mistakes and does the most ridiculous things you could ever do! As for Zack Galifianakis’s performance as Alan Garner: the Alan character just doesn’t suit the other three guys in the group and doesn’t exactly help them in their situations, but he is a very funny character. Despite it is a group of four grown men who seek to go out and have a laugh and do end up falling into trouble, it is still a good story about friendship and that they do stick together whatever happens.

Overall, The Hangover is quite an overrated comedy that does have its weaknesses, but is humorous and decent enough to enjoy. It is one of those films where you need to have the sense of humor to love it and one where you might need to give a second try to at least appreciate it. Let’s hope that the second one will be better than this one.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 16/05/2012.

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