July 1, 2009

Movie Review: The Hangover

Despite the credit loaded onto Judd Apatow, he didn’t invent the bromantic comedy. We all know that Vince Vaughn did. Okay, even that’s not true. Buddy movies have been around a long time – it’s just that recently they’ve taken on a new look. You know, where guys are allowed to hug one another and have opinions about the other’s relationships, while also doing gross “dude” things. I am a fan of this balance and judging by the huge box office returns of 'The Hangover,' so are a lot of people.

I went in with big expectations, since terms like “funniest movie ever” were being thrown around pretty liberally by reviewers and commonfolk alike. I wouldn't go that far – I had fun, and I laughed out loud. A lot. But the first time I saw 'Wedding Crashers,' I thought my cheeks would permanently hurt from laughing so hard, and this didn't quite get me there.

Maybe the reason I'm hesitating is because of the setup – a flashback, wrapped within a flashback – which was a little unnecessary. Mike Tyson was also totally unnecessary – that entire plot point would have been just as funny with the *idea* of Mike Tyson as it was with his awkwardly canned presence.

Ed Helms singing at the piano was just about right. Bradley Cooper is awesome at playing a weirdly likable douche. I liked Heather Graham more in this than I have for a long time, and I loved the scene when the guys get out of the Las Vegas police department by “volunteering” to get tazered – by kids! Las Vegas is best when it's allowed to be its very own character – wedding chapels, trashy strip clubs and all. The weird brother-in-law was also a great character – largely because of his going out outfit (But the big “reveal” - SPOILER ALERT! - that he was the one that roofied them, was a letdown), and because there was literally nothing endearing about him.

I think that a big reason people were drawn to this movie was because of the lack of Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson, etc. – you didn’t feel like you already knew what you were in for with this. And that was definitely a bonus. When there was a mysterious buildup to some reveal, you knew you weren't going to get a Ben Stiller cameo (and I love Ben Stiller cameos – it's just, you know, been there...).

I enjoyed this the first time around, and am sure that it will get funnier every time I see it, much like Anchorman before it. As is, 7 Twix bars!


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