Monday, June 15, 2009

The Hangover review

Here it is, VFH's first review of a comedy film. Not a huge breakthrough, but I think that point should be made as comedy is a far more subjective topic than all of the drama and/or action movies that we've reviewed prior to this.

The Hangover, directed by Todd Phillips (whom previously directed such comedies as Road Trip, Old School, and Starsky & Hutch), centers around three friends, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis), who are searching for their friend Doug (Justin Bartha) in Las Vegas after a wild bachelor party the night before. The problem is they have no recollection about anything that happened, turning the film into one part, comedy, the other, mystery. Along the way they run into a tiger, Mike Tyson, a small but angry Asian mobster, amongst many other mishaps, and hilarity ensues.

I'll be honest, I didn't have any intention to see this movie at first. The only real attraction for me was that Zach Galifianakis had a lead role for once, as I'm a big fan of his stand-up comedy as well as his many appearances on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!; otherwise, the whole Las Vegas thing didn't really seem funny or original to me at first. Thankfully after seeing the movie, I can say that Zach really was the funniest thing about the film, and I think even those that weren't fans of him prior found him to be the breakout star of the movie. And despite actually being in Vegas, the film wasn't in your face about gambling, drinking, and strippers; yes, they're there, it's a film about Vegas, but that wasn't the point of the film and I was glad about that.

Instead the film felt more like it was about the chemistry between Phil, Stu, and Alan, who at the start of the film have many mixed feelings about each other, but evolve over the course of the movie. And I think where The Hangover really shines is in it's characters and casting. Brad Cooper makes for a convincing hot shot, Ed Helms plays well as a nerdy guy trying to be that hot shot (he is on The Office, you know), and Zach Galifianakis makes for one convincing creeper that your just very unsure of what he'll do next.

What I think makes the cast also very enjoyable is that Todd Phillips probably could have easily made The Hangover with the likes of Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrel, and other "Frat Pack" actors, but it wouldn't have felt the same or probably be as funny because those guys have just done too many roles of the sort. Instead viewers are finally able to see a comedy staring some fresh new faces, and it works out really well in the end. I'll tell you now, don't be surprised if Cooper, Helms, and Galifianakis' careers get a huge boost thanks to this film, because I think it's the first time any of these guys are getting the real attention they deserve.

That's not to say the rest of the cast is bad, they work to, but the film really isn't about everyone else. Overall though, besides the great casting, I found the film to be surprisingly really funny despite it not being my choice subject matter, and I assume if it could make me laugh, then chances are anyone else will find something funny here. Though, if R rated humor isn't your thing, that would be the only reason I could make for you not to see this.

Overall Score: 8.8/10

1 comment:

Markowitz said...

I totally agree with you about the cast. The fresh faces definitely added something to the film, even if the characters themselves serve as easy transplants for an Old School reunion. It will be interesting to see what they do next. Zach has an indie comedy called Visioneers coming out soon ( there's all this talk about Bradley Cooper in the A-Team. Sure Ed Helms has his hands full with The Office.