The Hangover (2009) – Film Review

The Hangover Movie ReviewThe Hangover

Starring Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha, Ed Helms

Directed by Todd Phillips

IMDB Rating: 7.8

A surprisingly classy comedy about three men re-tracing their drunken steps from the night before, The Hangover is the ultimate ‘watch with the wolfpack’ movie!

The Hangover stars four men, Doug (Bartha), Alan (Galifianakis), Stu (Helms) and Phil (Cooper), as they head to Las Vegas for Doug’s bachelor party. Alan, Stu and Phil wake up in their ruined hotel room the morning after without Doug, and with no recollection of last night. The film follows the trio retracing their steps in an attempt to find their soon-to-be-married friend.

This could have been some crude comedy about drunks in Vegas, revolving around hookers and crime, and while hookers and crime do play a part in the film, it is in no way crude. The characters are also good, and cover most aspects of most social groups (another small feature that increases its appeal) – you have the quiet guy in Stu, the cool natural leader in Phil, and the loveable idiot in Alan. The most normal character is Doug, but that might be because he’s the only one you don’t really see doing stupid stuff! The only real problem I have with the story is where they end up finding Doug. Without trying to give anything away, surely that’s one of the first places they would have looked before heading out into the mini-world that is Vegas!?

In terms of acting performances, the trio of Galifianakis, Cooper and Helms are all on point in terms of general acting and comedy value, something you would expect from Galifianakis and Helms but maybe not from Cooper, who maybe wasn’t as naturally funny as the other two but still delivered his lines effectively with laughs in mind. The other stand out performer in The Hangover is Ken Jeong as the criminal Mr. Chow. He is the unexpected hero of not just this film but the whole trilogy, thanks to the arrogant, slightly racist persona that he plays.

The directing in this film by Todd Phillips is actually quite good! Sure, there’s nothing particularly remarkable about it but he does help give the film a bit of shine and class, and there is something slightly unique about the way it is shot and the directions given by Phillips, although I can’t quite put my finger on what that is.

This is the movie where everyone either says “hey, remember when we were like that?” or “hey, we need to do that!”. While it may be fairly basic in terms of comedy, the story and characters unite groups of friends like I’ve never seen! In short, this is quite possibly the best film there is for groups of friends both male and female!

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