Review: The Hangover Leaves You Feeling Refreshed

"A solid adult comedy in a world that desperately needs a few laughs for grown-ups."

 

The Hangover is a worthy entrant into the "guy movie" hall of fame. It's got laughs, drugs, tomfoolery, bodily harm, strippers, and a Mike Tyson cameo. If you were going down the list of things needed for a comedy to take flight you'd find them all here; the three main players pass the ball, the chemistry works, and the film never devolves into that most debilitating trope of the romantic comedy - a serious third act. If you're a fellow, or the person who monitors your fellow's entertainment intake I highly recommend giving this a watch. It's nicely done.

The film works entirely due to the fine work of Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Bradley Cooper. The gents form the crux of the plot and handle the comedic heavy lifting. The story isn't overly complicated -- the guys are headed to Vegas as their friend Doug (Justin Bartha) is getting married in a few days. Two of the friends come from a fairly typical font for laughs, Ed Helms is a repressed Dentist while Bradley Cooper is the crazy grade school teacher who is ready to kick loose. The real treat comes from Zach Galifianakis's role as the groom's future brother-in-law. Sure, he's a severely screwed up dude, but also breath of fresh air as a guy who just gets into wacky situations and doesn't ever quite fit in.

I won't get into spoiler-territory, though any trailer of the film reveals the thrust of the action. It's safe to say the gang gets themselves in a pickle and much fun is to be had while the guys attempt to remember the nature of the debauchery they were engaged in. There are plenty of site gags; the timing throughout is rock solid. That's not a surprise in the case of Helms or Galifianakis, as they are both established comedians, but Cooper hadn't really showed much in Wedding Crashers or He's Just Not That Into You so it was nice to see him shine here.

The Hangover has more than a little of Old School and Road Trip in it, mixing the sweet with the silly, which makes sense given Todd Phillips directed all three. The music choices are on point and inspired, the film never has to get into the gross or typical to find the funny, plus it all moves along at a pleasingly brisk pace. See it, this weekend if you've got a free moment. It's a solid adult comedy in a world that desperately needs a few laughs for grown-ups.

Grade: B+