Blog Archive

Thoughts on "The Hangover" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, June 08, 2009

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Matinee. You could, however, justify springing for full price if you were going with a big group of friends and wanted to laugh with an even larger theater full of strangers.

Will I Own It On DVD: Maybe. If I can get it for a good price (i.e. $15 or under), then I will probably buy it one day.

1) "The Hangover" started generating buzz as the summer's breakout comedy ( a la 'Wedding Crashers' a few years ago) recently, and while it is a consistently funny project, I would still keep my expectations in check because I didn't find it quite as amusing as 'Crashers' or 'Old School,' the latter of which was also directed by 'The Hangover's' Todd Phillips.

2) That being said, there are plenty of laughs to be had from this movie where four friends go to Vegas for a bachelor party (nothing original there), but then things turn ugly and challenging when the groom goes missing and nobody can remember what happened the night before which leads to an interesting romp around Sin City while searching for clues about exactly what happened the night before. It's the structure which allows the audience to discover along with the cast about the night's events that takes an underwhelming premise, and elevates the material into a far more interesting film.

3) The other is the cast of characters, which is led by the trio of Bradley Cooper ('Wedding Crashers') Stu Helms (TV's 'The Office') and Zach Galifianakis (comedian). One of the smartest decisions the director makes is to lose the groom for the vast part of the running time as he is by far the blandest of the four friends, and quite honestly, I never really cared if he was found.

4) Galifianakis really steals the show as the beared weirdo who tags along because he's the brother of the bride. His bizarre gonzo vibes give the movie an edge because like the characters in the movie, viewers also never know what he might do next, but odds are that it will be funny.

5) "The Hangover" is a deserving R-rated comedy that delivers laughs throughout its running time. It's also got a semi-dark edge to it that keeps the action interesting, but never pushes things too far where you begin to feel dirty just by watching it (see "Very Bad Things" or better yet, don't). The cast works well together from the leads all the way to the extended cameos (Heather Graham, Mike Tyson) and as the summer temperatures rise, you could do a lot worse than spending 1 hour and 40 minutes trying to piece together what happened during the course of one night in Vegas.

{Editor's Note: It's worth staying through the end credits they flash stills of the night in question which fleshes things out and is also funny.}



  1. Heff Says:
  2. I've actually had this film in my sights. May go see it.

  3. JLee Says:
  4. I'd like to see this one and the whole baby scenario in the previews just cracks me up.

  5. Linda Says:
  6. Glad to hear this is funny. 100 minutes for a summer comedy sounds great, look forward to seeing it. Thanks for the review!

  7. Heff - I think you should actually venture to the theater for this instead of waiting for DISH. Ha. I think you'll like it.

    Jlee - Yep. Baby was funny, and so was the tiger from the previews. Go catch a matinee as it's supposed to be 97 degrees all week long.

    Linda - It was definitely amusing. I didn't laugh quite as hard as some people, but I'm glad to have seen it. And yes, the running time was also a really good choice as this didn't need to be any longer.

  8. TROLL Y2K Says:
  9. So, it's a comedy version of "Dude, Where's my car?", eh?

  10. kmwthay Says:
  11. Even husband has mentioned seeing this one - rare incident. So we may be doing that this weekend. I actually haven't seen the previews for it. I like your review. It helps!

  12. nobich Says:
  13. Thanks. I even don't mind the name of this film so maybe I'll see it. Ha!!

  14. Troll Y2K - Pretty much. Ha. Good call except the car is a person in this film. And no aliens.

    Kmwthay - Then, you probably should take it in. My wife wanted to see it (after the fact), but I don't think I'm going to go twice in the theater and we'll just watch it on DVD. Enjoy and hope this helped a bit.

    Nobich - Ha. Yep. I even saw it with a mild Pabst Blue Ribbon hangover ($2 a bottle and it had been too long). There's a rumor the sequel will be set in Atlantic City.

  15. Miss Ash Says:
  16. I really do want to see this film, Bradley Cooper is not too bad to look at and if I get a few laughs out of it I will be content.

  17. Jonny M Says:
  18. Mr. 2 Dollar:

    I like your review, but thought it was a bit funnier than you portrayed it. This will become a classic and I think it will become funnier with additional viewings....I didnt die from laughing at Wedding Crashers when I first saw it and definitely not from Old school ( I didn't even see that in theaters) but both turned out how I think this one will turn out...Hilarious

    See ya,
    Jonny M (Avid Theater Go-er)

  19. Farzan Says:
  20. I was going to see this, but saw Drag Me to Hell again instead. Might see it next week.

  21. slopmaster Says:
  22. R rating.. humm, so are there boobs or not?!?

  23. When I saw the preview to this I thought it would either be really funny, or one of the worst movies ever made. I'm glad it's funny. It's been recommended by a few people now, so maybe I'll have to go check it out while it's in theaters.

  24. Miss Ash - Then you should be happy on both counts. Ha. And it's been awhile since you're were interested, so enjoy.

    Jonny M - Thanks for dropping by, and you might be right. I was thinking back on this film after I wrote the review, and it's raising a bit. I was more trying to keep people's expectation's down to reasonable level, and might have gone too far down that route. I liked the first 1/2 of 'Crashers' (until they leave summer house) and the first 2/3 of 'School.' 'The Hangover' might supplant 'Crashers' for me, but I doubt it will leapfrog 'School.' But again, that's just for me.

    Farzan - I need to see that too. This is worth checking out for a laugh this summer.

    Slopmaster - Suprisingly, not that many (but some). I think the R-rating was more for language than anything else. Don't say I mislead you . . . Ha.

    Native Minnow - Yeah, it could have been really bad, but I would say keep your expectations in check and hit a matinee showing. If you do that, then you'll probably be happy enough with the outcome.

  25. Boxer Says:
  26. Having been in Las Vegas (just long enough to get a rental car) and a big fan of the entire cast, I will be seeing this very soon.

  27. Boxer - You should as I think you'd enjoy it. Have fun.


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