If you’re familiar with the phrase, “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas?”, then this movie is right for you. Imagine that you are on the eve of getting married and your best friends treat you to a weekend in Sin City. You & your friends decided to get a suite at one of Vegas’s famous casinos. Then, you do a toast to celebrate your last night as a bachelor. Then the next morning, everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong. The hotel room is trashed beyond recognization. You’re sleeping on the floor. One of your friends is missing a tooth. A baby is in the closet. Finally, you found a bengal tiger in your bathroom.
To make this story interesting, you can’t remember a thing. This describes the newest film by Todd Phillips who has given us Old School, Starsky & Hutch, and Road Trip. The Hangover is a comedy that provides us an escape for the summer. It combines the classic bachelor party set in the amazing city of neon lights — Las Vegas! The twist is that the groom-to-be ends up missing. The three friends must search for clues to find out where did the bachelor disappeared to, what happened the night before, and most severely, why can none of them remember any of it.
The Hangover is one of the unexpected comedies of our summer season. The two long time best friends played by Bradley Cooper & Ed Helms and the soon to be brother in played by Zach Galifinakis are out a quest to find out what happened to their groom to be played by Justin Bertha. Their journey lead them all around Sin City. Among the things they find are that Stu married a stripper witha heart of a gold and a baby to boot (Heather Graham), Alan somehow owed a Chinese Mafia head boss $80,000, and a reflection of their own lives in the process.
The script has well done. It was unlike any comedy I have seen before. Who would have known that a pure night of debauchery, sin, and forgetfulness can ensue the hilarious we can see in this film. The four main characters you feel for them during the film. You have Stu who has as a very uptight shrew of a girlfriend (Rachel Harris) but you sensed that he wanted to step outside of his shell and did. We have Alan who wanted to be part of a group that he did the most unique thing to be involved and get everybody a night they could not remember. Finally you have Phil, the ringleader who kept a cool head at times but manages to keep everyone in check. I cannot forget Doug who was the holy grail (literally) of the movie, but kept us on the edge of our seats to see if his friends would find him.
The humor is what you can expect in a summer comedy with a few twist. One of my favorite scenes which they meet former boxing champ Mike Tyson jamming to Phil Collins “In the Air Tonight” drum solo. Then, he gives Alan a knockout he’ll never forget. Who would have known that a Phil Collins song would actually knock somebody out? I recommend you stay for the credits for a special treat. The casting was wonderful. Every role, no matter how big or how small, played out well and helped the movie become so good.
Final Grade: A
EM Review by Dean Rogers