As any one will tell you, a bad night of drinking always starts with “lets do these Jäger shots,” The Hangover does the same but just kicks it up with a little bit of the date rape drug. All that combined with Vegas sets up for one hell of a party that none of these bachelor party attendees can remember. The guys wake up in a hotel room that looks like a scene from a Hunter S. Thomson novel mixed with the added fun of a tiger in the bathroom, and a baby in the closet.
After finding babies and tigers oh my, the group soon realizes that their friend Doug (Justin Bartha) is MIA and so begins the hunt for their companion and their memory. This movie felt like the Old School sequel that I know many of you have been waiting for, all the characters where there just played by different actors and given different names. The casting is well done and each character is well played right down to little baby Carlos, aptly named that by the bearded Alan Garner played by Zach Galifianakis (The Sarah Silverman Program).
Zach has to be the real standout in this movie, as every line he delivers gets a laugh. He plays Doug’s soon to be Brother in law, a strange man that he self proclaims as a one man wolf pack until he meets his fellow “wolves,” they are out to “roam through the desert in search of cocaine and strippers.” Though Zach is the real star of this buddy movie his fellow drunken adventure detectives are great as well. Ed Helms best known for his work in “The Office” is also good in this he plays Stu, a dentist with girlfriend issues and a missing tooth. He also belts out a wonderful musical interlude over a piano in the middle of the film.
It’s little things like a missing tooth that give The Hangover it’s own special twist, as the audience along with the characters wonder about where things like teeth and tigers have gone to or come from. I really want to go on and on about these little discoveries but I just can’t ruin those surprises for you.
One of the good things is that the trailer ruins nothing, as in other summer comedies the trailer tends to ruin all the best jokes and really takes a lot from the whole movie. They have decided to go the route of other films and have alternate scenes in the trailer and some trailer scenes can be heard in the background of other scenes. Though the Tyson cameo was a little ruined in the trailer, later scenes with the champ make up for this in leaps and bounds.
About the only problem I had with the movie was Bradley Cooper who plays the Beanie Campbell (Vince Vaughn, Old School) character in this. He just doesn’t deliver the wise ass dialog quite the way Vince can but in this 100 minute laugh fest, that is the only complaint I have. Even small roles like the those played by Ken Jeong, who plays Mr. Chow, an Asian gangster that is holding Doug hostage in exchange for $80,000 that the boys had unknowingly taken from Chow, are wonderful.
Over all the Hangover delivers everything you could want from it and more. For those of us that wished there would be a sequel to Old School some day, director Todd Phillips (Old School) has given us the next best thing, The Hangover, along with one of the best credit roll picture montages in comic history.
I give the Hangover 4 “Little baby Carlos” out of 5
By Ryan Davis