Sunday, May 31, 2009
Darkmatters review - The Hangover
The Hangover (15)
Dir. Todd Philips (Road Trip, Old School, Starsky & Hutch)
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (in Luton with a packed house all having a good time)
One word summation: Testosteronelicious
Let’s get one thing straight right away – The Hangover is a blokes film, it’s not a romantic comedy, there’s no singing or dancing and it’s not for kids… We’re talking a pure overdose of puerile testosterone being delivered directly into the eyeballs, and it’s great!!
The plot is a Las Vegas-set ballsy dark comedy with the simple premise of three groomsmen who lose their about-to-be-wed buddy during their night of drunken misadventures. We join them in the mother of all ‘morning afters’ from where they must retrace their steps and try to work out quite what happened.
It doesn’t take long to realise that things must have got seriously out of hand – let’s look at the evidence… There is a ferocious tiger in their hotel suite bathroom, an abandoned baby in the wardrobe, one of the guys is missing a tooth and another has a hospital admittance tag on his arm…
The motley crew of heroes here are schoolteacher Phil (a charismatic Bradley ‘Wedding Crashers’ Cooper), hen-pecked dentist Stu (Ed ‘The Office – American version’ Helms) who are the groom’s best friends. Also along for the ride is new brother-in-law-to-be Alan (a comic genius turn from Zach ‘What Happens in Vega’ Galifianakis) as the dim-witted bearded oddball.
The missing groom Doug is played by the likable Justin ‘National Treasure’ Bartha and together these four adventure seeking chaps generate some excellent rapport.
The laughs come thick and fast, and range from the satisfyingly dark e.g. abduction and drugging, through the surreal – naked Chinese man attacks, to the superbly well observed ‘male condition’ problems. You’ll feel for poor Stu who is saddled with Melissa - possible the most obnoxious girlfriend in movie history aptly who’s evil attitude to men is summed up in this encounter when he’s trying to persuade her to let him go on the stag weekend:
Stu says: ‘My friends are really a lot more mature than you think,’ just as their car pulls up outside and Phil yells: ‘Paging Doctor Faggot! Paging Doctor Faggot!’ She retorts with venom: ‘You should probably go, Doctor Faggot.’
Okay, so it’s not high brow funnies but this is a comedy that steams along on a tidal wave of feel good macho-ness backed up with some fantastic and unforgettable set pieces.
Over the weekend these buddies forge deeper friendships through their various trials by fire and by the time the credits roll you’ll feel like they are your good pals too.
Other incidental highlights include Mike Tyson singing ‘In the Air Tonight’, Stu finding out that he married a hooker during the course of the night (a gorgeous Heather Graham as it goes) and some seriously amiss man style baby care.
"Heather Graham, would you marry her on the off chance in Vegas?"
Cinematic ribaldry hasn’t been done this well for a while, my advice is for men everywhere to experience The Hangover – no drinking required…
Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: öööööööö (8 - man up lads, what happens in Vegas...)
Darkmatters quick reference guide:
Spiritual Enlightenment 7 (for blokes)
Not convinced? check out this viewpoint over at Bina (be aware you'll be getting a female review) be sure to read the comments!:
“basically a rip-off of the Ashton Kutcher vehicle, "Dude, Where's My Car?". Except this time, the drunken idiots are a thirty-something bachelor party in Vegas..."