The Hangover: Some Guys Just Can’t Handle Vegas (2009)

Posted: April 8, 2011 in Comedy, Crime, Mystery

With Doug’s wedding quickly approaching, his best friends planned to take him for a bachelor party in Vegas. They arrived in Sin City and were all prepared for a fun night…and then they woke up. Doug is gone, Stu is missing a tooth and their hotel room has been trashed. With a baby in the closet and a tiger in the bathroom, the remaining 3 guys try to work backwards to determine what happened the previous night and where Doug ended up. Along the way, they have to engage with a number of colorful characters to put the pieces together, but find themselves going deeper into trouble as their interactions finally become clear.

Starring: Bradley Cooper (Phil), Ed Helms (Stu), Zach Galifianakis (Alan), Justin Bartha (Doug), Heather Graham (Jade), Sasha Barrese (Tracy), Jeffrey Tambor (Sid), Ken Jeong (Mr. Chow), Rachael Harris (Melissa), Mike Tyson (himself), Rob Riggle (Officer Franklin), Cleo King (Officer Garden)

Justin Bartha as Doug Billings is an important character (as the man getting married) but only exists in the film at the beginning and end. He appears to be fairly responsible and authentic in his appreciation of his close relationships. The one who steals the screen in many of the scenes is Zach Galifianakis. As the socially disturbed brother of the bride, his thought patterns just seem to be on a different tier and he constantly ignores social norms. As Stu Price, Ed Helms is the one character that goes through some development. He starts the film as the “whipped” boyfriend to a controlling woman and slowly through their investigation of their blackout night begins to see the problems with his relationship and the number of possibilities out there. Bradley Cooper serves as the instigator of the group, baiting his friends into taking risks and taking advantage of their indecisiveness.

There are many films out there that deal with the effects of alcohol and memory, but Todd Phillips directed a liquor-fueled mystery which weaves together a number of different story elements to make a masterpiece of a comedy. Even though many of the elements could be considered crude (such as the pulled tooth and the naked man in the hospital), they all contributed to the chaos of the storyline. The first scene after they wake up immediately attracts the viewer to make sense of the mess of a hotel room and the stories behind elements like the baby and the tiger. Beyond the cast described above, there was an excellent set of supporting members that all added to the comedic elements of the film, including Heather Graham, Mike Tyson and a naked Ken Jeong. And back to Galifianakis, he provides line after line of humorous moments, most significant of which is his wolfpack speech on top of the hotel.

This is a film full of laughs. The cast is hilarious and the movie appeals to such a wide audience.

Dan’s Rating: 4.0/5


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