Forget about classic “whodunits.” The Hangover lays claim to the genre of “whadafuckhapind.”
I had plans to go see The Hangover the moment I saw the preview where Mike Tyson was singing along to Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight.” For some reason, I was hooked from then on. Because of this, as well the whole idea of partying so hard in Vegas you miss your own wedding two days later, the movie didn’t exactly seem like a date movie. If I was actually seeing anyone seriously, most likely they would have been going to see that big fat Greek follow-up, My Life In Ruins, while I snuck in to see The Hangover. Surprisingly(and yes, happily), my buddy and I were outnumbered by women in our little entourage to see this movie.
The plot is relatively simple. Two days before a wedding, two friends and the bride’s brother take the groom to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. What begins as a modest night on the town with jokes about Zach Galifianakis’ clothes ends up with the group passed out in a trashed hotel suite, a Siberian tiger in the bathroom, and a three month old baby in the closet. Obviously, these boys had fun. Oh, and they lost the groom. Thus begins the “whadafuckhapind” segment of the movie where these hungover super-sleuths jump in their car, now a Scooby police cruiser, and piece together their night in the hopes of finding their friend. Along the way they find out that one of them married Heather Graham, they met Mike Tyson, and they kidnapped a naked Asian guy and stuffed him in their trunk.
Let’s face it: most people with any movie-going experience thought this movie was going to be the spawn of the amazing Very Bad Things and the agonizing Dude, Where’s My Car? In many ways, it kind of was. It was a bachelor party gone awry with a mile-long stretch of cameos. However, unlike Dude, Where’s My Car, you actually gave a crap where the groom, Doug(played by Justin Bartha) went. That is key to making a “whadafuckhapind” with any relevancy. It may not have been as good, or as dark, as Very Bad Things, but it wasn’t trying to be.
The cast, for the most part, was pretty spot on. Bradley Cooper played the sleazy best man very well. From stealing his students’ field trip money to getting Stu to put a suite on his credit card, he did it all with finesse. Ed Helms did a great job playing the uncomfortably benign dentist with a slave-owner of a girlfriend back home. Zach Galifianakis was suspiciously low key, another great casting role. Justin Bartha as the groom, well, he was only a supporting character anyway. Unfortunately for the group, the script really made the movie. Unless there was an insane amount of ad-libbing, most of the credit has to go to writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, and director Todd Phillips.
There was one thing that bothered me about the movie. There was a point where it felt like Ed Helms didn’t stop singing until the end of the movie. Mike Tyson singing=funny. Ed Helms singing=”Is it a clause in your contract that we have to allow you to sing a song in every f*cking thing you appear in?”
Oh, and stay for the credits. It may be brutal, but it shows how far Hollywood is pushing the envelope these days.
I give this movie 4 out of 5 lap dances. It’s not winning any Oscars, but a great time nonetheless.