Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Hangover: Ahh, the Dangers of Alcohol

I was pretty excited to see The Hangover. I am a twenty-four year old male, who enjoys drinking and has experienced more black-outs than I’m proud of. The day after a black-out includes me sheepishly calling a friend, recounting my few memories, and subtly trying to inquire about my post-blackout actions. Then, after the initial laughter, I am forced to reconcile said actions with who I am as a person. This movie was made for guys like me.

It's not uncommon for guys to take their buddies to Vegas for a last hurrah, drink too much, and do stupid things they don’t remember…stupid, meaning, going $400 over budget or getting thrown out of a casino. What the fine gentlemen in The Hangover get into is beyond surreal. Their night begins innocently enough with three friends (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis) toasting their soon-to-be buddy Justin (Doug Billings) atop a Vegas rooftop. And then…they wake up. They can’t remember a thing, but with the room trashed, they guess they had a good time. Until they discover the groom is missing.

This begins the arduous process of piecing together the previous night which includes – but is not limited to – the following discoveries: a bed atop a Vegas hotel; a baby in their hotel room; a tiger belonging to Mike Tyson; a missing tooth; a valet ticket which gets them a police car instead of their convertible; a Chinese gangster inside said convertible. Though incredibly random, the movie is able to make it work within a logical timeline (which is the Add Imageonly logic necessary, given that most drunken behavior is illogical).

And yet, I left the theatre pretty under whelmed. It’s a pretty basic story, held above water by the reveals and the jokes that go along with them. I feel like most of the action in the now was not spent paving over the previous nights' events, and that we were treated to a slew of characters saying variations of, "Oh, you don't remember what happened? Oh, you were so wasted..." I didn’t love the cast, nor did I feel that they would have actually been friends (Galifianakis is a HUGE exception; everything he says is gold). And the Chinese gangster bit, though initially funny, gets tiresome.

I still liked it, in that I can remember and laugh at certain jokes and moments. But I definitely expected more. If we judge the movie from the box office, it was insanely successful. I don’t know…maybe after X years of drinking, I’m a bit desensitized to this sort of stuff?

(PS - Sit through the credits)


Onyx said...

I knew I wanted to see The Hangover the first time I saw the trailer. It's definitely one of the funniest trailers I remember seeing, and it managed to stay funny the next eight times I saw it. The jokes actually didn't get flat until I sat down and saw the movie. I enjoyed this one, but I agree in that I was expecting more. I do think the previews took away much of the comedic punch for me.

I totally agree with your note about believing these guys were friends, and that was probably my biggest gripe aside from the Chinese gangster. It took me a long while to get on board with the group and I thought their chemistry wasn't hitting on all cylinders. It might be the fact that they were all such extremes in their own way. Zach Galifianakis was a ruh-tard. Ed Helms was a conservative pansy. Justin Bartha was as plain as a glass of water. (I guess that makes him extremely average) And Bradley Cooper's character, the unofficial leader of the pack, was just mostly a douche, although a dreamy one. Not to say they were bad characters. It just takes a bit more than a open top ride to Vegas and a roof top toast to establish bonds.

ChristopherR2D2 said...

The credits were well worth the wait!! I'd say the credit sequence was the actual climax of the film!

As far as the friends issue:

"We're the three best friends that anyone could have,
We're the three best friends that anyone could have
We're the three best friends that anyone could have
and we'll never ever, ever ever, ever ever ever be apart"