Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Hangover

I think I'm still in shock over what I just saw. The closing credits are simply... Well, nevermind. This is a funny movie, easily the funniest I've seen this year so far, although that isn't necessarily saying much. The Hangover is the latest film from director Todd Phillips who brought us comedy gems like Road Trip and one of my personal favorites, Old School.

This is a story about four guys who go to Las Vegas for a bachelor party, only to wake up the next morning not remembering a thing about what happened the night before, and having no idea where the groom is. The only evidence that remains is a chicken, a tiger, a missing tooth, and a completely destroyed hotel room. The mystery element adds a layer of intrigue not usually found in R rated comedies, and the ending is neither preposterous nor something that you see coming a mile away. Also worthy of note, Zach Galifianakis is great in his role as the weird, mentally troubled brother-in-law. I wouldn't be surprised if this launches him into many more roles in the near future that would take advantage of his special brand of off-beat comedy.

This film is doing gangbusters at the box office, and I believe it's on its way to being one of the biggest R rated comedy of all time. That's all well and good, but in my eye this is not as deserving of the praise and high box office as Wedding Crashers was, or either of the Judd Appatow directed films, 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up. Wedding Crashers was simply funnier, with amazing comedic performances from Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson (even Rachel McAdams), while Apatow's films are equally hilarious, but also contain genuine, heart-felt moments that really transcend the genre.

I only say all of that because The Hangover has been so highly praised by film critics, bloggers, and podcasters that I only want to provide a small dose of perspective. This is not the be-all-end-all of R rated comedies, but it is a worthy entry into the running for best comedy of the year so far, along with Drag Me To Hell (I also loved the comedic elements in Up). If raunchy comedies are your thing, this will most likely appease your appetite, which was left raging from the somewhat skimpy comedic snacks found in I Love You, Man and Observe and Report. As far as the closing credit sequence... check it out if you dare, but don't say I didn't warn you!

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