Review: The Hangover

Written by: Dee Pilgrim

Seeing as this is this summer’s big jock schlock movie, the prospect of watching a bunch of sexist morons indulging in toilet humour didn’t exactly fill me with anticipation.

And yes, it is sexist, and yes, some of the humour is gross, and Heather Graham gratuitously flashes her breasts, but it is also one of the funniest things you will get to see all year.

The Hangover

The main reason for this is the characters get themselves into so much trouble without actually trying very hard, and the more they try to extricate themselves the bigger the ditch they find themselves in – much to the delight of the audience.

Take one soon-to-be groom and three male friends on a stag weekend in Vegas; what’s the worst that could happen? They’ll all get drunk, lose a fortune in the casinos and maybe have an accident and return with a black eye. That might be the sum of it for most blokes out on a bender, but not for Doug (Justin Bartha), best mates Phil and Stu (Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms) and slightly anal Alan (Zach Galifianakis).

Things start off swimmingly enough when the group arrives at its hotel and books into the penthouse suite, but by the following morning, waking with the worst hangovers of their lives, and with their memories AWOL, they soon realise things have gone horribly pear-shaped. For a start, dentist Stu is missing a tooth, they seem to have acquired a baby from somewhere and there’s a tiger in the bathroom. But all this mayhem pales into significance when they realise they’ve lost Doug – and they only have 48 hours to find him and get him to his wedding.

It is at this point, after a rather drawn out introduction to the characters, that the fun really starts – and the laughs just get blacker and more surreal as the misdemeanours get worse. I won’t spoil the many surprises the script offers up but Mike Tyson makes an appearance as himself, there are numerous references to Rain Man, a naked Chinese guy runs amok and some cops don’t see the funny side of getting their patrol car nicked. If you’re not howling with laughter by the end of it then you’ve probably had your funny bone removed.

It’s un-PC, but definitely has a creative flair, and even though we never do find out why there’s a live chicken in the living room the end credits nicely tie up most of the amnesiac bits. Enjoy.

Author: Dee Pilgrim

Dee always knew she wanted to make her living from writing and so trained as a journalist before working for a variety of music and women’s titles including Sounds, Company, Cosmopolitan, Ms London, New Woman, and Girl About Town. After going freelance she concentrated on celebrity interviews and film, theatre, music and restaurant reviews. Her love of film goes back to her very first cinema experience at the age of five when her mother took her to see Bambi. She cried. At one time she was the Film Editor for NOW magazine and also the secretary for the film section of the Critics’ Circle and the celebrity coordinator for its annual film awards’ event. She has written a number of books for teenagers through Trotman Publishing, including five Real Life Guides to vocational careers (including Carpentry, Plumbing and Catering), and also three books on Real Life Issues (Money, Bereavement and Self Harm). Her favourite film is still Bladerunner.

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