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Most great comedies are based on fundamental truths -- we find a deal
of humour in the illumination of our own human tragedy. Office Space is
funny, for example, because we've all worked that type of job, put up
with that type of boss, and suffered that type of monotonous everyday
Todd Phillips' new movie, The Hangover, is as aptly titled as anything else released this year: it's about a Vegas bachelor party gone horribly awry, in which the groom inexplicably disappears, no one can remember a damned thing, and Mike Tyson wants his tiger back.
Yes, we've all had those nights, though perhaps not to such extremes (that's where the exaggeration of comedy serves us). The Hangover is funny because it takes this cultural ritual -- an American tradition; something almost all of us can relate to -- and finds genuine humour in the pain of its aftermath.
I concede that bachelor party movies are not in short supply; the genre (if it is, indeed, a genre) should have probably both begun and ended with the Tom Hanks flick almost three decades ago. But The Hangover wisely studies the day after rather than the day itself; this is funnier because the plot works backwards, without tacky flashbacks, and much of the evening in question is left to our imagination.
While it would be misleading to claim this is a brilliant film (in either regard as comedy or character study), it's an assured picture that finds its footing immediately and achieves a surprising level of sustenance throughout its running time. And frankly, let's be honest, this is a breath of fresh air: it's one of the best R-rated comedies of the decade, and certainly the most uproarious since Superbad was released two years ago. Most R-rated comedies produced today are defiant; the R-rating has become a hindrance to film studios' sensibilities everything is PG-13, saving the shameless Unrated schpeel for the DVD cut. The occasional theatrically-released R-rated comedy, as such, is infrequently modest; the ads stress the rating to remind us what we've been missing. For every legitimate offer, such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, we're treated to movies like College that attempt to lure us into theaters based on the promise of raunchy decadence. The problem is that it's all so coldly calculated; these films are not funny because a majority of the time they are simply lazy and dishonest.
The simplest reason for The Hangover's success in being genuinely funny is the fact that it achieves a rare balance of character and vulgarity. We laugh at the characters' misfortunes because we like them, we empathize with them, and they are distinctly actualized. Are they stereotypical? To a certain degree, sure: we have the repressed pussy-whipped guy who obeys his girlfriend's every command (Ed Helms); the weird John Belushi-esquire figure who speaks in non sequiturs and naïve absurdities (Zach Galifianakis); and the womanizer whose confidence renders him automatic leader of the group (Bradley Cooper). It's a testament to the strengths of these actors that they make their characters endearing and believable, even in the face of total lunacy.
Helms has been an underrated highlight of the American Office for the past several years, never quite earning the praise he deserves. His character on the show is played with pitch-perfect perversity: he's not overtly creepy (like the program's other weirdo, Creed), but rather subtly unnerving. Helms invests a great deal of nuance into what is ostensibly a throwaway, supporting goofball; this movie, if nothing else, will justly reveal his talents.
Cooper uses his looks to his advantage: it's funny to watch handsome people exploit their securities. Cooper essentially turns your typical Leading Man figure into a bumbling idiot, self-absorbed and clueless. It's effective, he's got great chemistry with the other guys, and it's fun to watch such an immoral and ruthless character take center stage in a mainstream comedy.
Galifianakis, a cult comedian who I've admired for years, has been struggling quite a while. Not many people other than myself and Sean Penn saw his 2001 comedy Out Cold, probably because it wasn't all that great; but he was easily the most amusing aspect of the picture. He once described himself as being gifted by the opposite of the Midas touch, with more than a few canceled TV shows to his credit (including Comedy Central's unheralded Dog Bites Man), but it seems his persistence has finally paid off: he has discovered, at last, a movie of strong enough quality to reflect his talents. Galifianakis has a fair share of the film's funniest dialogue; as far as fat funny guys go, many of them (such as Chris Farley) made the ill-fated mistake of playing dumb in a sharp fashion: hurtful quips and silly one-liners, all self-aware. Galifianakis plays his character straight and the laughs are subsequently heartier; when he embraces his brother-in-law while nude, the act seems innocently awkward rather than deliberately awkward, and that's what makes it so funny. He's described in The Hangover, by another character, as a child with a beard. Imagine how funny it is when he names a Caucasian baby Carlos, without any shred of condescension or knowing humour.
The Hangover is surely destined to become the sleeper comedy hit of 2009, and, more likely, a cult flick in the years to come. It's more deserving of such acknowledgment than many recent successes, and while we may live in an era saturated with unnecessary sequels, I actually left The Hangover hoping to see these guys again. And that's a rare feeling these days.
With the exception of one character (more later in this review), I
found this movie filled with male, sophomoric humor. Having said that
most of the females in the audience also enjoyed it; kind of an equal
opportunity movie to offend all sexes equally.
Unlike most trailers that show all the humor in a 60 second clip, this movie will throw so many funny situations at you so quickly that you will be giggling non-stop for the first hour.
Then, the introduction of the Mr. Chow part - essential for the plot, but played WAY over the top by Ken Jeong - became distracting. Up to that point, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, and Zach Galifianakis carried the movie briskly and with real chemistry. Zach Galifianakis, in particular, was brilliant. Who is this guy???! The last 30 minutes were not as good as the first hour and I found the ending somewhat forced.
HOWEVER, everyone I talked with after the movie will be seeing it again. This is one movie that is as funny as advertised.
Of course, I will get flamed by those who find this kind of humor too low brow for their tastes. Hey, just know what you're getting into when you see this.
I walked into this movie a little hesitant, and man did I feel like a
complete tool for doubting Todd Phillips once again.
I was hesitant for quite a few reasons. One being that I was a little unimpressed with the trailer, but trust me, after you see this movie you will realize that most of the movie couldn't have possibly made it into the trailer. Another reason was the writers.... their previous works being The Ghosts of Girlfriend's Pasts and Four Christmases and Rebound. I don't know what they did between those and this but damn did they step their game up.
Now, the movie is hilarious. I have become so used to the thought of the Judd Apatow gang being the only ones to make truly funny films, but I realized very quickly into this movie that I was dead wrong. I think this movie was by far ten times funnier than Pineapple Express, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Step Brothers, etc. And I find each of those flicks truly, hilariously, funny.
I remember watching Superbad the first time and thinking that that was the funniest movie ever made, when it comes to films with legitimate plots and characters, etc. And maybe Superbad and The Hangover are pretty close, but who knows....
So PLEASE see this film. The audience I saw it with was laughing hysterically every five minutes at least. There is enough one-liners to quote all summer, and enough subtle jokes to laugh about later on that you didn't catch the first time.
OH and by the way, if you love Old School, you will LOVE the ending. That's all I can say.
I just saw the first screening of the movie, and it is very worth the money you will pay for it. I was skeptical about it at first, thinking that the previews would have only the funny parts, but they are just the tip of the iceberg... Everyone hit a home run in this movie. Even Mike Tyson generated a few laughs for everyone. If you need a pick me up from a bad day, just watch this and you will definitely feel better about everything that may be going wrong in your life. I will DEFINITELY be buying this to watch over and over again once it comes out on DVD, probably even see it in theaters again. I hope you find this review helpful because this movie is definitely a must see in my opinion.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is without doubt one of the most overrated comedy of all times, the jokes are totally bland and boring and the whole concept has been done over a million times before . The story looked like a bunch of toilet jokes and elementary grade humor slapped together resulting in a forgettable comedy that definitely doesn't live up to the hype. One of the worst moment in that movie was in the casino scene where they won over $800000 with the help of a black jack book, I mean it looked like the script writer couldn't find a better way to get the characters out of that problem and he just went for the easy way with an all time classic (and cliché) video editing scene just like the karate kid movies (you know the whole "be a champion in 2 minutes" thing). The acting in some scenes looked like it came straight from a forgotten b-grade , straight to VHS movie. I know that a lot of people found that movie hilarious but I didn't find anything fresh in that movie, it was the first time that at the end I pulled out my cellphone and started watching my sms out of boredom.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Every now and then, there's a movie that has a lot of hype surrounding
it, and everyone seems to talk about it, and without a doubt, "The
Hangover" is one of those movies.
Unfortunately, it doesn't live up to or deserve the hype it's getting. I found it to be a rather empty "comedy" and I can't understand why so many people seem to think it's so humorous. Apparently, I wasn't the only one not to enjoy it, the audience I was a part of barely let out a snicker during the entire flick.
I think a lot of the attempts at humor were forced, and a lot of the jokes fell flat. The acting wasn't very impressive either, particularly that of Zach Galifianakis.
Overall, I'd say to avoid this movie if you don't want to be disappointed. Is it the worst movie I've ever seen? No. However, there are far better comedies out there I'd recommend over this for sure.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie was terrible, to put it simply. To look at it more
thoroughly read on.
Character: There was almost no character development in the movie, one character learns any kind of lesson at all, other than that everyone is the same character at the end of the movie as they were at the beginning. And while I'm looking at the characters let's do some summaries, we have the smug asshole, the beyond idiotic weirdo, the angry nerd, and the uninteresting groom, who also has an uninteresting bride, who by the way has like four lines in the movie.
Plot: The idea of forgetting what happened in the night time and trying to put all the pieces together in the morning, yeah it's clever. The problem is, the movie was so short, every problem they encountered had to either resolve it's self, or they solved it so quickly it wasn't really even a problem to begin with. Mike Tyson comes and claims the tiger, then they drive it back, fascinating, really I'm enthralled. They see the hospital bracelet and the Las Vegas doctor remembers everything that four drunk guys said earlier that night, not only that he leads them to there next clue right away. Maybe the doctor could have magically just told them where there friend was. And those aren't even the worst parts.
Dialogue: I hardly feel like touching this but let's go. The nerd, all he does is get abused, and then start yelling, then people laugh. Ha ha ha, nerds yelling, ha ha ha. The weird dumb guy, insert non sequitur here, that's pretty much every line in the movie. The Pretty boy who's a dick, well he's just mean and for no real reason, and as for the uninteresting groom, well he only has like four lines, and they aren't very good.
In conclusion, I wish I could rate this movie zero, who ever programs this website might want to get started on that.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I feel burned for going to watch this super stupid movie. I am baffled that so many other people in IMDb thought it was funny and that it has good reviews. There were about 30 people in the theater when I watched it of a pretty good demographic spread and there were nearly NO LAUGHS through out the whole movie. At best a few people chuckled a few times. Some of the attempts at comedy are so, so old. OK, here are a couple little spoilers. In one scene one of the guys is face down on the ground about to get up & another one of guys opens up the car door and opens it bumping the guy laying down on the ground in the head- so, so stupid! This scene was funny in cartoons when I was under 10! Another spoiler coming- in a different scene one of the guys finds a used condom in there car and they start grossing out and tossing it around- so stupid and not funny anymore since I was 17. I can only understand the high reviews on IMDb that there are so many more potheads these days. If you are a pothead under 25 is the only demographic I can understand that can laugh from this.
I have to start by saying that my friends and I have been talking about
this movie and watching the trailers for weeks, so our expectations
were really high.
With that being said, this movie didn't just live up to the expectations, it was one of the funniest movie I have seen in a long time. Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, and Ed Helms are all very good. Galifianakis steals the show at times. It is hilarious from the beginning. Mike Tyson brings a few laughs and Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) is a great twist. Do yourself a favor and go see this movie, it is worth every penny. Just got out of the midnight showing and I'm going back tomorrow night.
After much anticipation, The Hangover has finally hit theaters. Todd
Phillips returns raunchier than ever with a surprisingly consistent
comedy loaded with bizarre situations ensued by lots of laughter. From
a live tiger in the bathroom to an abandoned baby in the closet, this
movie has everything. Seriously, everything (confirmed by the credit
Phillips does not shy away from his formula. The movie centers around four immature adults dumbfounded by the seemingly unexplainable result of a wild Vegas night catalyzed by the foursome's out of control bachelor party. Set the day before one of the principle character's wedding, the film is primarily seen through eyes of Doug (the groom-to-be), Alan (the lovable moron), Stu (the hopeless one), and Phil (the stud, and in many ways the leader of the pack). The director of Old School does not shy away from shock humor but embraces it, while gradually building confidence and self discovery within the characters.
Overall, the film triumphs through curiosity and chemistry. Just like the main characters, we are eager to find out what happens, or what DID happen. At the same time, the strong relationship developed by the characters makes the viewer realize how much he/she cares about what ultimately happens to them. Chemistry is the secret to a good comedy; it is about time somebody shows this understanding.
I don't want to reveal too much, but let me tell you this: everything does get explained in the end (except for the chicken aimlessly walking around in the hotel room, but I mean, it's a chicken). All of the actors succeeded in their roles admirably, and I wouldn't be surprised to see these guys in more lead roles. Ed Helms hasn't made me laugh this hard since The Daily Show. Seriously guys. Go watch this movie, you won't be disappointed.
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