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Viva Las Vegas
The Hangover (DVD)
Member Name: yackers1
The Hangover (DVD)
Advantages: It's watchable, a few scenes will raise a smile
Disadvantages: Over rated, little on screen chemisrty, not that funny
I do not watch any bonus features, directors' cuts, cut scenes or any other extras that are included on most DVDs. I only ever watch the feature therefore this is a review of the film only.
Written by John Lucas and Scott Moore, and directed by Todd Phillips "The Hangover" is s stag party comedy that was released back in June 2009.
Doug is getting married in a few days and to celebrate his last few days of freedom he decides to organise a batchelor party to Las Vegas. Along with Phil and Stu, two close friends, and Alan, his future brother in law, Doug borrows a car and sets off.
Where else to start the night than having the best view of the city, well the best they could get in their situation, on top of the hotel roof, where the obligatory "I love you man" and sentimental words are said before the drinking and partying begins in earnest. Thereafter its simply, "one.....two.....three...drink"
Fast forward to the morning after the night before and three group members awake with sore heads and drinking wounds to find the hotel room trashed and the groom missing. Despite trying their hardest none of the remaining friends can recall exactly what happened or where they went but this didn't really matter since it was vital to find the groom and get him back safely for his marriage ceremony. Finding a missing person in Las Vegas must be like finding a needle in a haystack, however, the threesome, along with a some new found acquaintances, discovers clues that help to unravel the shenanigans that will, hopefully, lead to them finding their lost friend.
****My thoughts and opinion****
With Todd Phillips being of the production team of "Old School" which I found absolutely hilarious from start to finish I thought this would be the same and expecting my ribs to be aching, through laughing so much, after the film. Comparing this film to Old School before even seeing it did raise my expectations somewhat and it was going to take something special to meet them. Unfortunately this film didn't even come close.
Looking at the story line there was plenty of potential there although I don't think the producers capitalised on this. The "drugging" of the group with a substance that could lead to very severe consequences by one of its members is a novel idea that could have lead to a fantastic film, however it didn't. Some of the scenes were also simply ridiculous. I agree there has to be a certain degree of unrealism, this is a Holly Wood film after all, but there are some scenes that are just so over the top and stupid it almost made me turn off. What is different about this film is the way it focuses on the day after the stag party and not the actual night itself. All other films in this genre, if you can call it that, primarily focus on the stag night. We are treated to little snippets of the night in this film but we have to wait until the end credits to discover everything.
The jokes in this film consist of weak, juvenile toilet humour that is primarily aimed at males. There is nothing new, different or original and it has all been done before. The language is pretty foul, but this is to be expected, and I do feel it is a bit overused in a bid to make the film funny, although I don't think this works in this case. Despite not being that funny this film did manage to keep my attention (just) through to completion. The story rattles along at a fair pace and there is always something happening. In fact, I would even go as far to say it's pretty fast moving and, dare I say it?, action packed.
Although I thought Zach Galifianckis was quite good, as was Ken Jeong (although I guess this is more down to his off the wall character rather than his acting ability) overall I thought the cast was a pretty poor bunch of uncharismatic guys who appear to be as much fun as a teetotaler in a brewery. I thought the main actors were totally miscast and I can think of several other actors of the comedy genre that would have done not only a better job but also provided more laughs per scene and given more on screen chemistry, I mean three of these guys are meant to be best buddies and all that although you wouldn't recognise this from their interaction.
With many producers and directors of the comedy genre favouring actors they have worked with a many times in the past I can't understand why didn't follow suit and use the likes of Vaughan, Ferrell and Co. I appreciate there are other actors trying to "break" the movie scene and that these need a chance but if I was producing this film I would have used more recognised comedy actors to ensure the audience got their laughs.
As you'd expect the cast list is huge, although the main ones are;
Doug Billings (the groom) - Justin Bartha
Phil Wenneck (Doug's friend) - Bradley Cooper
Stu Price (Doug's Friend) - Ed Helms
Alan Garner (Doug's future brother in law) - Zach Galifianckis
Jade (Someone met on the stag night) - Heather Graham
Mr Chow - Ken Jeong
Tracy Garner (the bride to be) - Sasha Barress
Melissa - Rachel Harris
Mike Tyson - as himself
All of the cast do an OK job although I feel Zach steals the limelight in a few scenes, but his performance is not what I would call mind blowing. The main cast is backed up by a good support cast although, once again, none of these gave really memorable performances.
This film was really hyped up prior to release and even after it had been screened for a few weeks it was receiving rave reviews. This, along with the fact I loved "Old School" which Todd Phillips had a hand in, meant my expectations were high and nowhere near met let alone exceeded. I would say that the Hangover is one of the most overrated films I have seen, which is a bit of a shame. A little less hype and a bit more of an open mind and I would have scored this film much higher than I have done.
If you're looking for an out and out comedy the Hangover isn't it. Don't get me wrong, there are some bits that will raise a smile or even make you chuckle, but there were no belly laughs for me. Despite this, it is an entertaining film and one that I would recommend watching at some point although I wouldn't be in a rush to see it.
Run time - 96 minutes
Certificate - 15
Won a Golden Globe, 2 other award wins and 12 nominations
Summary: One of the most overrated films of recent times