"The Hangover" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
Todd Phillips' "The Hangover" is a crazy film. Following four guys who go to Vegas for a bachelor party and get extremely drunk, they wake up realizing that they stole a police car, a tiger, and a baby; married a prostitute, and stole almost $100,000 from a crazed Chinese man who is hunting them down. And to top it all off, the groom is now missing somewhere in Sin City, forcing his best friends to band together and hunt across Vegas looking for him. Despite the outrageousness of this plot, this film does everything right and delivers a hilarious and raunchy comedy that redefines the party-comedy genre in many ways.
The bachelor party in question consists of the groom, Doug (Justin Bartha), and his best friends, Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms). However, at the request of his fiancee, he is forced to invite her strange brother Alan (Zach Galifianakis), who doesn't really seem all there. When they decide to go to Vegas, they think they're going to have a great night together before their best friend is about to get married and tied down for good.
That is now what goes to plan though. Phil, Stu, and Alan all wake up the next morning with no recollection of what happened the night before, as well as Doug missing from their suite in the Vegas hotel. Now on the hunt to find the groom, they also pick up little details from what happened the night before, including Stu marrying a prostitute with his grandma's "Holocaust ring", stealing Mike Tyson's tiger in the middle of the night, and much more as they search for their best friend.
This film is definitely carried by the performance of our three stars. They all have fabulous chemistry together on-screen, and are absolutely hilarious in literally every scene they are in. Phil is a great character simply due to his party-like attitude, and not worrying about what is going to happen throughout the night. He just wants to have fun with his friends and not let the consequences of his actions affect their good time. Then, we have Stu, who is on the complete opposite end of that spectrum. He is dating this woman who is definitely abusive, which makes Stu worry about every little thing he does. He is more of the worrywart in the friendship, not wanting to follow along with what his friends do in fear he is going to get reamed by his girlfriend when he gets home.
We then have Allen, who is the funniest character in this entire film, and perhaps one of the Galifianakis' best characters in his filmography. He seems very socially awkward, and doesn't really have a filter or an idea of how to act around other people. It seems like he is not really all there mentally, and he has the mentality of perhaps a child, which makes this character all the much better. They don't fully dive into how childish and immature he acts, but rather gives the viewer little glimpses into who Alan is as a character, which is perfect in my opinion.
You have to applaud writers Scott Moore and Jon Lucas for being able to craft this intricate and hilarious story about a bachelor party gone wrong. They are able to incorporate so many events and bonkers situations, but it doesn't seem bogged down or convoluted at all throughout the runtime. They do an excellent job of being able to have fun with this film, and tell a very hilarious and compelling story at the same time. On the flip side, Phillips does an excellent job of directing and putting this film together, staying true to the script written by the two comedy legends in modern comedy films. In present time, it's weird thinking about Phillips directing a film like this since he is most known for directing the Joaquin Phoenix-led film "Joker" in 2019, which is a complete different direction from this film. But, looking at Phillips' filmography and all of the comedy films he had made before it, this movie is without a doubt one of his best comedies, if not his best.
Overall, this movie about three men trying to piece together what happened the night before does everything right and gives the viewer everything they would want in a comedy. The three main actors are perfect throughout the entire runtime, and, without a doubt, this is easily one of the best modern comedy films as of today.