Pros: Funny, irreverent, perfectly paced, and great performances.
Cons: Could have used more nudity...just sayin'.
The Hangover (2009) Directed by Todd Phillips
Alan Garner: Gambling? Who said anything about gambling? It's not gambling when you know you're gonna win. Counting cards is a foolproof system.
Stu Price: It's also illegal.
Alan Garner: It's not illegal, it's frowned upon, like masturbating on an airplane.
Phil Wenneck: I'm pretty sure that's illegal too.
Alan Garner: Yeah, maybe after 9/11, where everybody got so sensitive. Thanks a lot, Bin Laden.
Four Men are heading to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. They are Doug Billings (Justin Bartha) the groom to be, his best friends Phil Wennick (Bradley Cooper) a married school teacher, Stu Price (Ed Helms) a dentist with a fiancée Melissa (Rachel Harris) sort of like a cross between Nurse Rachett and a Gestapo officer, and Doug's soon to be brother-in-law Alan (Zach Galifianakis) who, like a gremlin, comes with instructions (don't let him gamble, don't let him drink too much, don't let him drive, don't let him come within 200 feet of a school or a Chuck E. Cheese....) That should have been their first clue things were not going to go as planned....
When they wake up in their luxury suite they are missing a few things; Alan's pants, Stu's tooth, and Doug. They also have a few added things; a hospital band on Phil, a tiger in the bathroom, a baby in the closet and a free range chicken.
Also deepening the mystery, they discover that Doug's to be father in laws cherry Mercedes Convertible has been replaced with a cop car. Now Phil and Stu have to find Doug, discover whose baby it is, figure out how Stu lost a tooth, and do something with the tiger in the bathroom.
As they follow the clues (hospital band to wedding chapel) the mystery takes one step forward and two steps back. They find the tooth, explain the hospital visit, but discover that there are thugs with baseball bats chasing them, and Stu got married. Her name is Jade (Heather Graham) and she is a stripper. Well, actually she is an escort, but stripping is a great way to meet clients...
Stu Price: She's got my grandmother's Holocaust ring!
Alan Garner: I didn't know they gave out rings at the Holocaust.
...and they really are married. The baby (Tyler) is hers.
There are police involved, tazers wielded by school children, and a mysterious naked Asian man in the trunk of the car. There is $81,000 in a satchel mix up, and the wrong Doug is kidnapped. And the wedding is moving closer with every second.
This movie is funny from start to finish. The premise works, the chemistry of friends and Alan is just about right, and the dialogue is almost a string of one liners, all that serve the purpose to move the plot along, but also make you bust a gut. Three examples, at random:
Alan Garner: Tigers love pepper... they hate cinnamon.
Phil Wenneck: Would you please put some pants on? I feel weird having to ask you twice.
Alan Garner: It would be so cool if I could breast-feed.
We all have stories we would rather forget (What happens in Memphis, Stays in Memphis.) but rarely do you get to see the actual break down. And Phillips delivers his tale with flawless timing. The pacing is perfect, just giving your ribs time to heal before launching into the next bit that will have you clutching your sides.
There is a lot of talent here, and two people who deserve mention who played themselves. Mike Tyson, very funny role for the heavy weight champ, and the Tiger. Beautiful beasts, both.
Irreverent, funny, it sounds like a movie made by slicing together a reunion of Tau Kappa Epsilon best, "it happened in Vegas" stories. Not recommended for brides with upcoming nuptials.
And what was the deal with the dang Chicken?
"Remember, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Except for herpes. That sh*t'll come back with you."
This review, Like the Tiger, is Lean-N-Mean. It is a concise 666 words.