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Overall Rating
3.01

Awesome: 32.52%
Worth A Look: 17.18%
Average: 7.36%
Pretty Bad: 4.29%
Total Crap38.65%

5 reviews, 133 user ratings


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Hangover, The
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by Peter Sobczynski

"A Comedy You Will Never Forget (No Matter How Hard You Try)"
1 stars

At least once every summer, a movie produced on a smaller scale than the normal seasonal blockbuster manages to break away from the pack and become a so-called “sleeper” hit by garnering a larger audience than anyone could have possibly predicted. In the old days, however, such films became sleeper hits because people genuinely liked them and because the studios gave them time to slowly build their audiences through word-of-mouth rather than yanking them from theaters for not immediately pulling in the big bucks. Of course, things have changed now and instead of waiting for such a phenomenon to naturally evolve, studios now spend millions of dollars to aggressively market certain films as the hip alternatives to the soulless mega-movies jamming the multiplexes (mega-movies that they themselves have made and released, of course). This summer’s first pseudo-sleeper-in-waiting is “The Hangover,” a raunchy and rambunctious Vegas-based bad-boy comedy that plays like a bizarre fusion of “Very Bad Things,” “Wedding Crashers” and “What Happens in Vegas.” Of course, you may be sitting there thinking, “Wait, none of those movies were especially funny in the first place" but they come across like masterpieces of the genre in comparison to this hateful and nearly laugh-free disaster, a film so completely stupid and hateful that you get the sense that it was financed by the Atlantic City tourism board as a way of besmirching the good name of their chief competition.

The premise of the film is fairly simple. Three guys--snarky schoolteacher Phil (Bradley Cooper), milquetoast dentist Stu (Ed Helms) and not-quite-there doofus Alan (Zach Galifianakis)--get together to celebrate the impending nuptials of mutual friend Doug (Justin Bartha) by taking him to Vegas for a bachelor party bacchanal two days before his wedding. Of course, the party is as much for them as it is for Doug--Phil wants to use it as a way of convincing his friend that marriage and children are nothing more than dead-end traps (although he himself has both), Stu uses it as a way of temporarily getting out from under the thumb of his physically and emotionally abusive fiancée (Rachel Harris) and Alan, whose only connection to the group is being Doug’s future brother-in-law, just wants to make friends and feed his compulsive gambling habit. After arriving, they hit the town and when we next see them, it is the morning after as the three awaken to a nearly destroyed suite (complete with a tiger in the bedroom and a baby in the closet), absolutely no memories of what happened during the previous evening and no sign of Doug anywhere. Using the few clues at their disposal, Phil, Stu and Alan try to piece together what happened to them over the last few hours in the hopes that it will help them find Doug in time to get him back to the wedding on time. Without going into too much detail, their investigation brings them up against some bumbling cops whose car they apparently stole, an effeminate Asian gangster (Ken Jeong), a sweet-faced hooker (Heather Graham) who apparently really hit it off with Stu and, perhaps inevitably, the inimitable Mike Tyson as the revelations become more and more Byzantine as things progress.

The notion of someone trying to piece together the hazily remembered pieces of an epic bender is one that has inspired any number of great comedies in the past--“The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek” being one of the best and funniest examples. Of course, that movie had the brilliant writer-director Preston Sturges at the helm while “The Hangover” is in the hands of the guys who wrote “Four Christmases” and “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” and director Todd Phillips, the auteur of such classics as “Road Trip,” “Old School,” “Starsky & Hutch” and “School for Scoundrels” and their combined not-so-golden touch can be felt throughout. For starters, none of the jokes are particularly funny--they are the standard compilation of crude slapstick, gross-out gags and bits in which the humor is rooted firmly in the kind of racist, misogynist and homophobic crap that somehow gets a pass from the same people who then turn around and excoriate films like “Observe and Report” that actually do try to offer up a more genuinely subversive form of comedy. The screenplay is an absolute mess that, as far as I can recall, offers up only one amusing line (“Tigers love pepper”--hey, I laughed) while setting up any number of jokes that you assume are going to pay off later but which are either forgotten completely (such as future father-in-law Jeffrey Tambor offering the use of a classic car for the trip with all sorts of threats about what will happen if anything happens to it) or tossed away in such a thoughtless and haphazard matter (such as the details regarding the disappearance of Doug and why they can’t remember anything) that I wanted to slap the film around out of sheer frustration. The film also conclusively demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that Todd Phillips is one of the least capable comedic filmmakers working today. He has no idea as to how to shoot a visual gag, his lack of timing and pacing renders virtually all of the verbal humor inert and he has no idea of how to build up a rhythm between his actors that would allow them potential to spark off of each other despite the material.

Then again, “The Hangover” is also hampered by being centered on three of the most completely unlikable and uninteresting characters to be featured in any comedy to come along in a while. Yes, the main character in “Observe and Report” was pretty unlikable as well but he has the good fortune to at least be so oddly compelling in his hatefulness that you couldn’t keep your eyes off of him (even if it was only to see how much lower he would sink). By comparison, the guys here are so instantly repellent that you wouldn’t want to spend two minutes stuck behind them while standing in line at Taco Bell, let alone watch them caper about for 90-odd minutes on the big screen. As the alpha-male leader, Cooper, whose entire career to date seems to have been based on being the guy you hire when you can’t make Ryan Reynolds’ quote, is so annoyingly smug throughout (even when he isn’t supposed to be) that you’ll find yourself hoping that he will eventually wind up with his head in Nicky Santoro’s vise. On the other hand, Ed Helms has demonstrated his keen comedic skills many times in the past (most notably as Andy on “The Office”), so he of course barely gets anything funny to do. As for Zach Galifianakis, you would think that Phillips hired him in the first place in order to get some of the captivating weirdness of his stand-up comedy act to rub off on the film but no, he is only there to demonstrate once again that in the eyes of some hacky filmmakers, few things in the world are as funny as the sight of a fat guy running around in a pair of tighty-whities (or less, I fear).

Besides the aforementioned line about tigers liking cinnamon, there are exactly two things about “The Hangover” that don’t hurt too much when you think back on them later even as you are aggressively trying to forget everything else. The first is the amusing cameo appearance from Mike Tyson (though it might have played even better if it hadn’t been blown in all the ads and trailers): it is a little shocking to discover that he demonstrates more competent comedic chops here than anyone else involved with the film (though I suspect that he might have preferred it if this had come out before the mesmerizing documentary self-portrait “Tyson” had appeared in theaters). The second is the appearance of Heather Graham--she doesn’t really have much to do other than exemplify the ideal role for women in the world of Todd Phillips but she looks astoundingly great and her cheerful presence amid the rest of the sludge on display is like hitting a brief patch of sweet perfumed air while trudging through an especially icky sewer. Neither one is on screen that much but both liven up the proceedings to the point where I began to wish that the two of them would just bail on this garbage and do a road movie of their own. After all, there is no possible way it could be worse than “The Hangover”. . .unless Todd Phillips is directing it, of course.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=18120&reviewer=389
originally posted: 06/05/09 14:00:00
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User Comments

3/07/17 Louise (the actual one) Funny, why do so many hate this? It's typical US humour. I enjoyed it. 4 stars
5/07/13 Charles Tatum Dark and funny 4 stars
3/27/13 Liz Great movie... If you like crap 1 stars
11/19/12 Sean Harrison Stupidly Hilarious 4 stars
2/19/12 meep Utter shit, makes America and those who like this worthy of nothing but contempt 1 stars
6/26/11 John Airey Very funny...Who thinks of this stuff? 5 stars
3/14/11 Ionicera I expected it to be better, but it had a few funny moments 3 stars
11/29/10 funk best movie ever people really gotta lightin up they get offended if some on breathes 5 stars
7/18/10 Dwight Bradley Cooper is always angry, not funny 1 stars
6/22/10 RLan It's good, but not great 3 stars
6/08/10 Flathead King There are some funny parts in this film but overall, I was disappointed with it. 2 stars
3/26/10 Jiz Unfunny bullshit. Oh yeah and Friedberg and Seltzer are the real Uwe Bolls of comedy. 1 stars
3/09/10 PAUL SHORTT FATALLY UNFUNNY STUDY IN MEAN SPIRITED MEDIOCRITY 2 stars
3/06/10 Joe How does it feel to be laughably wrong? 5 stars
1/17/10 RobertJ Disgusting, Disgusting, Disgusting..Producers should be investigated for child abuse. 1 stars
1/10/10 Derek If you're the kind of person who does nothing with their life but drink alcohol, maybe 1 stars
1/09/10 jeramie Well, obviously, this movie isn't for everyone, but it's one of the BEST! 5 stars
1/08/10 lexee balllsss 1 stars
1/05/10 Spiral Architect If you thought this film was funny, please do not reproduce. 1 stars
1/04/10 Monday Morning This really has its moments - quite a bit of laugh-out-loud stuff. 5 stars
1/03/10 Jacques Just plain moronic, brain dead, crude, vulgar, stupid....I 1 stars
1/02/10 turnthe best comedy in years, reviewer is a lame 5 stars
12/28/09 tom pathetic! will be big hit in college drunk circuit. 1 stars
12/27/09 Mike D Worst movie on the planet. The guy who wrote this review liked it a lot more than I did. 1 stars
12/26/09 chloe douches will love. everyone else will wish they hadn't bothered. 1 stars
12/26/09 Todd Gak Simply not funny 1 stars
12/17/09 Jason People need to lighten up! This movie is hilarious! 5 stars
12/09/09 Bettie The Hangover - worst movie I have ever seen. No laughs, no brains, just garbage. 1 stars
12/02/09 Andrew Johnson Lighten up David. The genre is the best Ive seen. Shock humour at it;s best! 5 stars
11/24/09 Jake Maybe this movie wasn't for you but you don't have to be a conceited douche bag about it 5 stars
11/11/09 gary i'v seen way too many classic comedies to like this. just not funny 1 stars
11/08/09 Mohammed While watching the film, the writer nevr forgot for a second that he had t review it later 4 stars
10/13/09 Roy Smith Solid shit dunked in liquid shit 1 stars
10/04/09 Fahiem critic is spot on and why all the chidldish remarks? 3 stars
10/03/09 whistler you obviously have issues with your dead father 5 stars
9/29/09 Richard This movie was LAME! I left half way through! 2 stars
9/20/09 theone Hilarious. 5 stars
9/11/09 Kevin 4-year-old humor, don't ever pay for it, punch yourself in the face you'll save money 1 stars
9/08/09 Bob This movie sucked hard. Terribly unfunny 1 stars
8/29/09 Boo underlying message is revolting- if any women found it funny, they're a bit thick 1 stars
8/25/09 foobar Absolutely pathetic. Total Crap. 1 stars
8/13/09 John spot on review, wanted this movie to rock, but it was a box of rox 1 stars
8/04/09 sam good 5 stars
8/03/09 SooS Ed Helm's character is Stu, not Phil dumbass.... 5 stars
8/03/09 David A. It has a few funny bits, but the "f" word gets boring after about an hour. 3 stars
8/03/09 bono Erik Childress sucks donkey ass. Good summer comedy. 4 stars
8/02/09 todd this reviewer is 100% correct. the hangover is bad. 1 stars
8/02/09 Roy Smith "You are too stupid to insult" - no, the movie is. 1 stars
7/31/09 theultimate You are not a movie critic! 4 stars
7/31/09 Brandon funnies movie? 'Todd Phillips' Ubowel. Alright I think that settles it. 4 stars
7/29/09 Robbie Lewis 80% Rotten Tomatoes. The film is funny and works. You are the odd man out. live with it 4 stars
7/29/09 Jr 247,000,000 million so far, enough said. 5 stars
7/28/09 rottencargo I just found it boring. Seen all those jokes before, presented blandly. And I love stupid. 2 stars
7/27/09 Gordo Hope you enjoyed your cup of tea and biscuits when you watched this. 4 stars
7/26/09 Lori Bad writing, acting directing. Old jokes, plot that went nowhere, unlikeable characters. 1 stars
7/24/09 Toni It was stupid but oh so funny! 4 stars
7/21/09 JB Did you see the movie. I don't think the baby flips the bird, just jacks off. 5 stars
7/21/09 Zach Don't listen to this pseudo-intellectual tightwad, this is a superb comedy 5 stars
7/20/09 Pete Thin,formulatic plot that broke no new ground and made me cringe with it's offensive humor. 1 stars
7/20/09 Johnny Fartsalot la la la la la la la la la 5 stars
7/19/09 Thom It was just the best comedy pest 5 years. Absolutly perfect I think Loveable chars 5 stars
7/19/09 mr.mike Lots of laughs. 4 stars
7/17/09 JK Jones Hilarious, David you cost yourself a good time being way overanalytical. 5 stars
7/16/09 max power everyone i know though this was one of the most hilarious movies they seen. 5 stars
7/16/09 correction mike tyson actually does own a tiger, he's not pretending 5 stars
7/13/09 The Game Just saw the movie. Hilarious. 5 stars
7/13/09 Derrick this movie made me laugh out loud a lot very funny critic must have eggplant in stuck inass 5 stars
7/11/09 michael mann very racist and repugnant 1 stars
7/11/09 Shaun Repetitive and boring, i feel like the movie expects me to laugh 2 stars
7/08/09 JonB Yes, it was kinda stupid and the script wasn't very witty, but it was definitely funny. 4 stars
7/07/09 zipper The 100+ people in the theater I was at would disagree with you. Almost constant laughter! 5 stars
7/06/09 pete sampras total total vile crap horsehit, white american comedy fucking bullshit 1 stars
7/06/09 John I'm glad to see the plethora of 5 stars. We're right; reviewer is wrong. 5 stars
7/04/09 Shallow Hal Maybe laughed 3 times the whole movie. Awful. 1 stars
7/04/09 roger federer worst piece of shit movie ever 1 stars
7/03/09 Joe Figures, the people who like this slop get mad and insult someone who doesn't like it 1 stars
7/03/09 samtk you aren't reviewing a "film". funny ass movie though. 5 stars
7/03/09 Solus Unfair to women? It's a movie about a stag party, it's about chauvinist culture. 5 stars
7/02/09 lori vought awful movie; disgusting, mean, and stupid 1 stars
7/01/09 Marc Worst movie. Trite, sadly predictable, and boring. GREAT REVIEW!!! 1 stars
6/30/09 AP I like movies with shock value and quoteability. The Hangover had neither. Purely awful. 1 stars
6/30/09 JBaby Dude is jealous of fat Jesus 5 stars
6/29/09 blackberry terrible, terrible unfunny piece of shit 1 stars
6/29/09 David Not highbrow -Either you think someone mocking a baby jerking off is hilarious or you don't 5 stars
6/28/09 will tenner disgusting shit ass comedy 1 stars
6/27/09 gandalf a terrible terrible sexist film, terrible, terrible 1 stars
6/27/09 Benjamin Barkas all i can say is my wife even loved it and the ENTIRE theatre was cheering at the end 5 stars
6/27/09 Matt Oh noes! The film has confusing gender politics! 5 stars
6/26/09 Svelt The beauty, and humor, of this movie was in the performances, not the plot. HYSTERICAL. 5 stars
6/26/09 Matt Good review. I haev a sense of humor, but making raunchy jokes is just not funny. 2 stars
6/26/09 Mark This review is utter garbage. You are entitled to your opinions,but learn to write a review 4 stars
6/25/09 luke some critics need a sense of humor 5 stars
6/25/09 Robert One of less than a handful of movies that I've walked out of in a total of thousands! 1 stars
6/25/09 kristof68 Clearly Mr Cornelius doesn't have a sense of humour 5 stars
6/25/09 Grace Fun movie ideas, didn't follow through, and slow ending. Best comedy this summer, though. 3 stars
6/24/09 David If this is considered comedy our society is in a world of trouble. Complete crap. 1 stars
6/24/09 Kailee Funniest movie i've ever seen. DEFENETLY a must see 5 stars
6/23/09 Coachie Ballgames Spot on Review. Formulaic crap for wanna be frat boys. Where were the jokes? 1 stars
6/23/09 Amanda There's always a critic who thinks every movie needs to be "8 1/2" so he can get attention. 5 stars
6/23/09 Jay Kay Good Lord man....did you even WATCH the film? Asian guy in the police car? Really? 5 stars
6/23/09 spongekill I'm glad The Hangover is not the movie this critic wanted it to be, would've been horrible 5 stars
6/22/09 jurisprudence this film sucks period 1 stars
6/22/09 nthg2say review: FAIL (im emarassed for u.) 5 stars
6/22/09 g. these critics are reTARDS. excellent, hilarious movie. 5 stars
6/22/09 Micah Bromance that can't be beat! 5 stars
6/21/09 anon good thing you dont have enough talent to actually be in a movie you idiot. BEST MOVIE EVER 5 stars
6/20/09 Swoop Go back to your PG-13 comedies and next time go watch a movie with an open mind. Bias POS. 5 stars
6/20/09 Anonymous Fantastic. Bravo bravo bravo! Expresses my sentiments better than I could. Well-said. 2 stars
6/20/09 Roger Smith The critic is a DICK, he is promoting the movie advertisement through an amazon ad 5 stars
6/20/09 Mase "An ironic beard" !!! - Idiot! 5 stars
6/20/09 jonathantstorm one of the stupidest pointless films ever made 1 stars
6/20/09 James Madision This guy obvioulsy doesn't like good films 4 stars
6/19/09 Joe I agree with the reviewer 100%; this flick was pathetic and stupid 1 stars
6/18/09 Steve Buscemi Watch...this guy will love Transformers. Hack! 5 stars
6/18/09 jurisprudence this film sucked and its on the fucking imdb top 250, what a fucking joke 1 stars
6/17/09 Luisa Super funny movie! 4 stars
6/16/09 Julio Terrible review clearly a great film which everyone likes so get over yourselfs 5 stars
6/16/09 John John this review sucks, just relax and enjoy the laughs 4 stars
6/15/09 Maria B Unfunny and disgusting movie. 1 stars
6/15/09 Bob If you think Old School and the Hangover are Uwe Boll quality, find a new profession 4 stars
6/15/09 Ke We Why attack this movie loser - nit picky idiot 5 stars
6/12/09 Kat As much I loathe to agree with the idiot hack, brian, and disagree with reviewers I respect 4 stars
6/11/09 Ming it is the most funniest film of the year 4 stars
6/09/09 Justin Black Doug has a point about the Roofies, They should be the Floors. 5 stars
6/08/09 Biosci I, along with the whole audience in the packed theater - laughed like hell. Chill! 4 stars
6/08/09 jon its brave to point out that the movie was far from perfect....Ubowel comment over the top 3 stars
6/07/09 Azzam I think you need to stop attacking a good movie 5 stars
6/07/09 Fred Did we see the same movie? 'Cause this one was hilarious! 5 stars
6/07/09 Matt Funnies Movie I've seen in years! You're an idiot! Enjoy movies for movies!!! 5 stars
6/06/09 Nick This is CRAP. Period. End of story. 1 stars
6/06/09 Greg Biased review. U could already tell he doesnt like 'Todd Phillips' in the first paragraph 5 stars
6/06/09 Joe Did the makers of the film not give you the gift bag you asked for?? Smug alert!! 4 stars
6/05/09 Andrew Whether the film was good or not, this review reeks of smug. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  05-Jun-2009 (R)
  DVD: 12-Oct-2010

UK
  N/A

Australia
  05-Jun-2009
  DVD: 15-Dec-2009




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