The Hangover Review


This review was originally posted for the Ultimate 2000s Blogathon, hosted by Tranquil Dreams and me.

Before I get into the review, I want to go over a little comedy movie history. Many comedies of the 2000s (2000 to 2009) are based around characters that are crude, clueless, and, put frankly, idiotic. These movies are an evolution of the slap stick films from earlier decades. There are stylistic hints from films like The Naked Gun, The Cannonball Run, Dumb and Dumber, and Happy Gilmore. We began seeing glimpses of this new brand of humor in movies like American Pie and Zoolander. By 2004, this new brand of humor had become the norm. Movies like Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Napoleon Dynamite embodied 2000s comedy and characters. These characters were vulgar and naive. The films themselves reveled in their gags and ‘did he really just say/do that’ moments, relying on making the audience laugh from becoming flabbergasted or uncomfortable, rather than genuinely finding the moment or joke funny.

This is especially true in the spoof movies. Movies like Scary Movie, Superhero Movie and Insert-Whatever-Genre-Here Movie looked to cash in on pop culture and parody whatever genre was in the title. Spoofs are nothing new in Hollywood. Mel Brooks practically made his name making spoofs like Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, and Spaceballs. And then there is everyone’s favorite spoof: Airplane!. While these movies shared many similarities with with the parody films of the 2000s, their scripts were solid and, you know, actually funny, an element severely lacking from most of the spoofs during this time period.

By the end of the 2000s, comedy filmmakers were learning that this latest iteration of comedy films needed to be refined; that ignorant or appalling actions do not automatically equal funny. And while actors can be funny on their own, or sometimes ad-lib better and funnier lines, the movie can’t solely rely on them and the script needs to support the actors. While not every comedy fit this decade-defining mold, such as EuroTrip or The 40-Year-Old Virgin, these feel like exceptions, not the norm. Although this type of comedy, what I’ve come to call ‘stupid funny,’ still continued into the 2010s, it wasn’t to the extent that existed in the previous decade.

Moving into the tail-end of the 2000s, comedies began changing how they approached their characters. They were still profane and sometimes oblivious but that wasn’t the focus the film anymore. Crude jokes weren’t often being made for the sake of being crude. Instead, the films were becoming smart, insightful, and sometimes even filled with heart. Movies like Baby Mama, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I love You, Man, and Tropic Thunder used their comedy to amplify their story, not be the crux of it. They shared many characteristics with the earlier comedies of the 2000s but writers and directors had learned how to use these characteristics more effectively.

To make a long story short, that is why I believe The Hangover is the best comedy of the 2000s. The early- and mid-years of the decade feel more like stepping stones to get to the comedies in the latter part of the time period that told better stories and were still funny without solely relying on its stars. I believe that The Hangover is one of the best examples of this. So without any further ado, here is my review of The Hangover.


The Hangover movie posterSynopsis
Doug (Justin Bartha) is getting married. For his bachelor party, his friends Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis), take him to Las Vegas. Phil, Stu, and Alan wake up the morning after arriving in Vegas with no memory of what happened the night before. They attempt to retrace their steps to figure out what happened and to find Doug, who has gone missing.

Review
When a movie comes along that has a phenomenal cast with perfect chemistry, who are backed by a memorable and quotable script, I get excited. It makes it even better when that criteria applies to a comedy because, in my honest opinion, comedy films are one of the hardest genres to make everything click. The Hangover checks all the correct comedy film boxes and more.

The first thing this movie nails is the casting. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis all have very different brands of humor. Their deliveries are different, their body language is different, their mannerisms are different. Nothing about them is the same. And yet, they all mesh together so well. Their different styles complement each other wonderfully. Cooper, Helms, and Galifianakis are in almost every scene together and every scene is filled to the brim with laughs. Coincidence? I think not.

Everyone in the supporting cast is top notch as well. Justin Bartha rounds out the group of friends at the center of the film. While not much is seen of him, he does add an extra dynamic to the group when he is there. Smaller roles from Heather Graham, Rob Riggle, Bryan Callen, Jeffrey Tambor, and Mike Tyson all bring the laughs. However, the best member from the supporting cast is Ken Jeong. He had me in stitches every time he was on screen. He deserves as much praise as the headlining three.

Even though Cooper, Helms, and Galifianakis are funny on their own (and together), the script amplifies their comedic strengths. The script, written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, feels fresh and clever compared to other comedies of the time. It leaves the audience just as in the dark about the previous night’s events as the characters, so as they piece together what happens, the audience is right there with them. It’s crass, it’s vulgar, and at times it’s irreverent, but It doesn’t rely on toilet humor or leaving the viewers dumbfounded to be funny. It uses jokes or visual gags that are funny because they are truly well written or well delivered. As a result, The Hangover is insanely quotable and has very few diminishing returns on its jokes.

This movie reminded me a road trip movie. In road trip movies, the main characters are going from point A to point B, and along the way, they meet people who usually only show up for a scene or two. This format fits this film as well; Phil, Stu, and Alan are going to these different places to try and piece together what happened the night before. It’s fun because it allows the focus to remain on the three main characters while allowing the supporting cast to have their own funny and unique moments.

I thought The Hangover was GREAT πŸ˜€ The entire cast had me laughing throughout the film. Every scene was filled with jokes and gags that always landed and are just as humorous after many, many views later. I can think of no better film than to call the best comedy of the decade.

Favorite Quote
Doug: I don’t think you should be doing too much gambling tonight, Alan.
Alan: Gambling? Who said anything about gambling? It’s not gambling when you know you’re gonna win. Counting cards is a foolproof system.
Stu: It’s also illegal.
Alan: It’s not illegal, it’s frowned upon, like masturbating on an airplane.
Phil: I’m pretty sure that’s illegal too.
Alan: Yeah, maybe after 9/11 where everybody got so sensitive. Thanks a lot, Bin Laden.

Trivia
No effects or prosthetics were created for Stu’s missing tooth. Ed Helms never had an adult incisor grow, and his fake incisor was taken out for the parts of filming where Stu’s tooth is missing. (via IMDb)

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Tod Phillips – Director
Jon Lucas – Writer
Scott Moore – Writer
Christophe Beck – Composer

Bradley Cooper – Phil
Ed Helms – Stu
Zach Galifianakis – Alan
Justin Bartha – Doug
Heather Graham – Jade
Sasha Barrese – Tracy
Jeffrey Tambor – Sid
Ken Jeong – Mr. Chow
Rachael Harris – Melissia
Mike Tyson – Himself
Jernard Burks – Leonard
Mike Epps – Black Dog
Rob Riggle – Officer Franklin
Cleo King – Officer Garden
Bryan Callen – Eddie

Ultimate 2000s Blogathon Finale: The Hangover (2009) by Drew’s Movie Reviews

In the final entry of the Ultimate 2000s Blogathon, I discuss what defined comedy films during the 2000s and review my favorite comedy film of the decade: The Hangover.

Tranquil Dreams

Time sure flies by! Ultimate 2000s Blogathon is at its final finale post with my awesome co-host Drew sharing his review of 2009 comedy, The Hangover. He takes an in-depth look at the comedies that influenced 2000s and the subgenres that thrived throughout before sharing his thoughts on one that no doubt is a favorite among many people and suitably, one to wrap up this blogathon as it was released in the final year of this decade.


The HangoverMany comedies of the 2000s are based around characters that are crude, clueless, and, put frankly, idiotic. These movies are an evolution of the slap stick films from earlier decades. There are stylistic hints from films like The Naked Gun, The Cannonball Run, Dumb and Dumber, and Happy Gilmore. We began seeing glimpses of this new brand of humor in movies like American Pie and Zoolander. By 2004…

View original post 1,317 more words

My Fave Five 2000s Comedy Films

Hello, friends!

One of my favorite film genres is comedy. If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you probably already knew that. They say laughter is the best medicine and I enjoy a good laugh. When getting this post together, I was thinking about doing my fave five comedy films of all time. However, seeing as how we are in the middle of the Ultimate 2000s Blogathon, I decided to instead focus specifically on that decade. It is difficult compiling a list of my top all time favorite comedy films but it was a little harder of a challenge to come up with my top comedies of the 2000s. After some toiling, here are my five favorite 2000s comedy films.

Step Brothers movie poster5) Step Brothers

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly were a powerhouse comedy duo of the 2000s. Step Brothers was the second film they lead together, the first being Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and the most recent was 2018’s Holmes and Watson. While I laugh during Talladega Nights, I laugh hysterically during Step Brothers. Ferrell and director Adam McKay took what made Talladega Nights a hit and refined it, creating more memorable scenes, laugh-out-loud moments, and instantly quotable lines. Say what you will about Ferrell and Reilly, but they have some of the best comedic chemistry of our time. Add in Mary Steenburgen, Richard Jenkins, Adam Scott, and Kathryn Hahn and you have a cast any comedy film will be jealous of.

Superbad movie poster4) Superbad

Towards the end of the first decade of the 2000s, Michael Cera was moving from television onto the big screen. That transition was a gift from the movie gods. Cera’s deadpan delivery and comedic timing are gifts to cinema. He plays the awkward teen like no other actor I have seen, making him the perfect fit to play Evan, a kid who wants to throw the perfect party for the girl of his dreams. Next to him is Jonah Hill playing Seth, who is more confident but just as awkward as Evan. Christopher Mintz-Plasse makes one of the best acting debuts as Fogell, aka McLovin. Written by Seth Rogen, whom Hill’s character is named after, Superbad is one of the funniest yet most accurate depictions of what it’s like to be a high schooler.

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story movie poster3) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

Everybody loves a good underdog story. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story takes the well-known sports movie cliches and parodies them; taking a team of misfits and showing them work their way from unlikely team to dodgeball champions. Lead by Peter Le Fleur (Vince Vaughn), the Average Joe’s Gym is fighting to keep their gym getting bought by Globo Gym, lead by White Goodman (Ben Stiller). For me, Stiller is what makes this film so funny. Yes, Vaughn is great, but Stiller has some of the best lines in the film and adds such a flare to his delivery that makes his delivery all the better. The comedy is such a product of its time but Dodgeball proved what that decade-defining humor could be at its best.

Wedding Crashers movie poster2) Wedding Crashers

Every movie on this list so far are outstanding because the lead duos play off each other so well. Wedding Crashers is no exception, and probably the best example on this list of how a pair with fantastic chemistry can elevate a movie. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, Vaughn’s second appearance on this list, play two best friends who crash weddings to get laid. There is a set of “Crasher Rules” that Jeremy (Wilson) and John (Vaughn) are always throwing back and forth at each other, which I’ve always thought was entertaining. The beautiful ladies Amy McAdams and Isla Fisher prove that they have just as much comedic talent as the boys. If I ever need a film for a quick pick-me-up, this is high on my list.

The Hangover movie poster1) The Hangover

Almost anyone who has had a night of partying and drinking has had to deal with a hangover the next morning. Like any great comedy, The Hangover takes something as common as dealing with drinking too much and cranks the craziness to max. They say “two is a party, three is a crowd” but that does not apply to this film. Zack Galifianakis gets my vote as the actor with the best lines in the film but really, Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, and Ed Helms all have their own stand-out moments. Plus, there are plenty of cameos in this road trip-esque film that each scene is unique and funny on its own. Not only is The Hangover my favorite comedy of the decade, it is one of my favorite comedies of all time.


Honorable mentions include Bruce Almighty, School of Rock, The 40 Year Old Virgin, EuroTrip, and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

If you want to check out any of the entries for the Ultimate 2000s Blogathon, you can see a list of all of them here.

What are some of your favorite comedies from the 2000s?

Until next time, cheers!

Movie Quote of the Week – 11/7/14

Answer to 11/5/14 MWL: Alan (Zach Galifianakis) – The Hangover

How about that ride in? I guess that’s why they call it Sin City. [Chuckles] You guys might not know this, but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack. But when my sister brought Doug home, I knew he was one of my own. And my wolf pack, it grew by one. So were there two – So there were two of us in the wolf pack. I was alone first in the pack, and then Doug joined in later. And six months ago when Doug introduced me to you guys, I thought: ‘Wait a second. Could it be?’ And now, I know for sure. I just added two more guys to my wolf pack. Four of us wolves, running around the desert together in Las Vegas looking for strippers and cocaine. -Alan

The following people answered correctly:
Jackie