A strictly geek bonding guy movie that could have just as easily been titled, ‘I Love You, Men,’ The Hangover is about grown males who run away from home. And while in pursuit of living out their wannabe vice junkie daydreams badly, pretty much get caught with their pants down. The alternately faux-noir and straight up humor comic relief are genius in concept, but the detours into beyond crude humor are far more sour than sweet.
Collaborating on the substantial in-your-face grossout is director Todd Phillips (Old School, Road Trip) and screenwriters Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (Four Christmases, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past). So it’s not rocket science to figure out early on just what’s in store.
It’s bachelor party time for a lame foursome in The Hangover, as Doug (Justin Bartha) is set to be married in a few days. Along for the ride as they sneak off to Vegas, are Doug’s best friends Phil (Bradley Cooper), a married high school teacher, and Stu (Ed Helms), a meek dentist with a tyrannical girlfriend. And then there’s odd man out Alan (Zach Galifiankis), Doug’s future brother-in-law, who is fond of carrying a man purse and is banned from being within twenty feet of any school, you do the math.
Once they hit Sin City, the goofy gang stakes out the Strip on the hunt for drugs and wild women. But they awaken the next day, not only with the bad hangovers in question, but a tiger and a rooster lounging around their hotel suite, a mystery bawling baby in the closet, and the groom and his mattress nowhere in sight. While sorting out these various lunatic narrative strands, they encounter a ditzy stripper (Heather Graham), gay Asian hitmen, Mike Tyson mad as hell about his lost animal, and Stu’s missing tooth that he yanked out as a long overdue rite of passage into self-proclaimed manhood.
The raunchy humor is never in short supply in The Hangover, but the intermittent over the top tastelessness just about spoils all the fun. Like is it really a barrel of laughs when that future brother-in-law on the sex offender registry performs, let’s just say, manual libidinous moves on that abandoned infant, even if he’s just pretending? And sorry, joking about the Holocaust and butt naked octogenarians, and playing pass the hot potato with a used condom as a leisure time activity, just don’t add up to a blast out at the movies.