Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Hangover

If you are looking for a steady stream of laughs, this movie has them.

A large portion of these are original and fresh. You might see similarities with the Peter Berg 1998 film Very Bad Things, but it is different enough to merit you watching them both. Berg's film was quite a bit darker, while Todd Phillips is going for light although far from innocent laughs. The settings are similar. A bachelor party that goes very wrong. The group of male characters in The Hangover might be a bit more likable and their dialogue better written and delivered. The misadventures are non-stop, and you will not be bored.
There are a steady supply of pretty random things that happen in this movie and each should keep you engaged. Some might be of the opinion that shock value is used to openly throughout the film, but I would disagree. Their quest makes sense, drives the story, and the acting pulls off slightly flawed characters that we can sympathize with as their challenges bring out cathartic reward. Good comedies are always driven by good characters, where each have their own purpose and add to the laughs be it as the originator of the laughs or the straight guy that absorbs and reacts. Where comedies often go wrong is when the most unbalanced character sticks out in the movie and detracts from the pace and purpose of the story. How many times have we asked, 'that movie was pretty good, but did that one guy really have to be so____' I like to refer to these characters as crutch characters that are often funny and gifted actors that directors too often rely on to bail a movie out of bad writing. Zach Galifianakis and director Phillips ride this tightrope perfectly. The brother in law character is not over-used. All of his quirks and interjections are well spaced and pulled off so naturally that we find ourselves anticipating his next line. John Belushi had this gift, and Zach could just be that kind of comedian if he chooses his roles intelligently. The rest of the characters are well cast and each offers their own piece to the story and experience their own self discovery in a believable, non over-the-top way.

I would not recommend this to everyone, as some may find it hard to get past some of the distasteful parts of the humour, but for friends like mine its a can't miss.

1 comment:

  1. I'm all for distasteful humour especially if it offends someone I would like to offend but feel it would have a backlash on me personally or privately. However thwt being said, I am not a fan of buddy movies/guy movies. Maybe its out of jealously that I don't have any male friends that call me up and say "hey we're at the pub, come one over!" or even "hey, I rented (insert name of random non-girl movie) how about I bring it over and we watch it?". Nope, all of you and your apathy towards my male lonliness have jaded me to such movies.

    That being said I will likely rent it at some point if only to entrench my muted anger at all of you and your constant ignoring of my needs.