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The Hangover

December 12, 2012

The Hangover (2009)
Director: Todd Phillips
Actors: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms

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Synopsis: 4 guys head to Vegas for a Bachelor party. Mayhem and farce ensue.

Review: There is clear potential in the story’s premise, and the opening set-up is classically staged with the story fast-forwarding to Bradley Cooper’s character calling the bachelor’s wife-to-be, warning her that everything has gone horribly wrong, but beyond that initial promise, the whole enterprise underwhelms.

The concept would have been better had it limited itself to a recognisable tale of guys getting horribly drunk, and wild, semi-forgotten things occurring. Instead, the filmmakers throw in so many forced elements of farce (Mike Tyson and the tiger, Justin Bartha’s groom being kidnapped by a bizarre Chinese gangster) that it dissipates the sense that maybe, just maybe, this kind of thing could happen to any of us.

The film’s saving grace is Zach Galifianakis’ character – an idiosyncratic comic creation – and I wonder if its genuine subversion away from the more crowd-pleasing machinations of the rest of the story might betray that Galifianakis was permitted to improvise and draft his own dialogue for the film? (December 2012)

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