It seems the nation is shocked that this little comedy-that-could unseated the mighty Disney Pixar for the No. 1 box office spot this week … and my wife, our friends and I were among the crowd that went to see it this past weekend.
That “The Hangover” is directed by Todd Phillips, the man who brought us “Old School” was pretty much enough to get me into the theater.
Like “Old School,” this one’s about man-children looking to relive their youth … this time through a bachelor party trip to Vegas for groom-to-be Doug (Justin Bartha), best friends Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) and future brother-in-law Alan (the scene-stealing Zach Galifianakis, an N.C. State alum). The night begins with shots of Jager on the roof, and the next thing we know, our heroes wake up in their hotel suite with a baby in the closet, a live tiger in the bathroom, Doug missing and no recollection of everything that led up to it.
The rest of the film has Phil, Stu and Alan searching for Doug through a series of clues (such as a wedding with a stripper, a visit from Mike Tyson and a naked Chinese man in their trunk.
The result? It’s just a flat out funny movie. A few gags miss the mark (never liked the Chinese guy) but overall, the good far outweighs the bad. I like that all the characters are believable, from Cooper’s flawed straight man to Stu’s dentist who’s afraid of his own fiance (Helms is far more enjoyable than the idiot he plays on “The Office”). But the standout is Galifianakis, who could have easily went the over-the-top Will Ferrell or Chris Farley route with his character, but instead played him as a sincere moron with occasional flashes of insanity (a huge Jonas Brothers fan who can’t be within 200 feet of schools).
This is one guys ages 25-35 will probably buy and memorize some of the lines to (one of my favorites comes from Galifianakis, “Tigers love pepper. They hate cinnamon.” … it’s all in the delivery, I promise).
Grade: 7.5 out of 10