The Hangover

Let’s the get the hardest part out of the way first. Doing this, and you can absorb this fact for the entirety of the review, and by the end, you’ll hopefully not want to remove my tooth from my mouth or one of the other many unpleasantries that occur in this film. What I must reveal is that I absolutely despise The Hangover, and I hated watching almost every part of it. To me, this is the exact way not to make a comedy, and has one of the stupidest plots I can remember. Or can’t remember like the characters of this film. Whatever.

The film sets up fine, and the basic idea isn’t a bad one. Four friends go to Las Vegas to have a bachelor party, they end up getting crazy drunk, do a bunch of terrible things, and wake up the next morning having absolutely no idea as to what happened — oh, and one of them is missing. Only three men wake up in the room. But there’s also a tiger in their hotel suite, and a baby. This set-up isn’t all that bad, but it takes a turn at “stupid” and keeps going south from there for the next hour or so, until the credits role.

Our characters are the first problem. There are really only three, because one of them is absent for the majority of the film. The leader of this group is named Phil (Bradley Cooper), who hates everything about his life. There is also Alan (Zach Galifianakis), the man-child of the group, and Stu (Ed Helms), someone who is almost more of a wimp than Alan. The groom, named Doug, is the missing person, which is a problem when the characters have a wedding to attend in the very near future.

The problem comes from the fact that not only are all of these characters jerks or wimps, but they’re also completely stupid. Okay, so their friend is missing. What’s the smartest thing to do in this case? How about checking in with the police. Hey, they were really drunk, he could have been arrested. Or if not, they could still help look. Is the hotel staff contacted? I can’t honestly recall, because I had to knock myself out after watching this. They eventually do talk to the police, but only because they try to steal a police car for no real reason. And what happens then? One of the worst scenes in the entire film.

The three stooges agree to participate in a taser demonstration in order to be released. So what happens is the cops allow children to shoot our leads repeatedly with a taser. And when one of them gets shot in the face, one of the cops — and these are stereotypical lazy cops, in case you were thinking we’d get deep side-characters — tells the kid to shoot again, “in the face”, he instructs. Nobody would act like this, unless the cop, for some reason, had a huge grudge on our characters. From what I can tell, this wasn’t the case, and even if it is, professionalism is supposed to be valued, is it not?

It’s not even realism that’s the big issue here, because this movie isn’t exactly realistic. If it was, I would hope that the tiger they wake up with would have eaten them in their drunken slumber. (Actually, looking back on it, I wish that the tiger would have done that.) But it’s just that the scene goes on and on and doesn’t even fit with the tone of the rest of the movie. Even though none of it’s funny, at least all of the jokes were relatively similar in nature and tone. This scene just didn’t fit, which made it stand out even more.

At one point in the film, they meet a man named Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong). Haha! His name is Leslie, which is often a girl’s name. Funny. Not! Anyway, he acts like a “Hollywood homosexual”, meaning he’s flamboyant and as feminine as a man can act without getting a sex change. Oh, and he’s got a really stereotypical Asian-who-speaks-lackluster-English voice, which makes all of his action seem so strange and funny. Again, “not”.

But this goes part in parcel with the rest of the film, which is just as unfunny. Okay, I laughed once when Mike Tyson shows up. Once. And that was only because I’m a sports fan and I laugh whenever an athlete that isn’t trying to be a real actor shows up in a movie. Nothing is funny about this film. The scenarios that these characters get themselves into are only because of their own stupidity, the characters are all bad people, so we want to see them fail, and gross-out comedies aren’t often all that funny in general.

The film is not offensive either, so don’t even try to bring up that I was “too offended to laugh at it”. That’s not what happened, I was just dumbfounded by the following points: (1) This script got sold, and sold for a reported $2 million; (2) That it got made and that a good actor in Bradley Cooper was forced to act in such a terrible film, and (3), that it made an incredible amount of money and everyone always tells me that I’m crazy for not liking it.

Usually when I’m told this, they claim I dislike it because I haven’t lived like these people, and therefore can’t relate to their situation. To put it bluntly, that’s crap. Have I ever played in the MLB? No, but I can enjoy baseball movies. Have I killed people? Not that you know of, but I can still enjoy serial killer films. That reason doesn’t fly with me, because the film doesn’t do a good enough job of forcing me to put myself, mentally, into their position. Instead, I wanted them put in jail, or like I said earlier, eaten by a tiger.

You know what would have made a better film? An hour and a half of watching a tiger “play” with them locked in their hotel room, before devouring them and slowly working through their bodies. And it can go take a nap every now and then, and we will watch it sleep. I would have honestly rather watched that than sit through this movie.

The ending doesn’t even make much sense. It comes at an arbitrary point in time, and happens just because a character magically remembers an event that happened the previous night. And then, mystery solved. Yay! I’m glad we wasted all that time watching stupid people do stupid things. That was totally worth it. For a final time, “not”.

Look, I know that a lot of people watched this movie, and that it made a lot of money and it’s supposedly hilarious, but I didn’t see any humor here. I saw failed attempts at humor sprinkled in-between morons acting as such. So if you want to trust me, and things that I generally dislike, you also dislike, stay far away. If you want to follow popular opinion, go ahead and watch The Hangover. I’ll wait patiently for anything nasty that’s coming my way. It can’t be any worse than sitting through this film another time.

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