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Friday, June 5, 2009

THE HANGOVER

By D.E.Levine

Director: Todd Phillips
Producer: Todd Phillips and Dan Goldberg
Executive Producers: Thomas Tull, John Jashni, William Fay, Scott Budnick, Chris Bender and
J.C. Spink
Co-Producers: David A. Siegel and Jeffrey Wetzel
Screenplay: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
Music: Christopher Beck
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Heather Graham, Sasha Barrese, Jeffrey Tambor, Ken Jeong, Rachel Harris, Mike Tyson, Mike Epps
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Language: English
Genre: Comedy
Running Time: 99 Minutes

This film will probably make a lot of money at the box office. After all the dramas and revivals we've been waiting for a good comedy. Is it a good comedy? Well, it's definitely a raunchy one.
It's not necessarily everyone's taste but it's got and actual story line, a funny cast and a climax at the end (although personally I found the ending a bit too perfect).

The film is cleverer than the beer party mentality suggested by the trailers and TV spots. There's a funny prologue that leads the audience into an extended flashback. The flashback lends itself to a detective story line that makes this more than just a comedy.

Doug, a good looking guy engaged to a rich and gorgeous girl is about to get married. Two days before the wedding he takes off with his three groomsmen Phil (a teacher), Stu (a dentist) and Alan (his lumpy misfit future brother-in-law) for Las Vegas to have one last night bachelor party.

His future father-in-law loans him his beloved car and assures him that "whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." The problem is that when the three groomsmen awake in a thoroughly trashed suite at Caesar's Palace, with a live tiger roaring in the bathroom, a baby in the closet and they can't find Doug. Added to all their other problems, they have no memory of what happened the night before.

Totally lacking memories of what they did and where Doug might be, they go on a hunt around town that reveals not only were they drunk but they were also drugged. There are a lot of sophomoric jokes and some prattalls along the way as they seek to uncover what really happened to them and search desperately for Doug.

There search reveals that the tiger belongs to Mike Tyson, the father-in-law's car is unaccounted for but their claim check gives them a Vegas police car, Phil is wearing a hospital bracelet that indicates some type of injury or illness, Stu's is missing front tooth and evidently married a pole dancer he just met, and there's a vengeful Asian gangster after them.

Over the hour-and-a-half most of the mystery is explained and the ending ties everything up in a neat package with a happy ending, but for my taste the film was a bit too raunchy and manages to offend a large segment of the population. The neat ending at the end is also beyond belief.

Having just reported on the excellent documentary Tyson, I was saddened to see Mike Tyson used in the way he is in this film, but he a musical segment where he sings Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight" and plays the drums is unforgettable, as are some of the really offensive jokes aimed at police, Asians, gangsters and a variety of other groups.

To get the full effect of the film it's important to sit through the credits and accompanying montage.