Sunday, June 7, 2009



In one day I saw both The Hangover and Land of the Lost. This film was the better of the two. Not only had I been anticipating this film from its strong cast of characters and great previews; the cameo from Mike Tyson is what got my blood pumping. Thankfully I didn't expect much from Tyson as an actor, because like his bout with Buster Douglas, he did not deliver. Tyson had way to many lines for how bad he was, but it was still entertaining to watch.

The Hangover is about 3 guys. Stu, Phil, and Alan are taking a trip to Vegas to throw a bachelor party for their friend Doug. They arrive and book an amazing villa at Caesar's Palace, and then get ready to go out for a night on the town. The four toast a shot of Jagermeister to a great evening. From there they wake up in a completely destroyed villa and no memory of how the previous night transpired.

The recovering party animals not only discover mass destruction to their villa; but a tiger in the bathroom, an infant in the closet, and the groom to be Doug is no where to be found. The three friends try to fit together the evening piece by piece to figure out what happened and where Doug is. As they uncover clues, they get closer to an explanation of all the crazy events of the previous evening. The friends have to figure out this mystery soon because Doug's wedding ceremony ticks ever closer.

The writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore teamed up once again (Four Christmases, Ghost of Girlfriends Past) to write a comedy filled script. I laughed quite a lot throughout. I felt that most of the humor was from the situations in the film, or the events taking place. The dialogue for the most part was very good; but it did not feature those repeatable one liners or sidesplitting quotes. The dialogue between characters was funny and gave the characters chemistry as friends.

Some of the characters however, the Asian gangster Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) in particular, just seemed ridiculous in the real world environment the story is set in. The cops deal a funny but not pratical form of punishment to the theives of a police squad car. I thought that was absurd, but funny the same. It's not like I think the story should be 100% believable, but in a real world setting it is nice to keep it real, for lack of a better way to put phrase that thought.

I really liked how the audience was exposed to the answers of all these crazy questions (Where is the tiger from? Whose baby is in the closet? How did Stu lose a tooth?) the same time the characters do. This writers did a great job of unraveling the details within the story.

It has been some time since audiences have got to see Heather Graham on the big screen (I have adored her since the Spy Who Shagged Me). She added a nice supporting role playing a stripper that Stu ends up marrying at a Vegas Chapel.

Todd Phillips has directed two of my favorite comedies of all time, Old School and Road Trip. If you have not seen either of these films, check them out and prepare to laugh. Todd once again did a fine job with his latest comedic project. His shots over and around the city of Las Vegas give the audience a good feel for the sights and the "sin" within the city. I especially liked the camera focused up close on Stu's shocked and hungover face as he walks around the demolished villa the morning after.

Overall, I really liked this film. The characters were well cast, likable, and had depth. The writers and director Mr. Phillips worked well together to create yet another good comedy. The only problem with this comedy is I went to see it with anticipation of a classic like an Old School or Wedding Crashers. Maybe all this film needed was Vince Vaughn...only a joke...the cast did fine. I am pretty sure I will like The Hangover better the second time around. If my opinion changes then, I will let you know. Otherwise do not hesitate to check this film out in theaters, unless you have a problem with: vulgarity, female nudity, male nudity, sexual content gambling, drugs, baby cruelty, or Mike Tyson's acting (which is terrible I may add).


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