The Hangover (2009)

Movie Title: The Hangover

Year Released: 2009

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 48min

Genre: Comedy

Director: Todd Phillips

Writer: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Heather Graham, Justin Bartha, Jeffrey Tambor, Sasha Barrese, Sondra Currie, Ken Jeong, Mike Tyson, Mike Epps

Review: Two days before his wedding, Doug (Justin Bartha) and three friends (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis) drive to Las Vegas for a wild and memorable stag party. In fact, when the three groomsmen wake up the next morning, they can't remember a thing; nor can they find Doug. With little time to spare, the three hazy pals try to re-trace their steps and find Doug so they can get him back to Los Angeles in time to walk down the aisle.

When The Hangover first came out, I was a sophomore in college, and I thought it was perhaps the funniest movie I had ever seen. While my movie acumen has become more refined over the last decade, the aforementioned statement may not be entirely true. With that said, this movie has absolutely withstood the test of time and remains to be a wildly hilarious, entertaining film. I think the real stars here are Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis. These three have a lot of chemistry and provide a wealth of laughs from beginning to end. There are really no lulls in this film, and the plot becomes surprisingly captivating as our three amigos try to find their dear friend Doug. Ken Jeong is also fantastic in this film, playing the unpredictable "villain," Mr. Chow. This was my first exposure to Jeong as this was first released right around the same time as his hit TV show, Community. This was also my first exposure to Galifianakis, and I think this film was a springboard for both of their careers so to speak.

While this film may be oftentimes crass and vulgar, fans of comedy will appreciate this film for being over the top, absurd, and laugh out loud funny throughout. There aren't many films that I can say that for, and when you add the many bizarre, unexpected plot twists, you truly get a movie that is both funny and riveting. Who doesn't love a wacky adventure involving shotgun weddings, a missing baby, stolen police cars, and Mike Tyson's tiger? This is by far the best movie in The Hangover Trilogy (and the first), and still made me cry of laughter after all of these years. It's time to join the wolf pack! Grab your satchel, beware of bathroom tigers, and strap in. This is one trip to Vegas that, despite the ironic name of this film, you will never forget!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Lindsay Lohan was offered the part of Jade, but turned it down. She did not like the script and thought the movie would bomb. Heather Graham was given the role instead. Lohan later admitted to regretting the decision.


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