Movies Reviews

‘The Hangover’ keeps the party going

Hangovers suck. Your eyeballs raped by sunlight. The shagpile-carpet tongue. The squash court inside your skull. That urge to gulp all the water in the toilet bowl. The acid whirlpool spiralling in your belly. The urgent need to die.

Still, it’s nothing a greasy breakfast, another bottle of vodka, or Romanian tripe soup can’t fix.

Less easy to deal with: waking up in a trashed Las Vegas hotel room, a tiger in the loo, unknown baby in the closet, a friend disappeared, no recollection of the wild night before, and help from Gil Grisom’s CSI team strangely unforthcoming.

Welcome to the day from hell – or a comedy so mind-blowingly, nose-snortingly funny you may forget to breathe. That’s not a good idea though – you could pass out and miss some of the laughs.

And there are plenty of those. The guy who wrote ‘Four Christmases’ (but don’t hold that against him) hits the jackpot here with a runaway plot that relies less on witty dialogue and snappy punchlines than throwing a series of outrageous situations on three pretty average men. It’s a setup the relatively unknown actors embrace like the porcelain throne after an out of control bachelor party.

Bradley Cooper (oh, him from ‘Yes Man’, ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ and those Matthew McConaughey movies) is ridiculously unfazed as the group’s smooth talking de facto leader absolutely convinced he’s got the situation under control. He doesn’t.

Ed Helms (the ass kisser with anger management issues on America’s ‘The Office’) nerds it up as the hen-pecked, tightly wound dentist on the verge of a complete meltdown. And melt down he certainly does.

But it’s Zach Galifianakis (who recently admitted to, at various times, waking up underneath a car with the engine still running; and wandering into a house, puking on the rug, falling asleep on the couch and leaving in the morning) who’s the real life of the (after-)party. The stand-up comedian is just a little too convincing as the weirdo “one-man wolfpack”, borderline sex fiend and volunteer babysitter who does little to calm the situation.

That’s up to ‘Old School’ director Todd Philips who expertly wrangles his leads through the random chaos that unfolds as they run into incompetent police officers, Asian gangsters, a clingy stripper (hello again, Heather Graham) and Mike Tyson air-drumming to Phil Collins’ ‘In The Air Tonight’.

With all that – and even more laughs – to expect, this is one hangover that doesn’t suck.

  • This article originally appeared on

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s