From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Hangover - B

Rated R for pervasive language, sexual content including nudity, and some drug material, 100 minutes

You'll remember this "Hangover": rude, crude and bawdy

You won't soon forget "The Hangover," which takes lewd, low-brow humor to a new level. It doesn't do much in the way of inventive storytelling, but there are more than a few amusing moments to keep this energetic, raucous comedy rolling to big box-office. By the way, if you stay for the credits, you'll find out what the main characters couldn't remember and also discover "The Hangover's" funniest moments.

"The Hangover's" premise is simple: Doug (Justin Bartha from the "National Treasure" movies) is about to get married. His groomsmen: the suave, smooth and married school teacher Phil (Bradley Cooper), uptight and henpecked dentist Stu (Ed Helms of "The Office") and his future slacker brother-in-law Alan (comedian Zach Galifianakis). Armed with cash and a sweet ride, his father-in-law to be's classic Mercedes, they set out for one last night of nasty "what happens in Vegas" fun.

They wake up to a totally trashed hotel room with a tiger, Stu missing a tooth, a baby and all of them completely unable to remember what happened, courtesy of some drugs that Alan slipped them. And their lead man, their groom Doug, is missing and the three must embark on a crazy journey to get him back and to the most important day of his life.

The lively, silly antics of "The Hangover" make it so absurd but also absurdly fun to be a part of. Todd Phillips, director of "Old School," helms some memorable moments in "Hangover"; it's not a particularly great film - a familiar, exceedingly thin storyline and cardboard characters - but then it's packed with such sophomoric, witty fun that it's best to sit back and enjoy the ride. All the actors gel together well and seem to enjoy each other's company. Cooper, Helms and Galifianakis are a treat, especially scruffy man-boy slacker Galifianakis, who can incite laughs by just standing silently with a goofy look (he's also referred to as "Fat Jesus" by a cop). It's unfortunate that Bartha, an engagingly handsome actor, is hardly around for the more memorable parts of the "The Hangover."

And what fun "The Hangover" is. It's hard to describe how all of it fits together without giving away the movie, but there are some memorably silly moments that involve Mike Tyson, the baby, a stripper, a gay Asian man named Mr. Chow (who they find in the trunk of the Mercedes), a police car and the film's most hilarious scene - a taser demonstration with some kids. Ken Jeong, who played the evil king from the equally funny "Role Models" last fall, nearly steals the movie with some high kicks and drolly sassy (and utterly offensive, if you're Asian) lines that can't be repeated here. Jeffrey Tambor, Mike Epps and even Heather Graham all get in a few moments of fun.

As mentioned earlier, if you stay over to the credits, you'll find out what actually happened through some rather nasty, crude photographs, but they're also the best part of the movie. Not everyone may care for "The Hangover" (and it's definitely not one for the kiddoes) and you shouldn't expect much, but you can certainly expect to have fun and enjoy a few hearty laughs, which isn't always a bad thing.