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April 1, 2011 / Nick

The Hangover (film)



After missing it at the cinema, the DVD release and the digital TV premier, I eventually got around to watching The Hangover as there’s only so long you can assume you won’t like something before you have to satisfy your curiosity. And I DIDN’T like it.

"OMG. It's Mike Tyson/a baby/a tiger!"

Judging from all the trailers and promotion I assumed the film was about some guys who go on a ‘bachelor party’ in Las Vegas, lose the bachelor and a tooth and find a tiger, a baby and former professional boxer/Teflon-coated loon Mike Tyson.
And it IS about some guys who go on a ‘bachelor party’ in Las Vegas, lose the bachelor and a tooth and find a tiger, a baby and former professional boxer/Teflon-coated loon Mike Tyson. And not really a lot else.

Fast-forward fodder

At some point in recent history, comedy films seemed to stop trying to be funny throughout and instead began relying on outrageous set-pieces stitched together by a very basic plotline. Instead of re-watching the film for its pure enjoyment, you watch going ‘here comes the funny bit’, ‘here comes the other funny bit’, ‘this is how they get to the next funny bit’, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, it works very well if the ‘funny bits’ help the story along and have some more tender moments to balance the whole thing out.
With The Hangover and others films of its ilk, the ‘funny bits’ feel almost like sketches designed to divert your attention away from the nothingness surrounding them. It’s like the movie is shaking your hand and getting all your eye contact while at the same time robbing you of your wristwatch.

Has anyone seen this man? Does anybody even care?

After the first 20 or 30 minutes when it becomes apparent that the story is just going to get more and more ridiculous and less and less funny I started to lose my interest and by the last 20 minutes I was looking around the room and checking my watch (mostly to see if it was still there).

The main characters don’t have enough charisma between them to carry such a cumbersome carcass of a plotline. Not a single one of them does anything that hasn’t been done ten times better in other comedy films. In fact, they aren’t really doing anything that hasn’t already been covered on the Hollyoaks ‘hangover TV’ Omnibus every Sunday morning.

Without wanting the spoil the film for you (believe me, it does that fine for itself), the groom-to-be somehow manages to survive 2 nights heavily dehydrated in a frustratingly obvious place and everything works out.
Unlike the similar ‘what happened last night’ comedy Dude, Where’s My Car, there isn’t a thought-provoking exploration of human existentialism in The Hangover. Instead, just some silly grown adults getting into ludicrous scrapes that just didn’t interest me.

Review: Yaaaaaawn!
3/10

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. JB / Apr 6 2011 12:21 pm

    I think this is one case where the sequel could actually be better than the original

    • Nick / Apr 6 2011 6:06 pm

      Totally agree. The trailer for the Part II actually looks quite decent, although maybe a bit samey. I don’t think they were expecting much success from the first one which could be why it’s a bit flat.

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