The Hangover

Two days before Doug Billings (Justin Bartha) is about to get married, his friends take him to Las Vegas for one last get together. Or so they think. After awaking from a drunken and drugged stupor, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis), discover that their friend—Doug—is nowhere to be found.

As the three friends wake up, they have subtle clues as to where the groom may be and just exactly what might have happened. Stu is missing a tooth, Phil has a hospital bracelet and Alan discovers a baby in their hotel room—not to forget the wild tiger locked in their bathroom and to top it all off, their hotel room is a disaster area. What follows is a hilarious adventure across Las Vegas to try and find the Groom and to return him safely home to get married.

Directed by Todd Phillips (who also directed "Old School," "Road Trip") grabs attention right from the get-go with an edgy-funny beginning which leads into the story itself, which is set entirely in flashback. The script borders on the almost crudeness but ingeniously deters from going overboard with its comedy. Written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore provide one ludicrous moment after another as the groomsmen frantically scramble to retrace their steps so they can reconnect with the misplaced (or, quite possibly, waylaid) groom.

Piece by sordid piece, the night starts coming back to them: the hospital, the police station, the wedding chapel, and, in keeping with its theme of overindulgence, much more. Some bits are better than others, but one of the best comes when former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson enters the picture, his right hook still deadly and his version of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" already a YouTube classic.

Another highlight of the movie is the soundtrack. The music provides its own narrative score, whether an oldie such as "It's Now or Never" that has that born-in-Vegas feel, or Kanye West whose song plays as Vegas' neon skyline unfolds in front of us.

Their humour-filled journey brings them in contact with, among others, Taser-wielding cops, angry Asian gamblers, a perky dancer (Heather Graham) with newly forged ties to Stu, and a surprise cameo by former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson (played, in a bold stroke of casting, by Tyson himself).

The Hangover is truly a “buddy” movie, intended to be watched and enjoyed with friends. Perhaps one of the best comedies of this year so far.

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