out of Five
Running time: 110
Hugely enjoyable and frequently hilarious, this is a sharply written comedy with strong comic performances from a terrific ensemble cast.
What's it all about?
Directed by Todd Phillips (Road Trip, Old School), The Hangover stars Justin Bartha as Doug, a groom-to-be who heads to Las Vegas for a raucous stag weekend two days before his wedding, with his best friends Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) as well as his slightly weird future brother-in-law Alan (Zach Galifianakis). However, after their first night, Phil, Stu and Alan wake up to find Doug missing, a tiger in their bathroom, a baby in the corner, evidence Stu has married a stripper (Heather Graham) and their classic Mercedes (loaned by Doug's father-in-law, played by Jeffrey Tambor) replaced by a police car.
With time running out before the wedding, Phil, Stu and Alan have to piece together the events of the previous night if they're going to have any hope of finding Doug. The only problem is that none of them can remember anything that happened.
Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms (The Office) and Zach Galifianakis make a terrific trio, bouncing lines off each other left, right and centre and displaying engaging comic chemistry. There's also strong support from Mike Tyson (playing himself in a hilarious cameo that's only half-ruined by the trailer), Heather Graham (who's sadly underused, but still funny) and a scene-stealing Ken Jeong (Role Models) as an angry, foul-mouthed mobster.
The sharply written script contains several hilarious lines and Phillips keeps things zipping breathlessly along from one ridiculous encounter to the next. He also orchestrates several extremely funny set-pieces that will have you clutching your sides with laughter (Jeong's character's first appearance is pure comedy gold).
The Hangover is perfect Friday night entertainment – a hugely enjoyable comedy with a superb script and terrific comic performances. Make sure you stick around during the credits for a series of extremely funny photos that fills in all the gaps. Highly recommended.