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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

The Hangover, (2009) - Unrated and Unhinged

Rating: ★★★★ (4/5 Stars)

Released 06-05-2009

Watched 05-21-2024

Reviewed 05-25-2024

Checked out from the Library

"Ok, kids, you're in for a real treat today. These gentlemen have kindly volunteered to demonstrate how a stun gun is used to subdue a suspect..."

“The Hangover” is a comedic tour de force that has left audiences in stitches since its release in 2009. Directed by Todd Phillips, this film is a masterclass in chaos, chronicling the outrageous misadventures of four friends during a bachelor party in Las Vegas. With its unrated version, the movie adds an extra layer of rawness that amplifies its already raucous humor.

The premise is simple yet brilliant: Doug (Justin Bartha) is about to get married, and his best friends Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) take him to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. The next morning, they wake up without remembering the previous night, a missing groom, and a tiger in their bathroom. The rest of the movie follows their frantic and often hysterical attempts to piece together the night's events and find Doug.

What makes “The Hangover” stand out is its ensemble cast. Bradley Cooper delivers a suave yet devil-may-care performance as Phil, the group's unofficial leader. Ed Helms shines as Stu, the straight-laced dentist who lets loose in the most unexpected ways. However, Zach Galifianakis, the eccentric and socially awkward Alan, steals the show. His comedic timing and bizarre antics provide some of the film’s most memorable moments.

The screenplay by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore is packed with laugh-out-loud moments. The humor ranges from clever one-liners to slapstick comedy, ensuring never dull moments. The film’s pacing is brisk, with each scene escalating the absurdity to new heights. The unrated version, in particular, offers more risqué humor and outlandish situations, catering to those who crave unfiltered comedy.

However, it’s worth noting that some of the jokes and cultural references may also not hold up in 2024. Certain gags that were hilarious in 2009 might now come across as dated or insensitive. Despite this, the core of the movie—friendship, misadventure, and the wild unpredictability of a night out—remains timeless.

Lawrence Sher's cinematography captures the vibrant and sometimes seedy essence of Las Vegas, while the score perfectly complements the film’s frenetic energy. The movie’s production design and attention to detail, particularly in the aftermath scenes, add an extra layer of humor to the visual storytelling.

In conclusion, “The Hangover” is a comedy gem that still manages to entertain with its outrageous scenarios and stellar cast performances. While some jokes may feel a bit outdated, the film’s ability to evoke genuine laughter and surprise makes it a classic worth revisiting. Whether it’s your first time watching or a nostalgic rewatch, “The Hangover” promises a wild and hilarious ride.

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