Short version: Who would have thought? The Hangover is a crude, crass comedy that manages to be smart at the same time - oh, and funny as hell.
Screen Rant reviews The Hangover
When you start laughing about 30 seconds into a movie, that's usually a good sign.
The plot of The Hangover is very simple: Three buddies (and one tag-along) head to Las Vegas to celebrate the impending marriage of one of their own with a bachelor party weekend. They get so incredibly blasted on the night of their arrival that they don't remember a single thing that happened - of course maximum mayhem ensued during the evening, and they must piece together because the groom-to-be has gone missing.
Now I'm pretty finicky when it comes to comedies, especially the R-rated variety. "Stupid-funny" doesn't work for me at all, so based on some of what I'd seen in the marketing I was a bit concerned I was possibly in for some vulgar, dumb humor. While The Hangover is certainly vulgar and not for everyone, I found it to be far from stupid. The dialog and characters are brilliant, and had me laughing throughout most of the film.
We've got a great cast of characters - Bradley Cooper as Phil, the handsome, smooth talker of the group, Ed Helms as Stu Price - the dentist who keeps reminding people he's a doctor, and Zach Galifianakis who steals the movie as Alan, the future brother in law of Doug (Justin Bartha). In addition we have Stu's insane yuppie girlfriend, Heather Graham gorgeous as the old stand by "hooker with a heart of gold," Jeffrey Tambor as the future father-in-law and Ken Jeong as "Mr. Chow."
I don't usually list so many actors, but they all did such a great job that I just had to give them all a shout. While Jeffrey Tambor had a small role, he's just great at chewing the scenery even with just a look and not a lot of screen time. Ken Jeong was priceless as the Asian gangster, absolutely hysterical - but the stand out performance had to be Zach Galifianakis as the "not quite all there" member of the troupe. He plays the role as almost mildly retarded, and the lines he delivers and the way he says them are probably on their own enough to make you want to see the movie again.
There are great bits throughout the entire film, and while it does bog down for a bit about 3/4 of the way through, but it regains its footing soon enough to wrap up with a really great ending. However I loved how they handled the backtracking to figure out just what happened the night before - they didn't resort to flashbacks or fancy back and forward time-jumps... we just hung with the guys real-time and discovered the pieces to the puzzle along with them. So not only do we have great comedy, as a bonus we get a mystery to unravel as well.
Rest assured this movie earns its R-rating so for the love of Pete leave the kids at HOME for this one. If you can't afford a babysitter this week, save a couple of bucks a day and wait until next week to see it. What really blew my mind was the fact that the most extreme scenes in the movie actually don't appear until the credits are rolling. I won't give away anything other than to say if you're offended by sexually explicit material, you'd better leave just as the credits begin to roll. Frankly I'd like to know how the hell they got the very last thing that appears past the MPAA and retained an R rating.
However if you're into R-rated comedies and don't mind crude and crass humor, The Hangover is not to be missed.