johnlink ranks THE HANGOVER (2009)

I’ve never been to Vegas. I’m probably alive only because I never went on a trip to Vegas during my daredevil college years. A lot of my good buddies go regularly, but I never got out there. But I intend to. And when I do, I hope it’s a little like THE HANGOVER, but not too much…

THE HANGOVER is the story of three guys who have lost their best friend after a blackout Vegas night. They have about 36 hours to piece together the night, find him, and get him back for his wedding.

I watched THE HANGOVER (2009) in theaters on 6.10.09. It was my first viewing of the film.

NOTE: THIS UTILIZES THE SITE’S ORIGINAL SYSTEMIC ARTICLE STYLE. ALL RANKINGS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ARRIVED AT WITH THE SAME RUBRIC.

FILM

This move has a softer heart then I expected, especially after reading one of the guys on Aintitcool.com say it has a black soul. This is not the abject pessimism of something like VERY BAD THINGS. In THE HANGOVER, these guys are brutal at times. But they really do all want what is best for their friend. They see the bachelor party as a right of passage, and they intend to give him a good time. What they do when they are drunk (and drugged) is somewhat out of their control, but what they do afterwards is (more often that not)  the right choice.

There are also some cool sequences in this thing. The end credits instantly leapt up there with the LIAR, LIAR gag reel as the most memorable end credits ever (though the ones here are a huge part of the story). And the fifteen minutes after the guys wake up post-binge are the kind of comic gold where you can experience it once, and revel in the joy of it. Every time you see the movie later you have that sort of anticipatory ‘oh-here-it-comes’ feeling, but the hilarious bliss of discovery from seeing this movie the first time is rare for a comedy (for me anyway). SCORE: 7

MOVIE

This is the funniest movie I have seen in a long time. I don’t want to ruin anything about the gags. If you know nothing, just see it. Yes these guys aren’t always likable, and yes many of the situations defy believability. But there is a great amount of fun to be had in sitting back and just letting this movie happen in front of you. SCORE: 9

ACTING

We won’t be mentioning these guys with Olivier, or Hoffman (either of ’em), or anything like that. But I went into this with low expectations, and was really impressed with the characters these guys created. Bradley Cooper is a great devil-on-the-shoulder type. I was only peripherally aware of him as an actor (most notably, for me anyway, from ALIAS), but I will be looking for him more. And I’ve seen enough of Zach Galifianakis’ ass to last me a lifetime, but I would watch anything he is in now. His delivery in this movie is great. The only letdown is Heather Graham, but she has a small enough role to not hurt the overall chemistry of the three main guys.

There is a small moment in the end when one of the characters sees his wife and son. The way he embraces them is subtle and doesn’t have some cheesy dialogue, but it tells everything we need to know about how the character has changed since the beginning. In many movies this would be some big moment, here it is allowed to tell its own story. The acting in this thing, overall, just really took me by surprise. SCORE: 7

WRITING

What a funny and bold script. These guys are never allowed to become so big and hammy that they can’t come down to Earth and show compassion for each other. That is where this story really got me. Yes crazy shit happens to friends (and that is magnified in this movie), yes they can act like real assholes, but they do it (in a fucked up way) for each other. To make each other laugh, to make each other want to top what they just did. This movie gets a little too randomly out there to warrant a perfect, or near perfect score. But it is among the highest writing marks I’ve given anything in awhile, and that is due to its originality, hilarity, and its optimism. SCORE: 8

FINAL TALLY

FILM: 7; MOVIE: 9; ACTING: 7; WRITING: 8

7+9+7+8+0= 31

FINAL SCORE: 7.75

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~ by johnlink00 on June 10, 2009.

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