The Hangover Movie Review
As of last summer, I thought the debauched-road-trip-to-Vegas-with-buddies genre was pretty much played out. With pictures like Go and Very Bad Things out there, what else could a filmmaker toss in to the mix to keep it fresh?
How about collective memory loss, a tiger, a misplaced baby, a missing tooth, and a Mike Tyson cameo? Waking up in a trashed suite that’s missing its groom-to-be, the three remaining friends (Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper, and Zack Galifianakis) try to retrace their steps through the previous night’s raunchfest. Effortlessly directed by Todd Phillips (Road Trip, Old School), this pee-in-your-pants funny film is pure escapism and a worthy antidote for these down times. What the Marx Brothers did for audiences in the 1930s, this crew managed to pull off for an entire nation in 2009.
Now the top-grossing R-rated film comedy of all time, The Hangover is out in a Blu-ray edition just in time for the holiday blues. Since this ridiculously popular movie seared its brand of humor into public consciousness months ago, I wouldn’t dream of trying to sum it up here. If you haven’t seen it yet and own a Blu-ray Disc player (why else would you be reading?), then it’s a no-brainer. Buy it. Play it. Oh, but it’s comedy. Why would you want to buy a comedy in high-def? Because the transfer looks and sounds great, and these days Blu-ray discs aren’t that much more expensive than a DVD.
Here’s what you’ll get in this BD version:
• A rated and unrated version. This is becoming fairly standard with projects that pushed the censors. In general, it’s cool to have the director’s version. Here, there’s about seven minutes tagged on, though it’s hardly worth the titillation that “unrated” normally suggests.
• Special Features – These are all pretty cool.
- Map of Destruction – lays out all fifteen stops on a map you can click on and view short clips about making the film. No question, the segment at Mike Tyson’s house rules over all others.
- Madness of Ken Jeong – Ah, Ken Jeong. An acquired taste for some, a master improv artist for others. This offering makes his case. You decide.
- Gag Reel – Actually quite funny in parts. Perhaps it’s the voyeurism of watching actors crack up on set.
- The Dan Band – with a clean version of the song
- Three Best Friends – OK, I could have done without this song, but here it is.
- Mash-Up – Not bad, not great. Slapstick action bits. Eh?
• BD Live Material – Basically, you get more Mike Tyson doing “In The Air Tonight” and a mash-up of foul language. Overall, the BD Live could have stood to be stronger.
• Commentary – If you purchase the Two-disc DVD version of this film, you are out of luck. Only the Blu-ray edition boasts a commentary track. Makes sense if you’re company trying to encourage Blu-ray. Frankly, it isn’t the most inspired session, especially given the hilarity of what ensues. I blame part of it on having PiP involved. Knowing you’re on camera while commenting doesn’t lend itself to relaxed observation. But I doubt that even with the cameras off, these guys would have had more to offer. (As an example of a funny and informative commentary track, I recommend Fight Club.)
This is a seriously funny film. Seriously. People who love this film, and there are tons of people who do, pity those that just don’t get it. And even if you think you might not “get it”, buy the disc and put your brain on autopilot. Let The Hangover do its job.