Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Hangover Review

Overall Grade: C-

The Hangover is not only one of the most pedestrian sex comedies I've seen in a while, but it's also the most overrated. The Hangover takes an interesting premise and squanders it with cardboard characters doing immoral actions and ultimately learning nothing from anything while getting away with everything. As the men learn of their escapades their reaction is laughter and incredulity, its never remorse or reflection. Don't be fooled, The Hangover is no Wedding Crashers nor is it even Knocked Up, this film could've starred Jerry O'Connell and gone straight to DVD in college towns.

Of course, the first response will be, "Kyle, relax, it's just a comedy". It is the very fact that it is all played just for laughs that makes the film so offensive to me. These men purposefully go to Vegas for a wild night of possible debauchery and then awake in the morning to "shockingly" find that they actually had a night of debauchery. This isn't a comedy of errors, it isn't one coincidence rolling into another, nor is it wrong place-wrong time, these are events that happened at the (mostly) free will of inebriated men. Where is the comedy in that? Not to mention that while the guys have good onscreen chemistry, there isn't a truly likeable character in the bunch. One of the characters isn't allowed near schools (a line played off for a joke), and one character (playing an elementary teacher, husband, and father) is the true instigator of the evening.

The Hangover then has the audacity to include only crude, annoying, or ignorant females. One possible wife for one of our leads is such a cartoonish and overblown conservative character that Sarah Palin would make fun of her. Adding insult to injury, the end credits feature the most lewd and crude footage of the entire film, including fully uncensored sexual acts that an Apatow film would blush at. That the film wants to me laugh at drugged, inebriated men, cheating on their wives and girlfriends with strippers, hookers, and apparently random women in elevators is offensive to me, and I would hope it would offend most people. There is no redeeming moral, not even a small and insignificant arch that the film could be proud of.

A lot of times it takes one person in the crowd to stand up and question something before others realize the foolishness which they have embraced. Its one thing to laugh at some of the sequences and images (I'm not calling your gut reactions wrong here), but this celebration of deviant behavior should be called for what it is. If what I have described is something that you feel completely comfortable with, then this is a film that is right up your alley. However, for everyone else who laughed at the premise in the trailer and heard how popular the film was, I caution you to stay away.

2 comments:

abigail honeycutt said...

This is such a well written piece.

piercegradone said...

That's too bad.