June 27, 2009

#030: The Hangover

Yes! That is correct. I am writing a post about a movie that is still in theaters. I haven't been to the theater since last November, so this is my first movie-going experience of 2009. I am not sure what spurred us to pay matinee prices to go see this film on the big screen. I guess we got sick of sitting in the house, and it was way too hot to do anything outside. I have heard lots of good things about The Hangover, so I was pretty sure I wouldn't be too disappointed with spending $6.50 per ticket. Okay, on to the movie...

I didn't warm up to this film right at first. I like Ed Helms as an actor, but I wasn't sure about the other 3 guys. However, just a few minutes into it I was totally buying the characters, and felt they all did a good job. The only one that didn't do great job was the guy who played Doug, the bachelor. It wasn't that he was a bad actor, there is just something about him. Luckily he isn't in the film very much. After coming home I looked him up and saw he is the same guy who played Nick Cage's sidekick in the National Treasure movies. I have never seen the sequel, but his character in the first movie is right up there with JarJar Binks as "most annoying supporting role." I guess I subconsciously remembered not liking him. Anyway, his part is pretty small, and he does a fine job in The Hangover. The story got my attention pretty quickly and the rest of the time I was glued to the screen; waiting to see what these guys were going to do next. I felt the pacing was really good. There was never a dull moment, but it never felt like it was going too fast. It gave you just enough time to catch all the humor, but then quickly moved on to the next joke.

I really don't have anything negative to say about this movie. It made me laugh a lot, but it was different than a lot of comedies. Even in great comedies there are some jokes that completely don't land. You think to yourself, "that was kinda stupid", but you don't dwell on it, and just move on. I really don't think there were any of those moments in the movie. It felt like everything had been edited very thoroughly, and they spent a lot of time thinking about the scenes that would make up the final cut. The timing of the delivery and the tone of the acting was always spot on. While this makes for a very enjoyable movie to watch, it somehow felt..... I guess unrealistic. That is confusing, cause I am not saying anything that happens in this film is realistic. It is just that a character never stumbles on their words or thinks about what they are going to say. It is as if these people know their emotions exactly, and are poised with the words and facial expressions to portray those emotions. The lines are delivered... and hilarity ensues. The people behind this movie did a great job in really thinking out the storyline and using it to facilitate the jokes. Other comedies have fallen into the trap of having a series of jokes they want to deliver and the storyline is almost secondary; it's only there to get us from one joke to the next. Pineapple express is a very good example of a movie guilty of this. Towards the end of The Hangover, it felt like it was sputtering out a little bit. Things get resolved and I felt like the movie was over, but for some reason moving pictures were still appearing on the screen. Then we get the payoff at the very end, and we are left to walk out of the theater with big smiles on our faces.

I definitely would encourage you to see this movie. You could probably wait for it to come out on DVD, but I am pleased I got to see it in the theater. I will go ahead and say it is the best comedy I have seen this year. Yes, even better than Role Models.


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