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Overall Rating

Awesome: 32.32%
Worth A Look: 17.68%
Just Average: 7.32%
Pretty Crappy: 4.27%

5 reviews, 134 user ratings

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Hangover, The
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by Erik Childress

"Todd Phillips - The Uwe Boll Of Comedy"
1 stars

The directors who get the most grief tend to be the ones put in charge of large budgets and franchises. It’s a sure step towards being singled out for failure if you don’t deliver. Run it up the flagpole and such criticism gets more heated and reactionary when you start to build up a body of work that is roundly trampled on for one reason or another as Brett Ratner and McG can attest to. Despite all their financial successes, you rarely hear anyone say they are a fan of Paul W.S. Anderson or Roland Emmerich. Michael Bay might be the king of the big-budget hackery and who can deny that Uwe Boll towers over everyone in the low-budget. Comedy, on the other hand, tends to produce more hacks than the action genre and yet more often we tend to just casually swat away their names like flies. Steven Brill, Raja Gosnell, Shawn Levy, Brian Robbins, Adam Shankman. These are names on the credits that provide the first clue you have just been ripped off. The sheer frequency of product that Tyler Perry has churned out since 2005 have certainly earned him any number of negative titles but his material is rather amateur before the first slate is clicked. There is one director though over the last decade who has somehow managed to ruin one comedic possibility after another and found a way to make talented casts seem unfunny thanks to egregiously bad timing. His name is Todd Phillips and with The Hangover he may have officially become the Uwe Boll of comedy.

Doug Billings (Justin Bartha) is getting married and on his way to his bachelor party in Vegas. Going with him are Phil (Bradley Cooper), the obligatory married guy who warns his friend over what he’s getting into; Stu (Ed Helms), the put-upon dentist in a relationship with the shrew of shrews (Rachael Harris) who has already cheated on him; and Alan (Zach Galifianakis), the slow, goofy brother of the bride. They get the biggest suite at the hotel (reluctantly on Stu’s credit card) and in a rooftop toast promise to have a night they’ll never forget. Cut to the next morning. They’ve forgotten everything. Stu is missing a tooth. A tiger is in the bathroom. Scariest of all – the groom is missing.

For all the amateur detectives out there eager to piece this outrageous mystery together, allow me to lay out the facts as we know them from the film’s trailer. At some point during the night, Phil was in the hospital. An unclaimed baby has been left in the closet. They have stolen a police car with an angry Asian guy in the trunk. Stu got married and gave the holocaust ring he was going to propose to the shrew with to a stripper (Heather Graham). And somehow in the middle of all of this, Mike Tyson is involved. These are the facts and they are undisputed. The guys have less than two days to connect the drunken dots, find Doug and drive him back to the altar in time for the wedding.

Bachelor parties and pending nuptials gone wrong in Vegas are hardly fresh. Phil could have saved his speeches and just shown Doug a double feature of Honeymoon In Vegas and Very Bad Things as a warning. Just four years ago the CineVegas film festival premiered a film called Vegas Baby. It would eventually go straight-to-video under the title, Bachelor Party Vegas, with Kal Penn and Donald Faison, and was a “comedy” about five guys getting a Fincheresque lesson in disasterous partying over the course of one night. It’s tagline – “This is one weekend they will never forget!” Apparently neither have screenwriters Jon Lucas & Scott Moore (Four Christmases) who could have drafted up one incredible coincidence, but after their work on Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (which also featured a lead on a mission to abolish an upcoming wedding) it’s hard not to believe they didn’t run into that previous film’s DVD cover at some point. At least they have focused their derivitive aim from Dickens to DTV titles now.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was amused at the previews for The Hangover, if only for being right in the middle of fulfilling my Best Man duties and planning a bachelor party in Vegas myself. Knowing Todd Phillips was behind it all though provided the same reality pause when I would be reminded that McG was behind the cool-looking new Terminator film. How did that all work out? Where McG was saddled more with a woeful screenplay, it’s Phillips’ signature handling of the comic situations that suck the life out of every opportunity. It can’t be his editors. With the exception of Starsky & Hutch’s Leslie Jones getting some help on School for Scoundrels, Phillips has used a different one on every film. If that sampling of his resume isn’t enough to turn you off, you’re probably still stuck on the ads’ reminder that The Hangover comes courtesy of the director of Old School, which continues to have its share of supporters. And every time I come upon one of them I ask them to stand front and center and quote one good laugh line or moment from the final hour of that film. “You’re my boy, Blue!” doesn’t count.

Old School is a sticking point as it was the first indication where Phillips could take an A-list cast of comic talent and drown them under a sea of poor takes where he never knows where to begin or end. The Hangover is more equivalent to Phillips’ Road Trip in terms of casting (another Murphy’s Law comedy that featured Breckin Meyer, Paulo Costanzo, D.J. Qualls and Seann William Scott, fresh off of playing Stifler the first time.) No offense intended to Ed Helms, who is funny every week on The Office (even if he never gets up from his chair) or Zach Galifianakis, very funny in the stand-up doc, The Comedians of Comedy and the gone-too-soon, Dog Bites Man. Zach even got the one decent laugh in last year’s sin city atrocity, What Happens In Vegas, and manages the same here with his knowledge of a tiger’s condiment preferences. These are talented guys who just don’t have the same cache right now as Vince Vaughn or Will Ferrell and Phillips treats them like pawns he caught pulling a train on his girlfriend. We’ve seen Ben Stiller, Jeremy Piven and Vaughn in bad movies before. They may have even phoned in a performance or two. Rarely have they looked as stifled as they do in a Phillips film though. Now picture Bradley Cooper and Justin Bartha in the same position.

Cooper takes on the Vaughn role from Old School here; the loudmouth who would rather protect his friend from marriage than support him. The protestor speaking from experience who is revealed to be a loving, faithful softie underneath. To a lesser degree Helms follows Ferrell as the square who needs to eventually man-up and bust-out. And if you thought Luke Wilson is as bland a straight man as they come, you haven’t seen Justin Bartha yet, whose greatest triumph in the film comes in being off screen for most of it. Galifianakis is the token dumb guy used for cheap laughs including seeing his bare ass and his privates (both) twice - including one XXX moment during the final credits. Phillips blows the entire arc of his character though. Is he truly dumb or just childlike? We never quite get a definitive answer on that question except to truck in an ultra-lame Rain Man sequence that is devoid of any laughs or irony and instead of finding any sense of satire, the scene plays like cut footage from last year’s 21 calamity.

Phillips is so desperate to remind people that he’s the guy behind Old School that he includes his third cameo as a sexual degenerate and Dan Finnerty as the inappropriate wedding singer. Funny the first time around. A cute throwaway in Starsky & Hutch. Pretty pathetic here. Not nearly as much as the asides the film takes away from the central thrust of the plot. These include the unfunny payoffs of a stun gun demonstration (as payback for the stolen cop car) and the horrors of body aging in a hospital (which includes another naked male ass to go along with more full frontal later on from an actor not named Zach.) At least Heather Graham momentarily pops a breast to keep us interested.

Lucas & Moore’s script is hardly all that clever in piecing together the previous night’s events. They find nothing funny about Stu’s impromptu wedding. Scenes at the 24-hour chapel and with Graham die on the spot. No further curiosity over the owner of the tiger or how they found his house. No consequences or payoff to how screwed Stu's credit is after what they do to the room. No suspicion raised by the Caesar’s Palace crew over guys pulling up drunk in a police car (and I’ve seen a half-dozen security guards there swarm over the mere suggestion of impropriety.) These lapses in creativity and logic may not have meant as much if any of it were at all funny. But these are the differences between a feature comedy and one sent straight to the video shelves. Sad as it may seem, Bachelor Party Vegas is a better option than this. If the case hadn’t been made already from his previous body of work, The Hangover may turn out to be the film studied in comedy classes around the world on how not to direct one. Reportedly, Phillips quit as the director of Borat because he felt the character needed a supporting character as a filter to his beliefs. Later he would say its because he was worried over potential backlash by the rodeo crowd over the one scene he directed. Finally, an argument for the South rising again.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=18120&reviewer=198
originally posted: 06/05/09 00:00:00
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User Comments

3/24/18 morris campbell smart & funny 4 stars
3/06/17 Louise (the actual one) Funny, why do so many hate this? It's typical US humour. I enjoyed it. 4 stars
5/06/13 Charles Tatum Dark and funny 4 stars
3/26/13 Liz Great movie... If you like crap 1 stars
11/18/12 Sean Harrison Stupidly Hilarious 4 stars
2/19/12 meep Utter shit, makes America and those who like this worthy of nothing but contempt 1 stars
6/25/11 John Airey Very funny...Who thinks of this stuff? 5 stars
3/14/11 Ionicera I expected it to be better, but it had a few funny moments 3 stars
11/28/10 funk best movie ever people really gotta lightin up they get offended if some on breathes 5 stars
7/17/10 Dwight Bradley Cooper is always angry, not funny 1 stars
6/21/10 RLan It's good, but not great 3 stars
6/08/10 Flathead King There are some funny parts in this film but overall, I was disappointed with it. 2 stars
3/26/10 Jiz Unfunny bullshit. Oh yeah and Friedberg and Seltzer are the real Uwe Bolls of comedy. 1 stars
3/05/10 Joe How does it feel to be laughably wrong? 5 stars
1/16/10 RobertJ Disgusting, Disgusting, Disgusting..Producers should be investigated for child abuse. 1 stars
1/09/10 Derek If you're the kind of person who does nothing with their life but drink alcohol, maybe 1 stars
1/09/10 jeramie Well, obviously, this movie isn't for everyone, but it's one of the BEST! 5 stars
1/07/10 lexee balllsss 1 stars
1/04/10 Spiral Architect If you thought this film was funny, please do not reproduce. 1 stars
1/04/10 Monday Morning This really has its moments - quite a bit of laugh-out-loud stuff. 5 stars
1/02/10 Jacques Just plain moronic, brain dead, crude, vulgar, stupid....I 1 stars
1/01/10 turnthe best comedy in years, reviewer is a lame 5 stars
12/27/09 tom pathetic! will be big hit in college drunk circuit. 1 stars
12/27/09 Mike D Worst movie on the planet. The guy who wrote this review liked it a lot more than I did. 1 stars
12/25/09 chloe douches will love. everyone else will wish they hadn't bothered. 1 stars
12/25/09 Todd Gak Simply not funny 1 stars
12/16/09 Jason People need to lighten up! This movie is hilarious! 5 stars
12/08/09 Bettie The Hangover - worst movie I have ever seen. No laughs, no brains, just garbage. 1 stars
12/02/09 Andrew Johnson Lighten up David. The genre is the best Ive seen. Shock humour at it;s best! 5 stars
11/23/09 Jake Maybe this movie wasn't for you but you don't have to be a conceited douche bag about it 5 stars
11/10/09 gary i'v seen way too many classic comedies to like this. just not funny 1 stars
11/08/09 Mohammed While watching the film, the writer nevr forgot for a second that he had t review it later 4 stars
10/12/09 Roy Smith Solid shit dunked in liquid shit 1 stars
10/03/09 Fahiem critic is spot on and why all the chidldish remarks? 3 stars
10/02/09 whistler you obviously have issues with your dead father 5 stars
9/28/09 Richard This movie was LAME! I left half way through! 2 stars
9/19/09 theone Hilarious. 5 stars
9/11/09 Kevin 4-year-old humor, don't ever pay for it, punch yourself in the face you'll save money 1 stars
9/07/09 Bob This movie sucked hard. Terribly unfunny 1 stars
8/28/09 Boo underlying message is revolting- if any women found it funny, they're a bit thick 1 stars
8/24/09 foobar Absolutely pathetic. Total Crap. 1 stars
8/13/09 John spot on review, wanted this movie to rock, but it was a box of rox 1 stars
8/03/09 sam good 5 stars
8/03/09 SooS Ed Helm's character is Stu, not Phil dumbass.... 5 stars
8/03/09 David A. It has a few funny bits, but the "f" word gets boring after about an hour. 3 stars
8/02/09 bono Erik Childress sucks donkey ass. Good summer comedy. 4 stars
8/02/09 todd this reviewer is 100% correct. the hangover is bad. 1 stars
8/01/09 Roy Smith "You are too stupid to insult" - no, the movie is. 1 stars
7/31/09 theultimate You are not a movie critic! 4 stars
7/30/09 Brandon funnies movie? 'Todd Phillips' Ubowel. Alright I think that settles it. 4 stars
7/29/09 Robbie Lewis 80% Rotten Tomatoes. The film is funny and works. You are the odd man out. live with it 4 stars
7/28/09 Jr 247,000,000 million so far, enough said. 5 stars
7/28/09 rottencargo I just found it boring. Seen all those jokes before, presented blandly. And I love stupid. 2 stars
7/27/09 Gordo Hope you enjoyed your cup of tea and biscuits when you watched this. 4 stars
7/25/09 Lori Bad writing, acting directing. Old jokes, plot that went nowhere, unlikeable characters. 1 stars
7/23/09 Toni It was stupid but oh so funny! 4 stars
7/21/09 JB Did you see the movie. I don't think the baby flips the bird, just jacks off. 5 stars
7/20/09 Zach Don't listen to this pseudo-intellectual tightwad, this is a superb comedy 5 stars
7/20/09 Pete Thin,formulatic plot that broke no new ground and made me cringe with it's offensive humor. 1 stars
7/20/09 Johnny Fartsalot la la la la la la la la la 5 stars
7/19/09 Thom It was just the best comedy pest 5 years. Absolutly perfect I think Loveable chars 5 stars
7/18/09 mr.mike Lots of laughs. 4 stars
7/16/09 JK Jones Hilarious, David you cost yourself a good time being way overanalytical. 5 stars
7/16/09 max power everyone i know though this was one of the most hilarious movies they seen. 5 stars
7/16/09 correction mike tyson actually does own a tiger, he's not pretending 5 stars
7/12/09 The Game Just saw the movie. Hilarious. 5 stars
7/12/09 Derrick this movie made me laugh out loud a lot very funny critic must have eggplant in stuck inass 5 stars
7/10/09 michael mann very racist and repugnant 1 stars
7/10/09 Shaun Repetitive and boring, i feel like the movie expects me to laugh 2 stars
7/07/09 JonB Yes, it was kinda stupid and the script wasn't very witty, but it was definitely funny. 4 stars
7/06/09 zipper The 100+ people in the theater I was at would disagree with you. Almost constant laughter! 5 stars
7/06/09 pete sampras total total vile crap horsehit, white american comedy fucking bullshit 1 stars
7/05/09 John I'm glad to see the plethora of 5 stars. We're right; reviewer is wrong. 5 stars
7/04/09 Shallow Hal Maybe laughed 3 times the whole movie. Awful. 1 stars
7/03/09 roger federer worst piece of shit movie ever 1 stars
7/02/09 Joe Figures, the people who like this slop get mad and insult someone who doesn't like it 1 stars
7/02/09 samtk you aren't reviewing a "film". funny ass movie though. 5 stars
7/02/09 Solus Unfair to women? It's a movie about a stag party, it's about chauvinist culture. 5 stars
7/01/09 lori vought awful movie; disgusting, mean, and stupid 1 stars
6/30/09 Marc Worst movie. Trite, sadly predictable, and boring. GREAT REVIEW!!! 1 stars
6/30/09 AP I like movies with shock value and quoteability. The Hangover had neither. Purely awful. 1 stars
6/29/09 JBaby Dude is jealous of fat Jesus 5 stars
6/29/09 blackberry terrible, terrible unfunny piece of shit 1 stars
6/28/09 David Not highbrow -Either you think someone mocking a baby jerking off is hilarious or you don't 5 stars
6/28/09 will tenner disgusting shit ass comedy 1 stars
6/27/09 gandalf a terrible terrible sexist film, terrible, terrible 1 stars
6/26/09 Benjamin Barkas all i can say is my wife even loved it and the ENTIRE theatre was cheering at the end 5 stars
6/26/09 Matt Oh noes! The film has confusing gender politics! 5 stars
6/25/09 Svelt The beauty, and humor, of this movie was in the performances, not the plot. HYSTERICAL. 5 stars
6/25/09 Matt Good review. I haev a sense of humor, but making raunchy jokes is just not funny. 2 stars
6/25/09 Mark This review is utter garbage. You are entitled to your opinions,but learn to write a review 4 stars
6/25/09 luke some critics need a sense of humor 5 stars
6/25/09 Robert One of less than a handful of movies that I've walked out of in a total of thousands! 1 stars
6/24/09 kristof68 Clearly Mr Cornelius doesn't have a sense of humour 5 stars
6/24/09 Grace Fun movie ideas, didn't follow through, and slow ending. Best comedy this summer, though. 3 stars
6/24/09 David If this is considered comedy our society is in a world of trouble. Complete crap. 1 stars
6/23/09 Kailee Funniest movie i've ever seen. DEFENETLY a must see 5 stars
6/22/09 Coachie Ballgames Spot on Review. Formulaic crap for wanna be frat boys. Where were the jokes? 1 stars
6/22/09 Amanda There's always a critic who thinks every movie needs to be "8 1/2" so he can get attention. 5 stars
6/22/09 Jay Kay Good Lord man....did you even WATCH the film? Asian guy in the police car? Really? 5 stars
6/22/09 spongekill I'm glad The Hangover is not the movie this critic wanted it to be, would've been horrible 5 stars
6/22/09 jurisprudence this film sucks period 1 stars
6/22/09 nthg2say review: FAIL (im emarassed for u.) 5 stars
6/21/09 g. these critics are reTARDS. excellent, hilarious movie. 5 stars
6/21/09 Micah Bromance that can't be beat! 5 stars
6/20/09 anon good thing you dont have enough talent to actually be in a movie you idiot. BEST MOVIE EVER 5 stars
6/20/09 Swoop Go back to your PG-13 comedies and next time go watch a movie with an open mind. Bias POS. 5 stars
6/20/09 Anonymous Fantastic. Bravo bravo bravo! Expresses my sentiments better than I could. Well-said. 2 stars
6/19/09 Roger Smith The critic is a DICK, he is promoting the movie advertisement through an amazon ad 5 stars
6/19/09 Mase "An ironic beard" !!! - Idiot! 5 stars
6/19/09 jonathantstorm one of the stupidest pointless films ever made 1 stars
6/19/09 James Madision This guy obvioulsy doesn't like good films 4 stars
6/18/09 Joe I agree with the reviewer 100%; this flick was pathetic and stupid 1 stars
6/17/09 Steve Buscemi Watch...this guy will love Transformers. Hack! 5 stars
6/17/09 jurisprudence this film sucked and its on the fucking imdb top 250, what a fucking joke 1 stars
6/16/09 Luisa Super funny movie! 4 stars
6/16/09 Julio Terrible review clearly a great film which everyone likes so get over yourselfs 5 stars
6/15/09 John John this review sucks, just relax and enjoy the laughs 4 stars
6/15/09 Maria B Unfunny and disgusting movie. 1 stars
6/15/09 Bob If you think Old School and the Hangover are Uwe Boll quality, find a new profession 4 stars
6/14/09 Ke We Why attack this movie loser - nit picky idiot 5 stars
6/11/09 Kat As much I loathe to agree with the idiot hack, brian, and disagree with reviewers I respect 4 stars
6/10/09 Ming it is the most funniest film of the year 4 stars
6/08/09 Justin Black Doug has a point about the Roofies, They should be the Floors. 5 stars
6/08/09 Biosci I, along with the whole audience in the packed theater - laughed like hell. Chill! 4 stars
6/07/09 jon its brave to point out that the movie was far from perfect....Ubowel comment over the top 3 stars
6/07/09 Azzam I think you need to stop attacking a good movie 5 stars
6/07/09 Fred Did we see the same movie? 'Cause this one was hilarious! 5 stars
6/06/09 Matt Funnies Movie I've seen in years! You're an idiot! Enjoy movies for movies!!! 5 stars
6/05/09 Nick This is CRAP. Period. End of story. 1 stars
6/05/09 Greg Biased review. U could already tell he doesnt like 'Todd Phillips' in the first paragraph 5 stars
6/05/09 Joe Did the makers of the film not give you the gift bag you asked for?? Smug alert!! 4 stars
6/05/09 Andrew Whether the film was good or not, this review reeks of smug. 4 stars
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