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“What happens in Vegas no one can remember.”

_ The Hangover _Title: The Hangover

Ah, the lost art of buddy films. Those male bonding movies that should play in a tree house instead of a Cineplex with a hand painted sign on the door that says “No Gurls Alowed”. Those films where men can dream of doing grand men adventures and laugh at immature, improper behavior without the eye rolling of the opposite sex. The Hangover could just be that box office blueprint. A comedy that attempts creativity without falling back on the mindless, stupidity of Apatow-type styling’s. One with off the wall antics which are absurd yet does not rely on a sexual innuendo every 5 minutes to make up for the lack of plot. Theirs are 10 minutes apart. Sure this film has those mindless moments and is not perfect but they work and added to the film instead of distracting me from it.

In this adventure Doug (Justin Bartha) is getting married and his friends are taking him on one last hurrah to Las Vegas for the bachelor parties of all bachelor parties. Problem is that when they awake the next morning they discover that they have lost the groom and no one can remember anything from the night before. They have 24 hours to back-track their steps, find Doug, and get him home in time for the wedding. Though simple in its concept writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore do a clever job of adding in one zany character after another so that as each scene develops you get more questions than answers. This makes for one laugh out loud search for the truth.

The film costars Ed Helms (The Office), Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis as the three best friends. Galifianakis steals the show as Doug’s future brother in law. He is unpredictable and though slightly mental at times, very lovable. Zach’s timing and delivery were perfected in the world of standup comedy and he uses that to the benefit of all. His lines are off the wall and some of his actions tasteless but he adds such sincerity to them which makes it brilliantly hilarious. Helms and Cooper round out the cast nicely. Helms as the henpecked conservative dentist and Cooper with his devil may care attitude. Toss in a splendid cameo by Mike Tyson and you get moments that will endure the test of movie time.

The Hangover is rated R for pervasive language, sexual content including nudity, and some drug material. Though each of these elements are included they are not used in abundance. That was the smart move by the writing team. Instead of using those sophomoric copouts as a foundation they use them as timely placed garnish that keep the humor fresh. Still, parents be strongly cautioned with this one when it comes to your teens. The dialogue and images can be quite candid and make for uncomfortable mixed company. This is Vegas in all of its depravity. Those expecting another Wild Hogs may walk out blushing and bewildered. Though the perfect brother/buddy film it is not for the family at all. Not to say that your date will find nothing to like about this movie it is certainly not geared in their direction. I give The Hangover 3.75 out of 5 Baby Bjorns. There were a few times they gave in to the unnecessary perversion and for that my rating slipped slightly. But truthfully I laughed solidly throughout and was surprised by the turn of events. That added with outlandish characters may make this the adult comedy of the summer. Matt Mungle (matt@mungleshow.com) (6/01/09) (3.75 out of 5) Review copyright 2009 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

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