Movie review: The Hangover

From the 06/03/2009 edition

The best way to ensure that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas is to make sure you can't remember a damn thing. At least that's the philosophy of The Hangover, a movie that mines the comedic possibilities of being blackout drunk. Hooray for dangerous binge drinking!

It marks a return to Frat-Pack form for director Todd Phillips, and it's the closest he's come to recapturing the silly magic of Old School. It helps that he's assembled an ideal cast - the underrated Bradley Cooper (Wedding Crashers), Daily Show alum Ed Helms and the big-bearded Zach Galifianakis.

Three groomsmen (the aforementioned trio) take a buddy (Justin Bartha) to Vegas for a bachelor party night they will never remember. They awaken in a hotel room, trashed Fear and Loathing-style, with no groom and no recollection of the events that took place. Hilarity of varying degrees ensues.

The Hangover is unapologetically low-brow and lacks the underlying heart of recent breakout comedies like 40 Year Old Virgin. There aren't a ton of gut-busting gags, but it feeds you a steady diet of snicker-worthy moments.

The biggest laughs tend come from Galifianakis. He is to this movie what Will Ferrell is to Old School. If he doesn't become a star, I don't know funny.

Best of all, the laughs will stick with you for days. The guys might not remember the details of their night, but I'm still getting a chuckle every time I do.