Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The Hangover (2009)

What a night!
So, four men go to Vegas... You might have seen this poster plastered around last year, because it was well publicized. Despite being a relatively recent film, you may be seeing this going cheaper than you'd expect. Starring quite a cast of newcomers, and Heather Graham, there seems to be very little marketability for the film without only evoking the genre of the film. However, saying that, it doesn't seem too shabby.

Dude, where's my movie?
The theme is fairly similar to Dude Where's My Car (2000), in terms of story layout. So much so in fact that I shall create a new sub-genre of the Road Movie, which is already a sub-genre of the "stoner films", which is a sub-genre of adventure/"buddy movie" type, and this new kind of film will be the "hey, where's my thing". Okay, not a catchy title, you make one up!

Anyway, as I was saying, put another dude in and turn your car into another dude, and you have the basic premise. The characters find themselves in the "hilarious" position of trying to track down what they did the previous night, and as with this new sub-genre (ahem), we don't get to witness it until the characters discover it.

Meet the dudes!
The characters themselves are all unique. We have the chilled out cool guy, that basically wants to get wasted and relive his glory days, the uptight hen-pecked husband (to be) who finds his wild side is more crazy than anyone else, the not-quite-there guy who is basically a big kid and the soon-to-be groom and reason for the characters who wouldn't otherwise stick together to make it through the entire film together. What could possibly go wrong?...

Well as you guessed it, one of these people will be the car (metaphorically) that they need to find. Why? Well, that's because they cannot remember through the amount of alcohol and other substances that they take (another generic convention of this type of film, wink, wink) where the groom is. Oh, there is another thing with this type of film about the ending, but I won't spoil it for you.

Spoilers? No thanks! But can you tell me more about the plot please?!
I sure can my little friend (or big, depending on who's reading this). The plot is often incredible. No, I don't mean awesome, I mean not-credible, as in I don't believe it. This breaks the illusion that what I'm watching is possible (verisimilitude for the media savvy), and while it's fine to say "Well light speed isn't possible, you can't like Star Trek then", you must understand that this shattering of illusion is only applicable to each film universe's logic. In the universe that we live in (and presumably the universe of The Hangover), there are things that throw the film off balance somewhat, such as...

...Well, I won't spoil it for you. Suffice to say that I was entertained but not really "into" it if you know what I mean. I was essentially amused by the antics, but not believing in them, knowing that there was never any risk to the characters, because it's a comedy film, and because I was aware constantly that I was only watching a film (yes, you can get so wrapped up in films that you forget that they are just films - just ask anyone who's hidden behind the sofa or a pillow while watching a horror film).

Don't get me wrong, it's part of the genre for incredible (and un-credible) things to happen, such as learning Japanese while stoned and still remembering it in the morning, and speaking it fluently after just one lesson (Dude Where's My Car?). And somewhat bizarrely, that wasn't the most, well, bizarre thing to happen in Dude either!

Overall, I think I was more laughing at the bizarre scenarios they had got themselves into, rather than empathizing with characters, and thus didn't care if the characters got what they wanted.

Should I buy or rent or skip out on it?
It's worth a rent, just to say that you have seen it, and it's my policy that everything should be watched at least once. Well, maybe not some things, but theatrical films, yes. Overall though, the people that are likely to like this film the most are people who enjoyed Dude Where's My Car? as well as other stoner films. Not a bad film, just not a particularly good one either.

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