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Wick's Review

Created Jun 21, 2009 12:26PM PST • Edited Jun 12, 2014 05:35PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    Off-the-hook lunacy: 50% LOL, 40% WTF, 10% clunker. A solid set-up (three lifelong buddies and a misfit future brother-in-law engage in legendary Vegas mischief), clever dialog and highly accomplished filmmaking make for an embarrassingly entertaining movie. Deserving of its surprising popularity, The Hangover reigned atop the American box office for three weeks in June, an early summer hit.

    While Great from a quality POV, the movie’s hardly Good from an ethics perspective, as noted in the Dialog and Reality commentary below.

    Who needs goodness when you’ve got the Ultimate Vegas Movie. The hell with the King or the Oceans or Swingers or any other Vegas fantasy. If you know Vegas baby, this movie will tickle your funny bone till it explodes.

  3. Great 4.0

    Three of the four leads prove themselves terrific comic actors.

    • Zach Galifianakis, the maladjusted future in-law, delivers more than his share of verbal and visual punch lines. We’re talking the kind of actor whose very appearance induces laughter, even when shown in a painted family portrait before appearing live. His scenes in a jock strap and taking a morning leak next to a tiger are wickedly funny. Watch out Jack Black, there’s a new New Belushi on the scene.
    • Bradley Cooper, the rakishly handsome rake who impels the groomsmen into one ill conceived act after another, needn’t deliver any punch lines to set up countless funny situations. He’s like a slacker Cary Grant.
    • Ed Helms adds to his long comedic resume by perfectly capturing the hen-pecked dentist who gets taken advantage of time and again.
    • Justin Bartha plays handsome and innocuous as the groom who gets lost in Las Vegas.

    As in most great comedies, the strong supporting cast adds mightily to the movie’s success.

    • Heather Graham, dolled up and pretty as ever, lends a jolt of sweetness and light to the proceedings. A terrific actress, she savvily acts out a ditsy routine to extricate the fellows from impending disaster at the blackjack table. Why doesn’t she get more big time roles?
    • Jeffrey Tambor virtually personifies addled respectability, here as the father of the bride.
    • Mike Tyson plays himself to perfection, delivering his lines – and a right cross – like a champ.
    • Ken Jeong deprecates himself in hilarious fashion, first in the buff and then in comic retribution.
    • Dan Finnerty delivers the most inappropriate song imaginable as an only-in-Hollywood wedding singer.
  4. Male Stars Great 4.0
  5. Female Stars Great 4.0
  6. Female Costars Good 3.0
  7. Male Costars Great 4.0
  8. Great 4.0

    Brilliantly crafted, the movie niftily flashes back and forth in time to set-up and reveal the convoluted story. It also nicely sets up jokes, presaging many a beat before they’re delivered, making the resultant punch lines all the funnier.

  9. Direction Great 4.0
  10. Play Great 4.0

    Though devoid of catch phrases, the script cannily delivers tons of laughs.

    As with many current comedies, the movie trades in both homophobia and latent homosexuality (here via the weirdo brother-in-law). The latter worked fine for several surprising jokes, while the former could have been just as easily dropped without losing more than a joke or two. Make that should have been dropped.

  11. Music Great 4.0

    As in Observe & Report, an obscene pop song anchors a hilarious scene. Here it’s Candy Shop, Fifty Cent’s paean to oral fixation, performed most inappropriately by an over-the-top wedding singer.

  12. Visuals Really Great 4.5

    Vegas spews and glitters perfectly here, from the fountains of Bellagio to the suites and pits of Caesar’s.

  13. Content
  14. Sordid 3.3

    Bad people doing bad things in humorous fashion. Not advised for those who value rectitude.

  15. Sex Explicit 4.6

    Don’t get your hopes up too high fellas, but the snapshots at the end of the movie include a couple of doozies.

  16. Violence Fierce 1.6
  17. Rudeness Nasty 3.7
  18. Surreal 2.4

    Yet another movie from the Hollywood Nihilistic-Entertainment Complex, Comedy Division. Their Action Division unleashed Wanted on the world last year, proving that nastiness has become a favorite clay for this generation of Hollywood potters.

    Speaking of nasty, most of the people in this movie are dumb and mean (kids included), kind of like the degenerate citizens from Observe & Report. As previously noted, civilization wouldn’t long survive if people treated each other like this.

    Finally, only in the movies does a drunken fool of a dorky dentist end up married to a stripper as improbably lovely as Heather Graham, as the image nearby illustrates.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 2.9
  20. Biological Surreal 2.9
  21. Physical Glib 1.5


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Jul 4, 2009 6:09PM

Regarding Spaceghost’s Review
GREAT review Spaceghost. Makes me want to see the movie again.

Jun 22, 2009 8:19PM

Regarding Wick’s Review
Just realized that my original review broke down the LOL, WTF and Clunker slices so they only added up to 90%. Whoops. Thinking more about it, I figure it was roughly 50% LOL, not 40% as I originally posted, so the whole thing adds up to 100% now.

I guess that addition stuff got away from me there for a while.