The Hangover | DVD Review

In The Air Tonight
A review of The Hangover on Blu-Ray
by Kenneth Holm
Dorkgasm Senior Staff Writer

     The Hangover is very much a case of the little movie that could. With a crude, smaller budget film like this, no one really expected too much out of it. Even Lindsay Lohan turned down a part because she did not think it was ever going to go anywhere. Surprisingly, The Hangover turned out to be one of the biggest hits of 2009, raking in scads of cash and assuring a career for everyone involved. I have a little history going into The Hangover. I saw it in the theater and was not terribly amused. I thought the acting was sub-par, the plot ludicrous, and the humor dumbed down to the point of being retarded. However, then I saw it again. And again. This continued for some time until I realized that The Hangover is flat-out one of the funniest movies in some time. Fast forward to the end of 2009, when the movie finally hit DVD and Blu-Ray. Apparently, I was not the only one terribly amused, as it was nigh impossible to get a copy for some time. Finally, things settled down and I sat back to check out The Hangover on Blu-Ray. 

     The Hangover is loosely based on a true life story that happened to one of the producers. Doug Billings (Justin Bartha, National Treasure: Book Of Secrets) is getting married. So, in the grand tradition of stupidity, he heads to Las Vegas with his friends Phil Wenneck (Bradley Cooper, All About Steve) and Stu Price (Ed Helms, TV's The Office) for a boys-night-out in Sin City. Along for the ride is his bride-to-be's quirky brother Alan (Zack Galifianakis, Youth In Revolt). The night begins with a toast to the night ahead and ends the next morning when Stu, Phil, and Alan awake in their hotel suite that is completely trashed only to find that Doug has disappeared, someone left a baby behind, and a tiger is taking up residence in the bathroom. As the friends run around trying to reconstruct the night and find Doug, they run into a bevy of problems, including a couple cops who are out for blood, an effeminate Chinese gangster (Ken Jeong, Knocked Up), a stripper named Jade (Heather Graham, Boogie Nights), and Mike Tyson himself. The movie itself is a wonderful treat, but the additional features that round out the Blu-Ray make this a must-purchase. 

Click image to visit the official site. Imace Copyright Warner Bros.

     In addition to the theatrical version of the movie, the disc also has the unrated version of The Hangover. This cut weighs in at about eight minutes longer and features mostly extended versions of gags and a couple new scenes. There is not enough here to change anyone's mind about the movie, but for fans it will give a couple new jokes to laugh about and insert into everyday conversation. The movie also features picture-in-picture commentary during the theatrical version. The commentary is pretty funny at times, and it tells a lot about the filming of the movie. The “Action Mash-Up” feature is a short video containing a selection of the film's physical violence and pratfalls. If you liked Zack Galifianakis's Best Friend song, there's a feature that has all three principals freestyling their own version. The “Map Of Destruction” is an interactive map that shows the real-life locations from the movie and gives a little Vegas history as well. There is the requisite Gag Reel feature, which is pretty damn amusing, just to see Galifianakis and Cooper blowing their takes hilariously. The two features you should take note of are the missing pictures and “The Madness Of Ken Jeong”. The missing pictures are from the digital camera that the guys used to capture their night out. Wayne Newton and Carrot Top show up in a few of them and they are pretty amusing on the whole. “The Madness Of Ken Jeong” is unquestionably the highlight here. It takes Ken Jeong, who played the gangster Leslie Chow, and shows his many blown takes while he was improvising lines for his character to say. There is a lot of memorable lines that I have found I am still throwing out in everyday conversation, and one particular gesture that just will not go away. 

     Yeah, everyone loves The Hangover. The movie made more money than anyone thought possible. Just do yourself a favor and go check this one out. Get a bunch of friends together, grab some beers, and enjoy the comedy of the year.