When one thinks of a movie entitled “The Hangover”, there’s really only a certain amount of things that the film could actually be about. You’d have to assume it would involve drinking, some fun times and maybe a bit of regret. As it turns out “The Hangover” incorporates all of those very nicely in the 100 minute timeframe of the movie. So what do Mike Tyson, a tiger, a stripper and a naked Asian man popping out of a car trunk have in common? Well if you’ve not see the movie then you’ll have no idea, but afterwards it’ll all make perfect sense. Trust me. “The Hangover” shows that you don’t always need “A” list stars and a huge budget to become a hit. Bradley Cooper from films like “Wedding Crashers” and “He’s Just Not That Into You” is the biggest name in the cast if that tells you anything. Sometimes a story with a lot of action or comedy catches audiences off guard and that’s all it takes. As it stands, “The Hangover” raked in over $200 million this summer and will likely inspire a sequel, or at least a few imposters.
Doug (Justin Bartha) is getting married and has a few of his friends set to head to Vegas for his bachelor party. Not exactly original, but Vegas rarely doesn’t deliver. He brings along friends Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and his somewhat eccentric brother, Alan (Zach Galifianakis) to enjoy the good times to come. Everything seems normal, but when they awake in their $4200 hotel room, there’s a chicken clucking, a tiger in the bathroom, a million beer cans and a baby in the closet. Oh and the groom to be – yeah, he’s missing. As Phil, Alan and Stu try to retrace their steps from the night before, they learn that they remember absolutely nothing past dinner. What happened? Why is Stu missing a tooth? Along the way, they meet up with Mike Tyson, who’s tiger they stole; they meet Jade (Heather Graham), a stripper with a heart and get assaulted by a naked Asian man (Ken Jeong) who leaps from their trunk. Oh and they still haven’t found Doug. Will they make it back in time for the wedding or did they take the theme for Vegas a bit too literally (“What Happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”)?
“The Hangover” was directed by Todd Phillips who’s helmed a few other of my favorites in recent years: “Anchorman” and “Old School”. It seems he’s finally found the commercial success he deserves with this movie and good for him. “The Hangover” is your typical college movie with somewhat of an edge. And I must say that the appeal is pretty amazing (accounting for its phenomenal box office, no doubt). Heck, it’s my parents’ favorite movie of the year. If you’ve ever had one too many, particularly in Vegas where the alcohol flows like water, then you can possibly understand what the main characters are going through. And, I will say, not all of the ends are wrapped up. I’ve seen the movie twice now and still can’t figure out where they got that chicken. But I think they just assume you accept certain things, especially when a tiger is involved.
Video: How does it look?
Warner’s presentation of “The Hangover” is consistent with their other titles in that the 2.40:1 VC-1 HD transfer simply rocks. There are some stock footage sequences of Vegas but the movie was shot there and mainly at Caesars Palace. Detail is crisp, so the dark circles under their eyes look ever so lifelike. Colors are generally bold and bright and the contrast is right on target as well. The city of lights never looked as good as it does here. Viewers won’t be disappointed with how “The Hangover” looks, for sure.
Audio: How does it sound?
While not the most robust track, we get a fairly decent-sounding Dolby TrueHD soundtrack that has a few moments. By and large, the film is dialogue-driven with comedic humor on screen to accompany it. There’s not anything blowing up, though we do get a pretty decent-sounding car crash. As is consistent with most other comedies, “The Hangover” sounds just as good as I thought but certainly there are other options out there to impress your friends with.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Every studio is guilty of double-dipping and Warner is cashing in on the success of “The Hangover” however they can. This “Extreme Edition” isn’t that extreme, with most all of the supplements being the exact same as the previously released Blu-ray. The only differences being that in this version you get a 30+ page book of photos (no words, mind you, just pictures) that’s somewhat neat. Warner also does this with some selected titles (“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” comes to mind). There’s no digital copy of the movie, instead we get a CD sampler with five songs that you can transfer to your mobile device of choice. And everything else is the exact same. All the featurettes, the picture-in-picture commentary?everything. We start off with a picture-in-picture commentary track from director Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis. This is a fun group, you can tell (and now you can see) they had a fun time making the movie. They chuckle and laugh out loud at themselves. It’s a great track and fans of the movie will love it. Exclusive to Blu-ray is a compilation of all the swearing in the film and Mike Tyson’s rendition of “In the Air Tonight”. Don’t quit your day job, Mike. We also get 100 more pictures from the missing camera (these were played over the ending credits) and a “Map of Destruction”; an interactive map that helps trace the trio’s steps in Vegas. Perhaps the funniest thing is “The Madness of Ken Jeong” in which we see the same scene done about ten different ways. Clearly Jeong is a master of improvisational comedy and it’s perfectly illustrated here. We get a few songs as well, the better of the two being “The Dan Band” as they sing “Fame”. This band was in “Old School” as well and is just as funny there as they were here. If you don’t already own “The Hangover” this is certainly the version to get, otherwise save your money for more beer (or Vegas).