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Movie Review

The Hangover

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Director: Todd Phillips

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Heather Graham, Justin Bartha, Sasha Barrese, Jeffrey Tambor and Ken Jeong.

Duration: 100 minutes

Certificate 16

1 of 3 A legend is born
A legend is born
2 of 3 Comedy genius
Comedy genius
3 of 3 Even funnier the morning after than it was the night before
Even funnier the morning after than it was the night before

"But men are men, the best sometimes forget." While some may feel the need for defibrillators after seeing a Shakespeare quote used in reference to as base and foul-mouthed an experience as 'The Hangover', you'd like to think that if the man himself was still on this earth and sitting in a cinema he'd also be crying with laughter and wondering if holding in that supersize drink until after the closing credits was beyond him. The shameful cameo casting of Mike Tyson aside, this is comedy genius - with comebacks worthy of the Bard himself.

And men forgetting, and then trying to remember, is what 'The Hangover' is all about. The soon-to-be-wed Doug (Bartha) is brought for his stag to Las Vegas. Accompanying him are the ultra suave Phil (Cooper), vulture-pecked dentist Stu (Helms) and soon-to-be brother-in-law Alan (Galifianakis), an endlessly fascinating manchild whose own father has written off as a basket case. They arrive at the hotel, have a few drinks on the roof and eight hours later wake up in chaos with no idea how they got there - and no sign of Doug.

Phillips previously directed 'Road Trip' and 'Old School' and if you find yourself still fondly remembering the first time you saw both and dragging out the DVDs every few weeks to recharge the humour battery, then prepare for a similar pattern of behaviour here. As with those two films, he has assembled a fantastic cast, pitched them from one excruciating predicament to another and brilliantly captured the spirit of bickering male friendship.

Read an interview with Heather Graham.

While this film should do wonders for the careers of Cooper and Helms, it will make a cult legend out of Galifianakis, the stand-up whose performance here is worthy of such exalted company as the three Johns - Goodman, Candy and Belushi. At the very least he deserves a Golden Globe nomination for bringing Alan to life; in a perfect world there'd also be a range of Alan apparel available for Christmas.

With two bachelors still among 'The Hangover Four', a sequel is already on the cards and millions will be screaming for it. After all, it's not often you see something that's even funnier the morning after than it was the night before.

Harry Guerin

Read our interview with Todd Phillips.

Read our interview with 'The Hangover' lads (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha).

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