By Marco Chacon
Dec 18, 2009 12:00 AM EST

The Hangover DVD Review

The Hangover DVD Review
Purchase  DVD | Digital HD
The Hangover was an unexpectedly funny “guy” movie, featuring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis, as three guys who take their friend and the groom (Justin Bartha) to Vegas for a bachelor party. However, the party goes epically wrong. When they wake up the next day, the groom is missing, the hotel is trashed in an utterly epic fashion, and they don't remember anything.  They have to recover the groom, reconstruct their evening, and deal with dangerous criminals they seem to have upset.

The movie is darker than one might expect -- without actually being dark. It plays on the edge of a potential tragedy and has just enough hint of an edge to it to keep you guessing.  What really makes it work is the incredible chemistry of the characters as they try to convince you that they are all good friends; that is, with the exception of Galifianakis, who is the bride's brother and is just along for the ride.  The film hits a modern rite-of-passage element with men above their early 20's getting married; these guys are not just staring out, they have been around the block a little.

I am not usually drawn to movies that relentlessly humiliate their main characters; and while there are a few scenes in the movie that approximate that, for the most part, the characters are competent and able if caught in a nightmarishly complex situation. It also helps a lot that the script (Jon Lucas and others) is really funny.

The DVD release comes with an unrated version.  I admit that I was not able to figure out exactly why it was unrated. There are several more minutes of video, but I was not able to figure out precisely what was cut. I think it is more that the unrated version simply wasn't rated to avoid an “R” rating. The extras are not bad.

We see approximately six minutes of gangster, Ken Jeong, acting totally crazy as he does different takes on each scene. There is a gag reel that has the usual actors-cracking-up bits, but also shows some behind-the-scenes stuff that is interesting, as well as funny.  Also included is a map of "the destruction" with Vegas showing where the characters had their encounters -- this is fairly worthless. There is commentary of the three actors and the director that is quite good.  Getting to hear the guys interact as actors is a good counter-point to their movie roles.

The expanded list of photos answer a key question: Where did the chicken come from? Apparently they picked it up in one of the clubs -- to feed to the tiger. The video of the three characters singing in the car might be somewhat cringe-inducing, but if you have sat through the movie, you could appreciate it.  There is an action-montage -- all of the action stunts in the movie in quick succession -- which makes me think they were desperate for anything they could think of adding.

The sound and video quality is perfectly adequate for the kind of movie it is. If I could get this on Blu Ray, I am not sure how much better it would be.  I learned several things watching the movie. Ed Helms went without a tooth for three months.  Several different babies were used in the making of the movie, including a doll, which CGI, moved for the baby-hit-with-car-door scene.

The Hangover DVD (the two-disc edition) is a worthy edition for a movie that I found unexpectedly hilarious. If you are a fan, I recommend it.

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MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 100 minutes
Distributed By: Warner Bros.

For more information about The Hangover visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

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