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Hangover, The


Stars: Bradley Cooper, Heather Graham, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Jeffrey Tambor, Mike Tyson, Sasha Barrese, Rachael Harris, Mike Epps, Ken Jeong

Director: Todd Phillips

A real surprise from the guys who inflicted Four Christmases and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past on us, this is what you might call disgustingly funny. Borderline crude and very irreverent, it even has Holocaust jokes and one of the leading characters admits that 'I'm not supposed to be within 200 feet of a school'. But it's fast, furious and frequently funny, its humour as much sublimely silly as over-the-top.

There are even one or two Laurel and Hardy moments, especially when the guys are handcuffed together. The guys? It's a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Vegas for Doug, Phil, Stu and bearded wierdo Alan (Bartha, Cooper, Helms, Galifianakis), a couple of days before Doug's wedding. They hire a luxury suite for the night and toast the bridegroom-to-be.

But someone has slipped a little something into their drinks, and they wake up the following morning unable to remember the night before. The suite is wrecked...and also contains a chicken, a baby, and a tiger. Doug is missing, as is one of Stu's teeth.

The tiger turns out to belong to ex-boxer Tyson, amusing as himself, and has to be sedated with a drugged steak. Alan (as Stan Laurel might) adds pepper to the meat. 'Tigers love pepper,' he avers. 'They hate cinnamon.'

There's lots of bad language, of course, but even the foul-mouthed wedding singer at the end is worth a smile. An enjoyable romp - and the guys are all excellent. Only a Chinese villain (Jeong) is a serious and cringeworthy miscalculation.

David Quinlan

USA 2009. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
97 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 09 Jun 2009