The Hangover (15)

Those experiencing Judd Apatow/Seth Rogen fatigue (include me here) may want to avoid another film about a bachelor weekend in Vegas that goes horribly wrong.

Fight that instinct! The director Todd Phillips is himself covering ground he first romped over in Road Trip, but The Hangover turns out to be so much more fun. For starters, this guys-together misadventure begins on the morning after the big night. Three groomsmen wake up to find their Vegas suite turned upside down: there's a baby in a closet, a tiger in the bathroom, and no sign whatsoever of the groom, who's due to be hitched the next day. When the valet brings round their car, it's a police cruiser. What the hell happened?

Their memories wiped by a self-inflicted dose of Rohypnol, the hapless trio must piece together the events of their debauched night, in the course of which – ER, police custody, an encounter with Mike Tyson – some very funny, very non-PC dialogue is thrown about like a game of catch. The actors, virtually unknown, are terrific – Bradley Cooper as Phil the alpha male, Ed Helms as Stu the worrywart, and bearded fatty Zach Galifianakis as the wild card, Alan (imagine a young John Goodman with borderline Asperger's). At the reception desk of Caesar's Palace, their hotel, Alan looks about and asks, straight-faced: "Did Caesar actually live here?" It looks tame in print but comes out hilarious, like just about everything else in this blissfully silly movie.

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