I’d been excited about this movie since I saw the trailer, and I’ll start off by saying “IT DELIVERS”. It isn’t one of those comedies that shoots its wad in the trailer, wasting all the genuine laughs to con you into paying $8 to see it, and then providing nothing new or fresh, leaving you to exit the theater with the sensation that you’ve just been had. This movie is worth it for a variety of reasons.
Director Todd Phillips is probably best known for ‘Old School’ and ‘Road Trip’ (forget about ‘School for Scoundrels’ and Starsky and Hutch’) but to me, this might be his finest achievement yet. It’s absolutely brilliant from frame to frame, never once loses its somewhat grimy heart, and Phillips seems to have mastered this genre of buddy-comedy.
The film relies on its three leads, and Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and the obvious breakout sensation Zach Galifinakis are all pitch-perfect for their roles. People might recognize Cooper from Wedding Crashers, and he’s certainly making his way around the Wedding-themed pictures. But here, unlike in Wedding Crashers, he is given the chance to spread his wings, and really shows he’s got some talent. He somewhat regrets where he stands in life and it shows, but he’s also loyal and straight-forward.
Ed Helms is probably best known from The Office and The Daily Show, and he plays the somewhat uptight dentist with such precision that nearly every situation he finds himself in is sympathetic. He appears to be a good guy, stuck in a horrible relationship, and his friends really try to convince him not to propose at Doug’s wedding.
Now, to the meat and potatoes. Zach Galifinakis is absolutely GENIUS in this movie. For those unaware, Galifinakis is a stand-up comedian with a penchant for awkward comedy, and it seems the role of Alan had to have been written exactly for him. He’s awkward but lovable, and pretty much everything Alan says and does is good for a laugh. At the start he’s the obvious “Lone Wolf” of the group, only being invited along because he’s the soon-to-be wife’s brother. His character is bound to become a cult icon as soon as people get around to seeing this movie, and lets hope it opens the door for more Galifinakis, because he’s truly a one-of-a-kind comedian.
My one main dislike with the movie is the character Leslie, the Asian Mobster. The guy who plays him has been in a few movies that I recognize him from, and I have to say, I find him incredibly annoying and not funny. This particular character would have been perfect for someone as a cameo role, and they sort of drop the ball giving it to this annoying actor. It’s really a minor gripe though, because the character is neither prominent or often seen.
The movie weaves its way through these three guys trying to recollect what happened the previous night at their friends bachelor party, and the script is remarkably well thought out and smart. Anyone who’s gone though a similar next day haze can relate to these guys not being able to piece their night together all at once, and each time they find something out, it only leads to more questions. It’s the chase of these three guys that keeps us on edge, while the laughs just keep coming in bunches. I honestly don’t think more than 2 minutes passes between laughs for the ENTIRE movie. It’s not a comedy where you sit there amused, thinking “That’s funny.” You are forced to laugh, and laugh often. And in a summer movie season that’s going to be packed with explosions and sequels, this is a much welcomed diversion.
Also, at the end, there is an appearance by the brilliant The Dan Band, and anytime those guys are on-screen, I get a little bit hard.
The movie obviously appeals to a certain audience, but I don’t think it can only be enjoyed by a certain demographic. Granted being able to relate to the main characters helps, but it’s just a really funny and at moments outrageous movie. The element of mystery keeps you guessing and on edge, and Galifinakis is worth the price of admission himself. The three main characters are well-developed and layered, very relateable and, above all else, FUNNY. None of them are dead weight, they all carry the laughs.
Score: 9/10 (Hilariously Good)
Not wasting all the laughs in the trailer: 9/10
Staying true to the theme: 9/10
Galifinakis himself: 10/10