This has been an interesting week. For the first time in a long time I've been given a week off of work. This used to be my life. I would just play online poker all day or head to Louisiana or Vegas or AC and play some live poker. Now I don't know what to do with myself. Today I woke up at 9:50. That's the latest I've woken up in 6 months. I used to average getting up at 1 pm.
On Monday I decided to drag my ass out of bed and check out 'The Hangover'. I'd heard mostly good things and after it's mildly surprising box office domination I knew I had to see it for myself.
Minor spoiler alerts ahead
Plot: A regular old dude heads to Vegas with his 2 best friends and his soon-to-be wife's brother for a bachelor party. Things just get a little crazy.
Sounds simple enough. I don't want to ruin too much of the movie but basically it plays out like a watered-down version of Old School. This is not entirely a bad thing. Old School was the best comedy of 2003 and you could make a case that it's the best comedy of the decade. Sure that's a large statement but when you come home drunk from another night getting shot down at the bar what movie do you pop in? I usually go with Superbad, Grandma's Boy, Wedding Crashers, Old School, Made, Supertroopers, or Old School. There are other films that are solid such as 40-year Old Virgin, Harold & Kumar, Van Wilder, and, of course, Zoolander but I would say that Old School is at least in the discussion for most rewatchable comedy of the decade. But I digress...
The Hangover is so obviously written for the original characters of Old School that, for me at least, it was distracting. The acting was good and the movie was very funny but I couldn't help but wonder how much better it would be with Vaughn, Ferrell, and Wilson.
Now time for the major spoiler alerts.
Bradley Cooper/Phil: This was obviously Vince Vaughn's character Beanie from Old School. Phil is a complete dick who is always pushing the envelope and getting the group into precarious situations. Bradley Cooper plays Phil as more of a ladies man but much like Beanie in Old School, both characters are married with kids and, despite ample opportunities both characters don't cheat on their wives.
Ed Helms/Stu: The parallels are obvious here as well. Stu was molded after Will Ferrell's character Frank from Old School. Stu is stuck in a relationship that isn't right for him. He's a mild mannered guy around his wife and even his friends. But once Stu gets some drinks in him he does a complete 180. Stu loses a tooth, Frank goes streaking.
Justin Bartha/Doug: This is Luke Wilson's character Mitch from Old School. The boring/nice guy of the group. Bartha adds nothing to this character and is the weak point of the movie for me. Fortunately, he's not in the film very much. Doug is about to get married and live the suburban life with his new family which is freaking loaded. Much like Mitch, Doug still has some friends from earlier in his life that he's obviously outgrown. But, for some reason both Doug and Mitch stay loyal and let their friends attempt to ruin their lives.
The best parts of the movie were courtesy of the character Alan played by Zach Galifianakis. Alan is probably mentally disabled and also a little bit crazy. This would have been the perfect addition to the Old School crew and he works perfectly in this movie. I could see Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, or Jack Black playing this part with the original Old School crew. That isn't to say Galifianakis isn't great - he is - part of me just wishes this movie was called Old School 2 with the original cast back.
Overall I give the movie a B+