THE HANGOVER: EXTREME EDITION
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Four guys head to Las Vegas for a bachelor party to end all bachelor parties. After a night of raucous drinking and a little unplanned drug use (thanks to some roofies slipped to them by their needy new buddy), they wake up with blinding hangovers and no memory of the night before. They also have lost the groom, whom they need to find before his wedding in Los Angeles the next day.
WHAT I LIKED
“The Hangover” was the sleeper hit of 2009, and Warner Bros. is milking it for all it’s worth. After a pretty big DVD and Blu-ray launch almost a year ago, the studio is ramping up for Todd Phillips’ follow-up this fall with “Due Date.” Also starring Zach Galifianakis as an awkward and eccentric whack-job, “Due Date” is hoping to cash in on the success of “The Hangover.”
The release of “The Hangover: Extreme Edition” coincides with the “Due Date” launch, and it reminds us how funny this film was in the first place. There’s really nothing new and unique about it, considering many of the jokes were thrown against the wall with “Bachelor Party” decades ago, but that doesn’t stop it from being most effectively done.
This is now the third time I have seen this movie… once in the theater, once on DVD and now on Blu-ray, and I am happy to say that it holds up to repeat viewings. What really makes it work is the chemistry of the cast, which captured lightning in a bottle with three relatively unknown but experienced stars (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis). There’s a generosity to their comedy, which makes them play incredibly well off each other.
With the buzz surrounding “Due Date” and the upcoming “The Hangover 2,” I can only hope they hold up to the original, ‘cause this movie is a ton of fun.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Like the aforementioned “Bachelor Party,” “The Hangover” is bound to be a classic, and that can also be its own worst enemy. As with the insane hype surrounding the movie in its initial release, it’s best to see this one cold, otherwise you could be expecting too much.
And like any great comedy like “Ghostbusters,” “Caddyshack” and “Meatballs,” there is a sense of dread hanging over the would-be sequels as I fear nothing’s really going to live up to it.
The Blu-ray offers both the theatrical and unrated versions, which don’t seem different in spite of the eight extra minutes. Additional features from the original Blu-ray release include a gag reel, the Dan Band performing “Fame,” an “Action Mash-Up,” the “Three Best Friends” song, a feature commentary, a selection of improv lines from Ken Jeong and about 100 additional photos from the “missing camera” (although none quite as shocking as you’ve already seen in the closing credits).
There’s also a picture-in-picture commentary (on the theatrical cut only) exclusive to the Blu-ray. And the new “Extreme Hangover Deluxe Wedding Album Edition” includes a hard-bound Blu-ray box-sized book with 28 pages of candid wedding photos from The Best Little Chapel.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of raucous comedies.