2009 Certificate: 15

Synopsis

The morning after the night before proves to be a black hole for the memories of a bachelor party tearing it up in Las Vegas. After discovering their luxury hotel suite trashed and the groom missing, they must painstakingly piece together the blurred events of the previous 12 hours in a desperate bid to find him. What they discover is a sordid rampage of hookers, stolen police cars, Asian mafia and Mike Tyson's tiger. Solid and superlative laddish comedy from Todd Phillips, director of Old School and School for Scoundrels.

Director

  • Todd Phillips

Cast

  • Bradley Cooper

  • Zach Galifianakis

  • Ed Helms

  • Heather Graham

  • Justin Bartha

Review

"What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Except herpes. That comes back with you."

This wise combination of the clichéd and the cautionary is proferred by the prospective father-in-law ahead of the groom's blow-out bachelor party in Sin City.

Sensible hubbie-to-be Doug (Bartha) is all set for the last hurrah with his buddies...and is even lent a vintage Mercedes convertible by the bride's trusting dad for the drive across the desert.

Joining him is his best pal Phil (Cooper), a teacher and married father who has big plans - plans that involve strippers and as much alcohol as it's possible to soak up.

Hen-pecked dentist Stu (Helms) has told his shrewish fiancée that the boys are heading for Napa valley for a cultured couple of days of wine tasting and fine food.

Also along for the bumpy ride is Doug's future brother-in-law Alan (Galifianakis), a psychologically deranged misfit who's mysteriously forbidden within 200ft of any school.

After toasting the groom on the roof of Caesar's Palace in Jagermeister (Alan: "did Caesar really live here?"), the boys hit town. And that's the last thing they remember.

Coming to in their wrecked hotel room, Stu finds he's got a tooth missing, there's a tiger in the bathroom and a baby in the closet. There's no sign of Doug.

Carefully reconstructing the outrageous events of the previous night, the bachelor boys discover they stole a police car, visited in drive-in chapel and Stu married a hooker (Graham) between shifts.

Ingenious is not normally a word you'd associate with frat boy gross-outs but the sidesplitting style in which the lads piece together their booze-obliterated missing hours makes this less a whodunnit and more a icantbelievetheyreallydidthat.

The cracking script - a veritable treasure trove of smart one-liners - and beautifully-worked setpieces (the boys' run-in with the Vegas police is a classic) - make this one of the most enjoyable comedies of the year.

It's well cast and riotously played,,,none more so than Galifianakis whose on-the-edge Alan in a mentally unstable marvel of surreal non-sequiturs and brain wrong information overload.

There may be one too many plot strands and the last act never matches up to the previous two...but it roundly shows that director Todd Phillips' honeymoon period may just be beginning.