‘The Hangover” survives the curse of a great red-band trailer.
Remember the raucous teaser for last summer’s “Pineapple Express?” The movie paled in comparison to those killer clips.
“The Hangover” suffers no such letdown. It’s a dizzying array of bawdy set pieces buoyed by a eclectic cast.
The comedy can’t sustain its level of mayhem, but the end credits offer a final comic salvo to wipe away any misgivings.
“The Hangover” follows three buds who travel to Las Vegas to celebrate the impending nuptials of their friend Doug (Justin Bartha).
One debauchery-filled night later, the trio wakes up and finds:
* A baby in their hotel room
* A tiger in the bathroom
* No Doug
It’s panic time since no one can remember what happened the night before. Matters only get worse – and funnier – from there.
Director Todd Phillips (“Old School”) is the right man for this mission, steering the comedy in unpredictable ways without misplacing the quartet’s bond. Co-star Zach Galifianakis provides the much needed wild card, leveraging his bear-like physique and warped line readings to spark his straight-laced co-stars (Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms of “The Office” fame).
Even an extended cameo by Mike Tyson clicks, even if it goes on a few beats too long.
“The Hangover” brushes up against our better nature, from a raw sight gag involving an innocent toddler to a subplot involving a drug-dealing hood (Mike Epps).
But the brotherly love on fitful display – just don’t call it a menage a bromance – makes “The Hangover” a comedy worth remembering.
(Photo: Stu (Ed Helms and Phil (Bradley Cooper) investigate a strange noise in the trunk of their car in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ comedy “The Hangover,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Frank Masi)