WHAT I LIKED: The best thing about Todd Phillips' 'The Hangover,' is how much you get a sense that the central characters really are a ragtag group of friends ditching their responsibilities for a stag-do night of unknown possibilities. That's largely down to the performances - from Ed Helms playing the anxious Stu trapped in a difficult relationship, to the easy-going Phil played by Bradley Cooper, and Zach Galifianakis' Alan who's desparate to be part of the gang. It all goes horribly wrong of course and they wake up in a race to find a missing groom, and the journey is supposed to be an opportunity for bags of laddy laughs. But mostly it's engaging because the characters feel like real people with real stakes and anxieties, so you're engaged in their quest to find out what happened and locate their missing friend.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Some of the humour is downright distasteful, and most of it isn't that funny.
VERDICT: It's not the humour or mystery that will keep you engaged in 'The Hangover;' it's well-performed characters who feel like they have real relationships and anxieties of their own.