Slightly more fun than holding a friend’s head over the bowl, The Hangover is only this summer’s breakout comedy hit in the minds of enterprising studio publicists. In Road Trip, Old School and the fine wine that is Starsky & Hutch, the Todd Phillips movie credit was a sign of laughs to come. But perhaps the success of those films should be attributed to the charisma of their Frat Pack stars—or even, in the case of Road Trip, to Tom Green. Working with an undisciplined cast and a script that betrays no signs of having made it past an initial draft, Phillips dutifully documents the fallout from a Vegas bachelor party, when three pals—squeamish Stu (Helms), crazy Alan (Galifianakis) and Vince Vaughn--ish Phil (Cooper)—wake up to find their suite trashed, their memories fuzzy and their soon-to-be-married friend gone. What happened, and more to the point, how did that tiger get in here?
That question is essentially a blank space into which writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past) could insert any kind of incident—the more outrageous, the funnier. So it’s astonishing that the best anyone could come up with was a shotgun marriage, a pidgin-speaking Chinese gangster and taser-happy cops. Criticizing this bromance for seeing all of its women as harpies or strippers is a little like complaining that Natty Light lacks hops, but the reliance on ass-shot gags seems liability enough. You’ll laugh three or four times and probably won’t remember why.—Ben Kenigsberg