2009 was a wonderful year. The country was slightly less divided, Bill Cosby was still a role model, and Kanye was a tiiiiiny bit humbler (but not really, though). Sure, Michael Jackson died that year, but the silver lining was that we were finally allowed to like his music again and listen to “Billie Jean” guilt-free. It was about damn time.
But the one thing that made 2009 such a historically significant year was that The Hangover was released in theaters. It kinda came out of nowhere and ended up being a smash hit. Critics and audiences loved it. It quickly became the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time, but was eventually topped by Ted and then Deadpool (and those will inevitably be topped by Tedpool).
The film catapulted fringe stand-up comic Zach Galifianakis (I guarantee I’m spelling that wrong) into the mainstream superstardom that he deserved. It also featured Ed Helms as a movie star, Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper, whoever that guy is who plays Doug, and Ken Jeong’s dick. On top of that, Mike Tyson was in it, which automatically makes any movie a masterpiece. Seriously; if Mike Tyson had a 3-second cameo in Suicide Squad, it would have went from shitfest to Oscar winner.
It was immediately considered a modern comedy classic. All your high school friends obsessively quoted it on Facebook until you wanted to slit your own wrists with the pen the movie was written with. But goddammit it was a wonderful film. Great, dumb summer fun.
But then, something terrible happened.
A sequel came out in 2011, and then another one in 2013. The sequels were widely despised, which is okay. But the sequels unfairly destroyed the first Hangover’s honorable legacy. Sickening.
To be fair, the sequels simply weren’t good. The second one was pretty funny, but it was a desperate carbon copy of the first one; like a lazy cut-and-paste screenplay. And the third tried TOO hard to be different and it devolved into a bizarre thriller where most of the jokes were spoiled in the trailer. The movies weren’t nearly as bad as people say, but they’re definitely not good. But worst of all, they were unnecessary.
I don’t blame the stars for agreeing to do the sequels. They probably got paid boatloads of money. I’d act in the worst movie of all time if you offered me millions of dollars and just enough fame to get harassed by solid 6s at a grocery store. But what bothers me is that these movies erased how great and funny the first one was.
The first Hangover movie used to be considered a comedic masterpiece, and now it’s considered garbage because it was followed by two shitty sequels. And that, my friends, may just be the biggest tragedy in American history (aside from my appointment to TFM writer).
My point is this: give the first Hangover the respect it deserves. Don’t let its awesomeness be erased by its mediocre follow-ups. Remember the good times, and try to forget the bad ones. Life is too short. Don’t be a ruh-tard..