Surprisingly good fun, made surprisingly compelling by the documentary-like shooting of scenes, a very effective cameo appearance from Mike Tyson, great acting, and great dialogue. The shortcoming of the movie was that the internal crises the protagonists dealt with were too easily resolved at the end of the movie. I recognize that The Hangover was not trying to contend for any Oscars, but what it possessed in abundance in terms of acting on the part of its cast members, and clever scriptwriting, it lacked in terms of character development. While the movie was raucously funny at many points, no movie is funny enough to cover up such shortcomings.
I acknowledge, of course, the fact that most of the people who go to see The Hangover do not and will not care about such shortcomings being manifested in that movie, although they may well care if they see them manifested in a film that is picked as a potential Oscar contender. I would not therefore tell anyone not to see the movie based on my critique, but it is wrong for me to pretend that the skimping on character development didn’t play a role in how I judge the film.