The Hangover goes down under in Stephan Elliot’s riotous attempt at putting a new spin on a genre that has been hugely successful at the box office in recent years. This may not be part of the actual Hangover series, but this movie is just about as close as one can get, albeit with the majority of laughs being provided by British actors.
The story centres around Mia (Laura Brett) and David (Xavier Samuel) who have met each other while on a back-packing holiday in the far east. The two fall in love, and quickly decide to get married, despite not knowing much about each-others backgrounds.
Mia is the daughter of Australian senator Jim Ramsey, whose right-wing brokering abilities are renowned throughout Australia. David, we learn, lost his parents and is an only child. So his representatives at the wedding are his three friends from back home in England.
It turns out the cultural leap may just be a bit too much for the four guys as they struggle to get to grips in their new surroundings. Things quickly go awry, with varying degrees of mayhem ensuing the night before the wedding day.
The day itself proves no less hilarious, with everything from crazed coke-dealers to cross-dressing sheep added into the mix. All this while David struggles to make an impression on Senator Ramsey and his assorted cronies. It makes for an outrageous and farcical spectacle, which gets progressively worse as each situation becomes less containable, the guys finding it impossible to conceal their misdeeds.
For some, this genre may be a tired one, and there can be no doubt who the target audience for this movie is. However there is enough in this movie on its own to differentiate it from its contemporaries. To start with, David’s English friends offer a wonderful blend of wit (Kris Marshall), ridiculousness (Kevin Bishop) and melancholy ( Tim Draxl)
In fact, a special nod should go to the casting for this movie. It is impeccable. From Mia’s mother played by a delectable Olivia Newton-John to Steve Marlaquand'xs hilarious portrayal of the hick-drug dealer Ray, the blend of characters and the actors comfort within them was a wonderful coup for Elliot .In addition, a clever script from Dean Craig adds a little more subtlety in places, although inevitably some of the gags are a little telegraphed.
Should you see this movie? Well, if you are looking for something new and original maybe you should look elsewhere, but A Few Best Men offers something decidedly unique in its own right. It is certain to provide some hearty laughs , and although a little formulaic in places, to my mind is well worth an hour and a half of your time.