Rogue 10: Ten Casually Great Zach Galifianakis Moments in 'The Hangover' Trilogy

Thursday, 10 October 2013 14:02 Written by  iamrogue
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Rogue 10: Ten Casually Great Zach Galifianakis Moments in 'The Hangover' Trilogy

We need to talk about Alan.

The Hangover Part III arrives on Blu-ray and all manner of home entertainment platforms this week, completing the comedy trilogy that began with one raucous night in Vegas four years ago. With the final installment, the strange misadventures of the Wolfpack have concluded, sending Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and Doug (Justin Bartha) figuratively riding off into the sunset.

Even Alan Garner, the man who started all the trouble by drugging his fellow bachelor partiers, achieves some resolution by the end of The Hangover Part III

Alan is the trilogy's spirit animal: a volatile, childish, oddly innocent human non-sequitur, a dangerous and unfathomable case study who is also endearing in his vulnerability.  There's a bit of Eric Cartman in Alan, along with a sprinkling of Rain Man and pinch of Pee-wee Herman for flavor. While credit must go to the filmmakers (Craig Mazin, Scot Armstrong, Jon Lucas, Scott Moore, and director Todd Phillips all contributed as screenwriters), Alan unmistakably belongs to Zach Galifianakis.  Anyone familiar with his absurd stand-up will recognize elements of Galifianakis's style and fixations in the character.

Tiger encounters, revelations of transgender trysts, car chases, face tattoos, and full frontal male nudity all end up inspiring lots of conversation, but our latest Rogue 10 doesn't compile such moments.  Instead, we're preserving for posterity ten Alan-centric moments that don't get the same attention.  These aren't centerpiece gigs destined to be included in every trailer and TV spot.  These are quick, seemingly inconsequential moments that keep The Hangover films humming along, and also tell us a lot about the characters.

In this case, they originate with and tell us about the unknowable Alan Garner.

So here, for your reading pleasure, are ten moments to savor as you re-watch all three movies on Blu-ray:

Practicing Medicine Illegally - The Hangover Part II

Upon finally receiving an invitation to Stu's wedding in Thailand, Alan immediately pops open his mini-fridge, removes a syringe, and stabs himself with the necessary immunizations.  It's not the shock that most registers, though.  It's his explaining, "I'm a nurse.  I'm just not registered," as if it's no big deal.

Various Mispronunciations - Throughout

From "retard" to "Thailand" to "concierge," Alan puts an odd spin on seemingly random words.  It's actually even odder than it initially seems in the first movie, because in the second, it becomes apparent that Alan isn't simply mispronouncing sometimes, he's over-pronouncing certain syllables.  And he's doing it in way that implies a certain pretentiousness and intellectual vanity.

Kicking a Cell Phone - The Hangover

If you try to take a picture of a handcuffed Alan, he will not hesitate to kick your phone right out of your hand, even if you're just a little kid.

His Life-Partner - The Hangover Part III

Sharing a bedroom tent with Carlos, Alan says of his late father, "We did everything together. He was my life partner." The line plays to a sweetly literal aspect of Alan's psyche, as he interprets the euphemistic phrase directly, without romantic connotations.  It's also deeply weird, so that works too.

The Hair Flip - The Hangover

Following a group slow-motion hallway strut, just before he's harangued over his effeminate handbag, Alan takes a brief moment to flip his hair as though he has a long, luxuriant head of hair that belongs in a shampoo commercial.  It's quick, but it's just another instance of Alan seeming to occupy an entirely different reality.  It's also an example of his warped, self-aggrandizing self-image.

Ring Pop - The Hangover Part III

Doug's been kidnapped and the gang, posted up at a desert gas station, is trying to figure out how to find out how to track down Mr. Chow before their friend – and Alan's brother-in-law – is executed.  Yet Alan spends the entire scene delightedly sucking on a novelty lollipop.

"Oh, I get it!" - The Hangover Part II

When the gang brings an aged monk back to his monastery, they're promptly assaulted by a bamboo-wielding monk.  As Phil, Stu, and Alan are smacked in turn, Alan figures out that, in every instance, it's for intruding on mediation by speaking.  Still, the enthusiastic Alan can't help but exclaim out loud and ends up on his ass as a direct result.

"Your language is offensive!" - The Hangover

Alan's the kind of guy who will, without a second thought, drug three friends for fun.  But he doesn't abide by vulgar language.  Even when mimicking a distressed Phil, on whom he has a wide-eyed crush, Alan runs his expletives through a family-friendly filter, converting a "shit" to a "shoot" and a "godammit" to a "gosh darn it."

The Tab Glass Gambit - The Hangover Part III

Alan's Alan's ruthless and cruel streak pops up here.  The third film finds the Garner family and the Woflpack staging an intervention for Alan, whose behavior has finally gone too far.  As his housekeeper and surrogate mother-figure of thirty years pours her heart out to him, citing the unspeakable horrors she's found cleaning his room, Alan abruptly knocks over his glass of Tab.  Staring at her coldly, he comments, "Someone should clean that up."

"Or a Chuck E. Cheeze's." - The Hangover

In a line that recalls Galifianakis's stand-up, Alan expresses concern while waiting to pick up Phil outside an elementary school, saying, "I'm not supposed to be within two hundred feet of a school.  Or a Chuck E. Cheeze's."  It's not even the line itself, actually, it's the implication of a whole fairly horrifying back story, one that Alan might be alluding to again when he asserts that he once found a baby in a Coffee Bean.

The Hangover Part III is now available on Blu-ray combo pack, so you can complete your collection of all three installments.

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