I had no intention of watching The Last Hangover, but after smoking some sweet hybrid before bedtime I wanted something silly to watch until I fell asleep. It did not work out that way. Well, the hybrid worked, but I could not fall asleep. I had to keep hitting pause because I was laughing so hard.
I woke up the next morning with a clear head, desperate to find the minds behind this movie. I couldn’t find the title anywhere under Netflix "new releases" or "originals". It was as though I’d dreamt it. I looked to see if anyone on Twitter was talking about the movie, or if Netflix had released a trailer on Youtube, but all I could find were references to the last Hangover movie of the trilogy, a series whose premise you take – a bunch of dude-bros wake up with no recollection of the previous night’s events, and one of them is missing – to one of the most legendary nights out in history; The Last Supper. Here the dude-bros are the Twelve Apostles, and the missing dude-bro is Jesus himself.
This is the kind of premise that could easily fall apart if not executed brilliantly. You play Jesus, a not-so-humble leader who just happens to be a royal, power-tripping dick when he drinks. The apostles range from sycophantic Judas, to sex-addicted Thomas, to one of the two James’s that no one really cares for. Mary Magdalene is a feminist, the Romans are morons, the inn’s owner has had enough of your shit, and there’s a tiger in the bathroom.
The Last Supper’s events are told in flashback as the apostles wake up and try to piece together what happened to Jesus and where he could have disappeared to. We see Jesus crying on Judas’ shoulder about Mary Magdalene, getting into a fight with a second-rate magician who claims he is the son of God, getting fucked up with the apostles on Jerusalem cocaine, and getting into an altercation with some Roman centurions (which features a solid homage to Life of Brian).
I did a deep dive down the YouTube rabbit-hole and found the sketch comedy series you and some friends created, called Porta dos Fundos (The Back Door), and I didn’t look up from my laptop for at least an hour. This is up there with Python, Kids in the Hall, Goodies, Key & Peele, Baroness Von Sketch Show, A Bit of Frye and Laurie, and every other sketch comedy show I’ve stumbled upon throughout my life which made me feel as though I’d just discovered a new element on the periodic table. I now have a mission to tell everyone in the English-speaking world to stop what they are doing and watch it (15M Brazilian YouTube subscribers have kept this to themselves for long enough).
The Last Hangover, much like Python’s Life of Brian and Mel Brooks’ History of the World Part I will not be suitable for those who are offended by anything that pokes fun at religion. For the rest of us, though, this film is an irreverent, warped, good time. Perhaps the advantage of having honed your comedy writing and performing skills for years before making a Netflix special is that you all have a natural, confident rapport with one another which makes this feel twice as fresh to North American eyes who are so used to seeing the usual suspects - Will Farrell, Ed Helms, Will Arnett, Andy Samberg, Seth Rogen etc. ad nauseam – deliver this kind of movie. Not knowing any of you from Adam means that my responses were based on surprise, not expectation. This made The Last Hangover all the more revelatory. And that the film clocks in at a sleek 44 minutes means you know when we’ve had enough of a good thing.
And just in case you were wondering, I watched this film a second time within 24 hours of the first viewing, just to make sure the jokes landed without the aid of recreational pharmaceuticals or the element of surprise. They did. I’m too old to believe in Santa, but this film is a Christmas miracle.