"The Hangover Part III"
Release Date: May 23, 2013
Running Time: 100 minutes
How sad it is to witness the Wolfpack go out with a whimper in The Hangover Part III. This superfluous threequel makes the lazy retread that was The Hangover Part II look like a work of comic genius—mostly because director Todd Phillips makes the baffling decision of barely playing for laughs this misadventure that supposedly unites Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis for the last time. Instead, The Hangover Part III unfolds almost as a mirthless thriller, one that’s darker in tone than the previous installments by virtue of Phillips’ semi-serious approach to ending his unlikely franchise. The big joke in the first two Hangovers was that the Wolfpack got into all sorts of mayhem as they searched high and low for a friend they believed to be kidnapped. In Part III, John Goodman’s mobster holds Justin Bartha hostage while the Wolfpack tracks down Ken Jeong’s on-the-run cocaine-crazed Mr. Chow, who stole $21 million in gold from Goodman prior to the events of Part II that landed him a Bangkok prison. Part III focuses primarily on the destructive relationship between Mr. Chow and Galifianakis’s man-child Alan as the Wolfpack travel first to Tijuana and then to Vegas—yes, back to where it all started—in pursuit of Mr. Chow. They are oddball comic creations that are best served up in small doses on their own or when they are bouncing off their less wacky pals. Putting Alan and Mr. Chow front and center in Part III, and therefore pushing Cooper’s wisecracking Phil and Helms’ neurotic Stu all but to the side, quickly wears thin in Part III and ultimately proves to be grating. At the very least, Phillips can be credited for not remaking The Hangover a second time, as he did with the sequel, but half the fun of the first two films was watching the Wolfpack stumble around an unfamiliar city, trying to recall the events that got them in a world of trouble during the previous evening of debauchery. In Part III, no one’s suffering from a hangover. There’s not even a cause for celebration. Everyone’s clearheaded—well, Alan is to a certain extent given his mental illness. Being sober doesn’t suit these guys. Save for the obligatory stinger, there isn’t a single moment in Part III that is as outrageously funny as anything to be found in the first two Hangovers. Phillips does a fine job of tying the events of The Hangover and its sequel to Part III, and the characters he brings back from The Hangover serve their limited purpose in bringing the Wolfpack closer to catching Mr. Chow. “It all ends tonight,’ Cooper declares when the Wolfpack arrive in Vegas. Part III passes itself off as the Wolfpack’s last hurrah, but the stinger unfortunately suggests otherwise.
Aired: May 22, 2013
Web site: http://www.hangoverpart3.com/