The Hangover part III, the Story Continues (Film Review)



Actually, although I did laugh at many of the comical mishaps to which the characters were subjected, The Hangover Part III wasn’t up to par with the original of the three episodes.  The good things were the return of the whole main cast that made The Hangover Part I a huge success, the downside was it turned out to be more repetitious than I thought it would be.  If you just can’t get enough of the ‘Wolfpack’ however, then rush right over to your theater this Memorial Day weekend for a reunion.

In this chapter we find Alan (Zach Galifianakis) in need of an intervention after going off his meds and being a brat.  His father gets so wound up on him that he has a heart attack and dies. At the funeral Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) agree to join in on an intervention to try and save their friend.

They find out that Alan needs more help than they can give him and offer to drive him to Arizona to a facility that specializes in his needs.  On their way to the facility they get pulled over by Marshall (John Goodman) the gangster who was robbed by Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) in The Hangover Part I.  Knowing that the four men may still be in contact with Chow, Marshall forces Phil, Stu and Alan to track him down by holding Doug as collateral.

Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zack-Galifianakis) and Stu (Ed Helms) in THE HANGOVER Part III

Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zack-Galifianakis) and Stu (Ed Helms) in THE HANGOVER Part III

The film does have some very comical and new segments, but they are outweighed by a lot of the same stuff from the other two episodes making Hangover Part III repetitious. In addition Zach Galifianakis takes his character way over the top and actually being more annoying than funny.  Although his character has been established as a “Denis the Menace” type he actually takes it to another level being this mean ‘kid’ who feels the world owes him for just being alive.  His comedy does work at times, but it starts to taper off following the caper in Tijuana.

Centering more on Alan, the other two partners Phil and Stu played by Cooper and Helms seem to be burned out being straight men to Galifianakis and therefore make their roles insipid. I can only blame the writers and director Todd Phillips for not creating more fun stuff for the two characters like he did in the past two outings.  With the focus being more on Alan’s getting in contact with Chow, he blends these two characters into serving as his whole show.  Although Jeong does rise to the top in this episode, his comedy cannot carry the film as it had in The Hangover Part II.

Alan, Chow (Ken Jeong), Stu and Phil

Alan, Chow (Ken Jeong), Stu and Phil in Tijuana

Bringing back Jeffery Tambor as Alan’s father, Mike Epps as Black Doug and Heather Graham as Jade, are nice touches (however so short) and seeing them in this sequel gives a snippet of nostalgia.  Director Phillips also takes us back to Las Vegas where it all began when his comedy worked so well.  But, the Las Vegas scenes aren’t hilarious enough to really give the film that special excitement he achieved in his first outing. The film ends up leaving more of a ‘ho hum’ emptiness rather than the ‘grand finale’ that I expected.

On the upside, Phillips does have an interesting beginning, an excellent twist that I did not see coming, and a no sequel closure. I think as director he needs to move on from using Galifianakis (He used him in his last four films- The Hangover Parts I-III and Due Date) as his bread and butter and work his way into inventing some different comedy stars.  I have The Hangover Part I as one of my all time favorite comedies along with his Road Trip and for them I tip my hat to his success.

Director Todd Phillips goes over a scene with John Gooman

Director Todd Phillips goes over a scene with John Goodman

The Hangover Part III has been rated R by the MPAA for pervasive language including sexual references, some violence and drug content, and brief graphic nudity. If the first two episodes didn’t bother you for its rudeness and animal exploitation (no real animals were harmed in any of the three films and in this one a CGI giraffe was the creature of choice), this one won’t either.

FINAL ANALYSIS:  More of the same kind of comedy but with some new twists. (C+)  

Additional Film Information:

  • Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, John Goodman and Heather Graham
  • Directed by: Todd Phillips
  • Genre: Comedy, Sequel
  • MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language including sexual references, some violence and drug content, and brief graphic nudity.
  • Running Time: 1 hr 40 min
  • Opening Date: May 23, 2013
  • Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
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