The Hangover Part III (2013) R 100 mins


UK Release Date :5/24/2013
US Release Date 5/23/2013
Bradly Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis

I love a Sleeper Hit. A film that has no expectations but by the end of its run, it’s the film that everyone is talking about. Everything in Hollywood though, comes at a price. A sequel will always follow, but wont be so sleepy. The hype machine is kicked into full swing with all hopes pinned on a Memorial Day opening weekend. Here’s the thing: A studio has your money before you are even allowed to cross the threshold of your local multiplex, so a $194 million worldwide weekend doesn’t mean the sequel is any good, it just means a lot of people hoped it would be. After you come down from the high of seeing those familiar faces you connected with so well in the original movie, you realise the sequel wasn’t really any good, was it? Ending things at a sequel sounds half finished, right? So along comes the inevitable threequel. Everybody has taken a deep breath after the sequel and thinks “Okay, we got their money for the sequel but they might stay away from this one. We have to do better.” But do they?

I wish I wasn’t describing the life cycle of 2009′s “The Hangover” but alas. The original film was laugh out load funny, original and fresh. The idea of a hangover, and a get-me-to-the-church-on-time movie isn’t new. What set it apart is the fact that the characters are on the same page as the audience every step of the way. Phil, Stu, Alan and Doug were people we’ve met before in real life to varying degrees, and we’ve all had a night that is probably best left in the recesses of the subconscious. We can all relate to that.

Two years later, a sequel arrived. The cast was there, the jokes were bigger, the locale was more exotic, but the heart of the original was nowhere to be found. In comedy, the jokes that passed you by on first viewing sometimes offer the biggest laugh. In a sequel where the audience knows what’s coming, subtlety takes a back seat and slapstick (more appropriately slap-hammer) takes center stage.

So what does the third and (do they mean it when they say) final film in the Hangover have to offer? Alan’s antics have taken their toll on his parents, literally driving his father to his grave. An intervention seems in order, and everyone knows that it has more chance of success if all members of the Wolf-pack are there to drive Alan to therapy. With his support system on the road with him, its a two day drive to the facility. What could possibly go wrong? The boys are run of the road by wiseguy Marshall (John Goodman) who is desperate to find Mr. Chow, who has made off with $21 million worth of gold bars. Marshall believes the Wolf Pack are the best chance he has of finding him. He takes Doug as collateral, and they have 72 hours to return with Chow – or, well, you know.

The Hangover Part III is a predicable farce that is only a little better than Part II. The cast looks tired and the only way they seem to be able to up the ante is by screaming their lines rather than delivering them. Ken Jeong’s Mr Chow is tedious and overused. Thinking about it, he reminds me of Jar Jar Binks in Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The filmmakers believe that a supporting character can carry the picture but the audience wish he’d just bugger off and leave us alone.

The biggest problem with The Hangover Part III is it’s lack of hangover. Literally. It plays out like a straight road movie. There are laughs, but only extensions of what we’ve seen in the trailer. The funniest scene plays over the end credits. Alan gets a nice send off, but by the time it comes we’re spent. So what? Who cares? It’s a sad end, but don’t let it sour the greatness of the original. Invite the members of your own Wolf Pack to your place. Open a few beers, fire up the Blu-Ray player, and send yourself back to 2009. That one’s a classic.

Is this lime worth your time? 5/10 (or 2.5 out of 5)


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