The Hangover Part III


In 2009, Todd Phillips and co. had a surprise smash hit with “The Hangover”, a movie about three men who awaken from a night of blackout drinking to find they’ve lost one of their friends. They then have to recreate the events of the night before in order to retrace their steps and find their friend. In 2011, Todd Phillips and co. had another smash hit with “The Hangover Part II”, a movie about three men who awaken from a night of blackout drinking to find they’ve lost one of their friends. They then have to recreate the events of the night before in order to retrace their steps and find their friend.

“Part II” was widely criticized for being a regurgitation of the first film. It was nearly a note for note facsimile, and critics punished it accordingly. In response, Phillips and co. pledged “The Hangover Part III” would not be “the same old thing”. Instead, they made a movie that has little to do with anything fans love about the first two films.

No drunken debauchery, no blackout, no “Hangover”.

Worst of all, few to no laughs.

As Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) drive Alan (Zach Galifianakis) to a mental health facility, they’re attacked by a van full of armed men who work for a gangster named Marshall (John Goodman). Marshall informs the “Wolf Pack” that Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong), the volatile criminal that they’ve associated with in the past, has just escaped from jail. Marshall claims that Chow stole $21 million in gold from him years ago, and now he wants the Pack to track Chow down and get the gold back. To ensure their cooperation, Marshall kidnaps Doug, leaving Phil, Stu and Alan to find Chow, recover the gold, and save their friend.

Luckily for them, Alan has been keeping touch with Chow in jail, and he has a lead on where to meet him. In order to corner him, the Wolf Pack will have to cross the Mexican border to Tijuana, and eventually back to Vegas… where it all began.

Don’t let those legendary hot spots fool you, however. In this chapter, there’s no partying in the Wolf Pack’s future. “The Hangover Part III” repositions the three reprobates as quasi-bounty hunters, out to track down Chow. There’s no drunken antics involved this time out. No regrettable acts. It’s “The Hangover III: The Chase of Chow”. I can understand, after the trashing Part II took for its lack of originality, the desire to venture into new territory and explore different elements with the plot. However, there’s little to nothing here left that the fans love about the first two movies outside of the characters.

The characters, of course, are the same for the most part. Cooper’s Phil is still the slick, composed one, Helms’ Stu is still exacerbated by just about everything, and Galifianakis’ Alan still barely has a grip on reality. Jeong wears out his welcome in an expanded role as the chatty, unpredictable Chow. Melissa McCarthy makes her first appearance in the series as a creepy love interest for Galifianakis. Their scenes together are uncomfortably funny, as the two overweight, socially challenged people discover a mutual attraction.

Sadly, however, that’s one of the films few bright spots. For most of its run, “The Hangover Part III” is a caper movie with a dull caper. Chow lives the wild and crazy life, but the Wolf Pack do not. For the most part they just try to put up with each other (and Chow) while trying to meet a mobster’s demands. There’s a reunion moment that fans of the franchise will appreciate (and I won’t spoil), but as to what fun and insanity this installment brings to the table, the answer is “not much”.

The characters provide some laughs here and there, but there’s nothing inherently funny about the story or the events. Occasional spots of humor simply aren’t enough to meet expectations for this concluding chapter of this high-profile comedy trilogy.


Daniel Fogarty

64 thoughts on “The Hangover Part III

  1. I didn’t even watch the second one when I heard that was out and about because truly, this was not the type of franchise you could keep building on, to be honest.

    • welllllll… the first one made a lot of money, lets boil it down to that. Thats all Hollywood looks at nowadays, Zoe. It made no diffrence to them that the outrageous events of the first film were so funny in a what are the odds once in a lifetime kind of way…

      Meanwhile, then, obviously there’s no need for you to check out this one under any circumstances 😉

      • 😦 It is depressing. A film rakes in cash, therefore anything associated with it should in theory, too. Instead all Hollywood ends up doing is ruining perfectly decent things for viewers!

        In that case, I will give it the same skip I did number two!

  2. I so called this one doing poorly at the Box Office this weekend, lol. Maybe another movie will have a shot at the comedy title for 2013 now

  3. Hmmm. No real surprise here to be honest. I thought the second film was terrible, but money talks, I guess.I thought the first one was brilliant and genuinely still makes me laugh out loud but it should always have been left at that. Do successful films ever get left alone anymore or are there always sequels?!

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  5. Yeah I think this pretty much just sums up Hollywood nowadays, despite the fact I haven’t seen this (ha!). It wasn’t so long ago a film had to be a phenomenon to even get a sequel, was it? Nowadays anything that turns a profit is being turned into a trilogy (or in the case of Fast and Furious, something-approaching-the-length-of-a-life-sentence-ogy).

    • Easy now, I’m rooting for Fast & Furious 19 as long as they can keep the entertainment up!

      You’re right it seems as though anything that turns a profit nowadays turns into a trilogy at least 🙄 The Hangover grossed nearly a half a billion worldwide though, I think they’re pretty justified in churning out a couple more after that…

      This movie shows the franchise is clearly out of steam though… 😦

  6. It is a shame it hasn’t been able to live up to expectations but it is a strong comedy series and the task was always going to be difficult.

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