The Hangover Part III is funny in parts, but its predictable and quite frankly uninteresting plot leaves this third and final (hopefully) installment feeling very stale
What do you do when you make a critically and commercially well received comedy film in Hollywood? You make a sequel, obviously, which always falls short of the original, always. So you then deem the film series a trilogy and make a third in an attempt to make up for the shortcomings of the second. So that's where we're up too with The Hangover trilogy. After making a good first movie based on a classic comedy template and an awful sequel in which you may have thought 'haven't I seen all this before', we're now struggling over the finish line to this trilogies completion and desperately hoping that this third film isn't based on a hangover and that that annoying chinese bloke won't appear again. Well I have good news and bad news, this film isn't based on adventures the morning after a big night out, woo! The bad news though, yes that irritating and disturbing chinese man is essentially the whole crux of the story. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and that guy who goes missing in every movie all return to the franchise as their respective characters. Ken Jeong is back as Leslie Chow AKA that annoying fellow I was referring too, while John Goodman also makes an appearance as bad ass mobster, Marshall.
In a decent introduction scene we see Leslie Chow has escaped from a Bangkok prison, Shawshank Redemption style, (hasn't the poster over the hole parody been done to death now?) and is now on the loose. However, back in America, after a headless Giraffe incident on the highway and the death of Alan's Dad, his friends and family decide that going to a rehab facility is best for him. Doug, Phil and Stu all agree to drive him down, but on the way they are rammed off the road by mob boss Marshall. It is explained that escapee Chow has stolen half of a $42 million gold heist, and this mob boss, obviously not happy with the pitiful $21 million left for him, and because he's not rich enough already, explains that he really, desperately needs this money back, obviously.
|Wait, let me guess, let me guess, hmmm... Is this a play on The Beatles' seminal Abbey Road album cover? Genius. The question is, who's Ringo Starr?|
The self named 'Wolfpack' are blackmailed into trying to find Chow, of course Doug is kidnapped and taken for 'insurance'. He is predictably absent for the rest of the film as he probably sips martinis and has a right old laugh with Marshall. Anyhow, the trio track Chow down (get it!?) to Mexico, using Alan as a ploy to nab him. However, being the clever weird little man that Chow is, he saw it coming and convinces Phil, Alan and Stu that they should break into his old mansion to get the gold back so they can give it to Marshall and get Doug freed. Unknowing to the Wolfpack though, the mansion is actually Marshall's, and Chow locks all three of them in the house, and the gold he takes? Marshall's other half! What a twist!
Big bad Marshall is obviously very angry and shoots his colleague 'Black Doug', who you might remember from the first film, for no reason. Shame, I quite liked him, probably because he looks like that man from 'My Wife and Kids'. Marshall now really angry and apparently shooting people at will, gives them 24 hours to find Chow, or 'white' Doug dies. Golly.
Shenanigans ensue, with the crew returning to Vegas in order to catch Chow. Usually at this point in a review I will describe how thrilling a film's finale is and not give any of the ending plot away, but to save you all time we all know they catch Chow in a mad escapade around Vegas' finest hotels (great advertisement I bet), get Doug back and Alan is okay and doesn't really need his rehab. Bet you didn't see that coming.
|Look how angry he is!? That lovely knitted scarf is really menacing|
In all seriousness, The Hangover III has its moments. The opening scene in which Alan accidentally executes a Giraffe on the highway is genuinely funny, as is his Father's death scene. The post-credits sequence also got a lot of laughs, as Stu wakes up with a brand spanking new set of breasts. The four main characters have an honest chemistry between them, and they utilise this well. At least this third film wasn't based on a hangover, which in some aspects felt refreshing, and they were able to introduce new characters through it.
Zach Galifianakis can still be funny throughout, and is often the film's gem, but his weird bearded man routine has become tiresome. Bradley Cooper is of course likeable, as he is in most films. Some of the best scenes came when it was just Phil and Alan, with Cooper's stone solid face to Alan's constant barrage of questions proving to be amusing. Not much to say about Ed Helms, he was of course the same as in the previous two films, the frantic awkward one who only ever looks on the negative side. Other than a couple of one liners and a likeable persona, he doesn't add as much, but I suppose they did put boobs on him though, poor Stu, always coming off worse the morning after.
My issue with The Hangover III though is its story, which is predictable and boring. I know a comedy isn't supposed to have an intensely complicated plot, but with what most comedies lack in story, they make up with laughs. The Hangover III lacks these laughs which bridge the gap between poor story and humour. The writers often use recycled plot points and jokes from the previous two films, making the whole movie seem stagnant. It really raises the question, was a third film needed?
The Hangover Part III is watchable, and on occasions enjoyable, but its uninteresting and obvious plot make for poor viewing. If this film does well, and because it's The Hangover it inevitably will do, who's to bet those Hollywood producers will say, 'hey let's do a fourth!', 'hey lets set it in Vegas!'. Thus further flogging the proverbial dead horse.