The Hangover Part III
Sequel: The Sequel
Starring: Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper
Review written by Tom Bevis
Full disclosure, here: I didn’t see The Hangover Part Two. Or The Hangover Part II, whichever they decided to roll with. Why didn’t I, you may ask? Because I liked the first one a lot. It mixed dirty comedy, ridiculous scenarios, and a mystery just one step below any neo-noir picture being made today. I wasn’t so surprised that it exploded the way it did, but I was surprised when talks of a sequel started popping up because the first one was so well contained and concluded.
Sure enough, by the time the first trailers for the sequel started showing up, I was already disappointed. You didn’t have to see the movie to know that it would be a near carbon copy of the first installment, so I did myself a favor and chose not to tarnish my love for The Hangover by seeing The Hangover II.
So, if you’re like me, and you’re walking into The Hangover III because the trailer looked a bit more diverse than the trailer for the second one, you can rest easy. The events don’t seem to have any importance other than a few delayed punch lines slipped into the script for this current film. If all you wanted to know is whether you need to see The Hangover II, the answer is no, and you can stop reading.
If you want to know how The Hangover III plays out on its own, the answer is… well, the answer is just okay. There is absolutely nothing in this movie to “wow” anyone. The same kind of comedy is present, but it isn’t utilized nearly as well as it had been in the initial film, and other than the core characters and the city of Las Vegas, there isn’t a lot of semblance to the first picture.
Now, I know some people are going to throw a fit about me saying this, but one of the things I liked in the first film was that, while the plots points were extremely ridiculous, if you stretched your imagination, they weren’t entirely farfetched (read: impossible). Sure you’d have to have a unique combination of stupidity and luck, but anyone with experience in big, bad drugs and a familiarity with the headlines revolving around Mike Tyson could tell you those things could happen. Unlikely, sure, but possible.
That charm is lost here in the final act as scriptwriters, directors, producers, et al. go balls to the wall and decide to place a huge emphasis on action. The situations get more and more silly as the movie wears on, a clear indicator that the great minds behind this film have no understanding of the suspension of disbelief.
Sure, the comedy is the same flavor as earlier, but it’s just not spot-on. Furthermore, the script – especially the first thirty minutes or so, in which the movie just movies from joke-to-joke with absolutely no pace in a struggle to keep its head above water – is extremely lazy. It banks on carry-over jokes from the first two films and just places block after block on what’s already existing rather than bothering to craft anything new into the franchise. Now, this isn’t to say that the acting was bad. As usual, the core actors Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis perform admirably, despite the poor handiwork with the script they were given. Also present and equally well performed are John Goodman, Ken Jeong, Mike Epps, and Jeffrey Tambor.
What’s really bumming me out about this movie is, despite all the hoopla about this being THE FINAL CHAPTER, the film does little to maintain any kind of finality to it, which, at this point, I would really appreciate. It fakes you out a little bit, gives you reason to think that it would finally be over after all of this, only to slap you in the face and give you a dozen more reasons to expect The Hangover IV in the future.
So, if you were reading to decide whether you should see The Hangover III, the answer is no. If you’re a fan of the first movie, just go rent it and watch it at home. If you’re not, then, hey, Star Trek is still in theaters.