In 2009 The Hangover came out of nowhere to become the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time. It turned Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis into huge stars and set the stage for its inevitable followup. The Hangover II made a ton of money, but left some fans disappointed with the same unbelievable scenario being played out again on film with a different location. Fans may have soured on The Wolfpack, but the truth is if there’s money to be made on a franchise, studios will go back to the well as many times as they can. That’s why once again The WolfPack will assemble for a final crazy adventure in The Hangover III.
In The Hangover III, the traditional drunken black out bachelor party theme is ditched and the focus turns to man-child Allan (Galifianakis) in a full mental breakdown. This leads to an intervention with Stu, Phil and Doug. They decide to take Allan to get help but run into trouble with a gangster (John Goodman) who thinks they have information concerning Chow (Ken Jeong). Instead of a drunken mystery, The Hangover III turns into a heist film that can’t steal a laugh from the audience. The plot is thin and The Hangover III squanders the few interesting plot twist that are attempted. Also the risky comedy that was taken in the first two installments is scaled back tremendously. Except for an incident with a giraffe, the comedy is basically the group cursing at one another.
The actors themselves seem to just be going through the motions at this point as well. Ed Helms who was the focal point of the last film is basically regulated to the guy sitting in the back seat. Bradley Cooper seems bored and is slowly losing the snarky charm that we loved as Phil in the first two films. Galifianakis and Jeong provide some giggles, but for the most part it’s the same weird traits that the duo displayed in the first two Hangover movies. The script is poorly written and it seems that the actors where just as bored with it on-screen as I was sitting in my seat.
So, who should take the blame for the failure of The Hangover III? The answer may surprise you. The blame is on me and everyone one else who thought the old Hangover format wasn’t working and needed to be changed. I turned into a complete hypocrite after viewing The Hangover III because I wanted something different and when Todd Phillips gave it to me, I didn’t like it. The Hangover II‘s premise wasn’t bad, it just didn’t have the laughs of the original. Turning the story into a heist film just did not work for this cast of characters. Unfortunately what was missing was the big belly laughs that only came in the last five minutes of the The Hangover III. We get a glimpse of the The Hangover sequel that could have succeeded in the laughs department, but it was too little too late. Overall I give The Hangover III 2 out of 4 potatoes.
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