Director: Todd Philips
Writers: Todd Philips and Craig Mazin
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galiafinakis, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, John Goodnman
Running Length: 100 minutes
Synopsis: In the supposed finale of The Hangover trilogy, there are no weddings and no bachelor parties – but when the Wolf Pack hits the road, all bets are off.
Review: There is little that needs to be said of The Hangover Part III if you have watched the previous two instalments – it’s once again about the Wolf Pack (Bradley Cooper, Zach Galiafinakis, Ed Helms and Justin Bartha) on the road, this time at the bidding of a thug (John Goodman), and its ensuing hijinks. Ken Jeong’s Mr Chow also takes on a leading role this time, with the addition of a memorable cameo from a (increasingly) well-known comedienne. Though much of the shtick is tired and old-hat, The Hangover Part III feels more like a proper sequel to the first movie, as the second movie was merely a facsimile of The Hangover set in a more exotic locale. It’s also a somewhat befitting swan song to the series, if this is truly the end as advertised widely in the film’s marketing campaign.
The Hangover Part III drops the dramatic setup of a drugs- and/or alcohol-fuelled amnesia, and instead presents itself more as a caper movie in the likes of the Ocean’s Eleven franchise. The film is quite dark as a result, which is surprising because the film is marketed as a straight up comedy, and there are more deaths (both human and animal) in this film than in some actual caper movies. While this is largely fine, it does make for an uneasy marriage with the Hangover franchise, and it’s clear in some sequences that Todd Philips was also struggling with the mix. Essentially, it’s almost impossible to kill someone off in a movie and still expect audiences to laugh at the act.
Both Ken Jeong’s Mr Chow and Zach Galiafinakis’ Alan are characters that are entertaining in short bursts; increasing their onscreen presence in The Hangover Part III is thus a double-edged sword: while some of these sequences are funny, these two characters are generally unlikeable and start to grate after a while. Although a female cameo is introduced as Alan’s potential love interest to soften the impact, the film still suffers from this shift in spotlights. Yet, it cannot be denied that there are bright sparks in the film, and for audiences who just want to switch their brains off at the door and enjoy a silly comedy will find themselves capably entertained. I don’t quite believe that this is the end of the series, especially with the mid-credits sequence, but at the same time I cannot really imagine sitting through another Hangover movie. It’s high time to bid farewell to the Wolf Pack, and hopefully the producers will look past the greenbacks and recognize this fact.
Rating: * * * (out of four stars)