The Hangover Part III (18)
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Ken Jeong
Running time: 100 mins
This time, there’s no wedding. No bachelor party. What could go wrong, right? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.
Following the death of his father, Alan (Zach Galifianakis) has gone off the rails. His friends Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) decide that he needs “professional” help and they embark on a road trip.
However, things never go as planned and soon Doug is kidnapped and the remaining trio must track down the one person they never wanted to see again: Mr Chow (Ken Jeong). With Chow having recently escaped from prison, the group must find him and return $21 million dollars worth of stolen gold or their friend Doug dies. With their friend’s life hanging in the balance, the next two days are going to be the toughest The Wolfpack have encountered.
Hangover Part III reunites the original cast members once again, though things are very much different. Firstly, this is a Hangover film where the cast do NOT have a hangover! This was one of the main strengths from the original and sadly disappointing sequel and plot point that is missing entirely here, for when you have friends who are sober doing silly things, it is not as justified or comedic to the audience as when they are drunk.
That said, the whole shift of this sequel seems to be driven around the characters of Mr Chow and Alan. Indeed, Mr Chow seems to have the majority of the film’s best one-liners, and whilst the character of Alan was quite funny in the first film, now he is just plain annoying.
The Hangover films work best as ensemble pieces, and whilst poor Doug is virtually missing for most of these films, the character interaction between the three friends is what made them successful. That has sadly been removed from this sequel as Stu doesn’t seem to have much dialogue except for a key sequence towards the end and it’s really left to Bradley Copper to be the film’s stallwart.
The script does have some quite funny one liners, but few real laugh out moments beyond the film’s quite funny opening 15 minutes. The plot, which quite frankly is a carbon copy of the first two films and based on a throw-away line from the first movie, isn’t really inspiring. The Director, Todd Phillips, who directed the previous films, has basically stuck with what he knows works. The sad thing being though that this is a third film where the hangover now is wearing very thin and it’s not working any more.
Hangover Part III, may lack the unique humour of the first film, or the stunning scenery of the second film, but it’s somewhat rescued thanks to the Mr Chow character; indeed if he weren’t in this, there would simply be no comedy in this film.
In short, it’s similar to, if marginally funnier than the previous film, though the serious tones do nothing to add character development. If you enjoyed the last film then chances are you will love this three-quel; if on the other hand you felt disappointed by Part II, you may want to avoid this extra helping.