The “epic” conclusion to the Wolf Pack trilogy is here. Todd Phillips‘ The Hangover Part III is exactly the sequel that everyone thought Part II was going to be, which simply means more of Ken Jeong‘s penis, more Zach Galifianakis-forced humor and more unsteady direction from a director that use to make some pretty damn funny films. The Hangover Part III is a step in the right direction, but still a comedic misfire that chooses to revisit the same jokes instead of creating new ones.
Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) are back. This time Alan’s father has passed away and the Wolf Pack has decided that an intervention is in need. They decide to drive Alan down to a place where he can sort his life out, but early on in the journey they get kidnapped by a man named Marshall (John Goodman) and from there they slowly descend into an all too familiar hell.
The Hangover Part III is the sequel that most thought The Hangover Part II was going to be. Instead of copying the first film shot-for- shot, director Todd Phillips has now decided to expand on his truly despicable characters a little more, while mostly remaining to that same comedic structure that worked so well in the first movie.
See, I liked The Hangover. It wasn’t the best comedy of all time or even the best one of that year, but it was an entertaining ride that worked so well due to the chemistry of the cast the unpredictable nature of the entire film. The sequel was a pile of shit and now Part III is just a cold dose of trying too hard.
Todd Phillips clearly got lucky with the first film, because both the sequels are of very little value.
The Hangover Part III gets a few things right, though. The weird bits with Galifianakis’ character weirdly obsessing over Cooper’s character are funny and creepy at the same time. They make for almost half of the film’s good moments, if you’d even call them that.
The rest of the film relies too much on stuff that we’ve seen before. Galifianakis continues being an unlikable douche, while Ed Helms worries too much and almost always tries to suck the fun out of any given scene. Bradley Cooper again turns in a performance that might almost be a step lower than simply phoning it in. Physically, he’s on set, but mentally he’s off in another world.
Phillips doesn’t seem to give a flying fuck either. He drops in Ken Jeong, because apparently some people still find him amusing, even though he’s just a one-dimensional gag blown up and extended.
John Goodman attempts to add some class to the film, but he’s mostly just background noise to every single pointless thing that unfolds on screen.
The problem here is that most of this stuff is expected and just not all that funny. The Wolf Pack’s sheer ignorance is what’s supposed to make you chuckle, but it will instead make you question your decision to purchase a ticket in the first place.
The Hangover Part III is an acceptable rental for those that enjoyed the first film, but there’s nothing about it that makes it a theater-going experience. The comedy is incredibly uneven, often going from spots with some decent-sized laughs to long stretches that don’t feature a single real joke.
Jeong weighs the film down early on and continues to make random appearances throughout, even though his shtick is paper-thin and boring. Phillips tries to take the character and the film in a darker direction towards the end and it almost works, but then he cops out and plays it “safe”.
My opinion will probably vary from most, because I just can’t get over laziness when it comes to making sequels to comedies that don’t deserve them. The Hangover was dumb luck and instead of letting it rest, Todd Phillips just had to milk every last dollar from it.
The Hangover Part III is nothing more than a bad sequel that has occasional sparks, but nothing that will take you away from the glaring fact that this movie only exists to take your money without ever really trying or putting forth a respectable effort.
The Hangover Part III – 6.5/10