The Hangover was a massively successful raunchy comedy that had the honourable distinction of being one of the funniest movies of the year, arguably the funniest. So, logic would dictate that a sequel was inevitable… and in 2011 we witnessed a less inventive, watered-down version of the original. Now, it’s 2013 and although The Hangover part 2 critically failed, the movie-going public seemed to differ and we are plagued with a third, and apparently final entry into the series. Two years have passed since Bangkok and one would think that Todd Phillips and company would learn from their mistakes. However, this is not the case. I mean, they don’t even get drunk or at any point become intoxicated by a form of abusive substance, effectively nullifying the very title. I’m all for cinematic evolution but, c’mon, natural selection should have wiped this series off the planet after the first disastrous sequel.
After Leslie Chow (Jeong) is arrested in Bangkok, he is sentenced to serve time in a Thai prison. When a prison riot erupts, Chow makes a daring escape and begins his travels back to the U.S. In the United States, the gang decides to throw an intervention for Allen (Galifianakis) who is seemingly out of control. While en route to the rehab facility, the crew is attacked by a gangster named Marshall (Goodman) and his thugs. He informs the wolf-pack of the situation and kidnaps Doug (Bartha) until Allen, Stu (Helms), and Phil (Cooper) can bring him Chow.
The Hangover greatly benefited from spontaneity, relevance, and a script that never took itself too seriously. Facets that its two sequels recklessly diverted from and ultimately paid the price for it. Look, no one is denying that Phillips has a keen sense and talent when it comes to comedy and direction, illustrated by his three films Old School, Starsky and Hutch, and of course The Hangover. Nonetheless, he seems to have lost his touch since 2009 churning out three stinkers including Due Date and both Hangover sequels. There is no doubt that his status in the industry and his ability to create top-notch comedy flicks has put tremendous pressure on him. Companies want to make money, and make it fast leaving Phillips torn between integrity and cash. Sad to say, it appears the dollar speaks the loudest. Conversely, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone as selective about the films they see as I am. What I’m trying to indicate is that I respect Phillips enough to continuously give him chances, as will I always.
The Hangover part 3 falters under the weight of its own stupidity, ridiculousness, and overly dramatic tendencies. As with part 2, it has nothing new to offer and the only thing these sequels contribute to is the decimation, albeit inadvertently, of the original. I didn’t go in anticipating Academy caliber material, that would be idiotic. However, I did expect an improvement over 2011’s debacle and it couldn’t even accomplish that. With a cast that has proven track records and knows their way around a joke, it becomes very apparent that it is the source material letting everyone down. The story feels as if it was slapped together with leftover one-liners from other screenplays and fused together with weak tape. Which leaves us begging Phillips to take more time comprising his next outing and try to recapture some of the brilliance that made him so revered as a comedic filmmaker in the first place.
Usually I’d dissect and describe the performances of the entire cast. Yet, they all perform with such mediocrity that it’s hard to differentiate one from the other. If it wasn’t for the obvious inconsistencies in their physical appearances, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart, but I digress. When did Allen, Zach Galifianakis’s character, become a physically incapable, mentally maladjusted, morally void reject? If I remember correctly, in The Hangover he was awkward and maybe a bit of a sociopath. Nonetheless, still normal enough to function in society and intelligent enough to cheat a casino. Anyway, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms don’t have enough dialogue between them to make either one of their characters relevant. As for Ken Jeong, who I absolutely adore in the weekly television comedy Community, has had his character become even more of an annoying nuisance to the film series. John Goodman, one of the most underrated actors in the industry, does his best to aid this sinking ship, but ends up drowning just the same.
Justin Bartha…why…do you even need to be…I mean…ugh, whatever…I’ve had enough of reviewing this train wreck. Barely being able to scrape a decent joke together, let alone a feasible plot. The Hangover part 3 is no where near as entertaining or funny enough. I just feel bad for Goodman, Cooper, Phillips, cast and crew. At least they got to travel to new, exciting, and exotic places while making these two, needless, unavoidable sequels. Anything worth any value you can see in the trailers and TV spots and save yourself the ticket fee. I don’t usually get dragged to movies, I am very selective in what I watch. However, I did get dragged to The Hangover Part 3 and it reassured me that I should never trust anyone ever again. On the plus side, I got to see the new Pacific Rim trailer on a big screen which was somewhat of a silver lining. All in all, I’m not as mean as this review is making me out to be. I respect everyone who worked on this film, it’s just that the film itself is piece of flaming garbage.
The Hangover Part 3: 3.5 out of 10.