October 5, 2022

<p>Since first listening to this CD via the “leaked” copies on the internet for the past few weeks, I swore to myself I wasn’t going to review it because I really didn’t want to.  So here we are, Saturday night at 21:38 with shit all to do except sit on the goddamn internet and my plans have changed.  I don’t know any better ways to go about this, so let’s just jump in…</p>

If I could only say one thing about The Hangover Part III, it was not disappointing. This is the case only because my expectations were so microscopically low I could not possibly have been let down. The third installment in Todd Phillips’ comedy trilogy was about as bad as I thought it would be, while managing to be slightly better than the vapid, repetitive and unfunny second movie in the series. Part III is still vapid and repetitive, but is a little bit funnier, and thankfully the last we’ll see of this series for a while (hopefully).

Written by Matt

If I could only say one thing about The Hangover Part III, it was not disappointing. This is the case only because my expectations were so microscopically low I could not possibly have been let down. The third installment in Todd Phillips’ comedy trilogy was about as bad as I thought it would be, while managing to be slightly better than the vapid, repetitive and unfunny second movie in the series. Part III is still vapid and repetitive, but is a little bit funnier, and thankfully the last we’ll see of this series for a while (hopefully).

The plot of this film follows the same basic framework established by the first two films in the series: the wolfpack’s friend is gone and they have to get him back. At least in this third film Phillips decided to change things slightly. Alan (Zach Galifianakis) is off his medication, so Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) decide to drive him down to rehab. On the way, the pack is run off the road by a mob boss named Marshall (John Goodman) who tells them their old friend Chow (Ken Jeong) has stolen $21 million from him, and the wolfpack has to get it back from him. Marshall kidnaps Doug as insurance, and you can fill in the blanks on the rest.

I was a fan of the first Hangover film. Like many, I thought it was a hilarious clash between a comedy and a puzzle film, with a little bit of heart thrown in. The third, however, plays more like an action comedy, complete with large set piece moments and unrelenting slapstick-style gags. For me, and almost everyone else in the theatre, these large, centrepiece jokes never paid off. Most of them felt forced and unoriginal; often dragging on too long and causing the plot to meander off course for far too long. To make these moments worse, most of them are given away in the trailer, such as the giraffe death, the chicken shootout and Melissa McCarthy’s appearance.

The few highlights of The Hangover Part III come directly from the talent of its cast. While all the performances of its leading men were better in the original movie, each can make the films smaller pieces of dialogue the funniest moments in the film. Galifianakis  is largely the focus of this film, and he’s by far the most fun to watch. His ability to make even the most mundane moments worth a giggle is on display throughout the movie. I was let down by Ken Jeong’s performance as Mr. Chow. The hilarious mix of insanity, dominance and ambiguous homosexuality the character had in the first film is largely gone in Part III, even though it provides a much larger role for Jeong. The rest of the characters were funny, but simply existed for much of the film, never really impressing or doing anything memorable. I was excited when I found out John Goodman had joined the cast, but I ended up forgetting about him very quickly into the movie.

Another element that seemed entirely forced was some sort of emotional closure for Alan. It seemed as though Phillips wanted to humanize the character, who is known for his utter strangeness and absurdity, but it falls completely flat. There is a moment in the film in which it appears Alan is having some sort of reconciliation with himself, but it last about 12 seconds, and didn’t end up meaning anything, except that it halted any dwindling shreds of momentum the film might have had.

Normally when I see a bad movie, I say the final credits are the best part, because they offer some relief when I realize it’s all over. But truthfully, the funniest moment of the film comes after the initial closing credits. I won’t give too much away about it, but it reminisces about what made the original movie worth watching, and made me wish Todd Phillips had just left the series alone after that first Hangover.