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The Hangover Part III (2013) – Review

1 1/2 Stars


It is really quite astonishing that The Hangover debuted only 4 years ago. That first film was (rightly) coined a ‘instant classic’, with giggle inducing moments aplenty and lines that your friends recited all summer long. In essence The Hangover was the party, The Hangover Part II and now The Hangover Part III are the proverbial morning after. Riding off the massive goodwill built around the fantastic original, director/writer/producer Todd Phillips has now delivered two rancid sequels that aren’t worthy of being associated with the innovative first film. Not since Smokey and the Bandit III, or Major League 3: Back to the Minors has a comedy trilogy started so strongly, only to end in such shambles.

When Allen’s (Zach Galifianakis) father dies, his drug enhanced lifestyle is called into question. The wolf pack reunites to stage an intervention, in order to get Allen to commit to attending a rehab center in Arizona. After a fit, Allen agrees to the plan which involves a two-day road trip to the treatment facility. So Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Doug and Allen hit the highway. That’s right, no flashback structure or weddings, just a straight forward ‘get clean’ road comedy. Not so fast, within moments the group is accosted by a car load of gun wielding gangsters that force them off the highway.

Turns out the packs old buddy Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong), has escaped a Thai prison and made off with 21 million in gold bars from an associate of Black Doug (Mike Epps). The crime boss, Marshall (John Goodman) decides to hold Doug (Justin Bartha) hostage until the trio have returned with Chow and the gold. Now, I ask you; Does that sound like the description of a comedy or an action thriller? If you picked the latter, that’s appropriate because The Hangover Part III plays more like a straight heist movie, than a laugher.

The Hangover Part III is marginally better than the previous installment, if only for a less mean-spirited approach. The writing in the last film, seemed intent to punish and humiliate characters, that audiences cared for, resulting in a total disconnect between perceived expectations and final product. I listed The Hangover Part II as the Worst Film of 2011. This final addition to the trilogy nobody asked for, benefits from the return of some key characters from the original and a (brief) return to Sin City. Yet, everything fresh and cutting-edge about the series has degenerated into a laugh-less ongoing story about an imbecile man-child, his drug addled racist friend and two other men that are seemingly intelligent enough to stay away from both these losers. The Hangover Part III would be instantly forgettable, if it weren’t so memorably awful.

Director: Todd Phillips
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms

One Response to The Hangover Part III (2013) – Review

  • Jason, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree. The Hangover Part III is not only not marginally better than The Hangover Part II, but it is easily the most appalling attempt at a cash grab I’ve seen.

    At least The Hangover Part II had some laughs. The film may have been a complete copy of the original, but at least it had some humor.

    You’ve already heard my rant, but the film, and I use the noun loosely, is so terrible that it isn’t worth the upcoming $1.20 fee to rent it on Redbox.

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