When the first Hangover was released four years ago, like everyone else in the world, I fell in love with it. Unfortunately, with multiple viewings, I found that it lost its charm. The jokes and the comedy that worked the first time aren’t nearly as entertaining with multiple viewings. But even as unfunny as it may become over time, it’s still worlds better than the horrendous and effortless Part II, which was basically a mad-lib version of the first movie where key locations, events and shenanigans from the first movie were replaced with new ones. It went on to make another bajillion dollars, but it surely didn’t deserve it. Luckily, Part III is taking the franchise in a new direction, only it’s missing a key element that makes The Hangover movies what they are – it’s missing an actual hangover.
The Hangover Part III brings the series full cirlce in story, but dives into dark comedy, comedy so dark that it rarely warrants laughs. Perhaps Part III is more deserving of the subtitle “Into Darkness” than Star Trek. In Part III, “The Wolfpack” is reunited when Galifianakis goes off the meds and starts spiraling out of control. To help him, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and that other guy get together for a road trip to Arizona where Galifianakis will enter a rehab clinic. Along the way, they’re derailed by drug kingpin John Goodman who manages to tie the three movies together. He was wronged by Ken Jeong and blames The Wolfpack for the “criminal Chinaman” stealing $21 million in gold bars. With no drugging, no hangover and no need to piece together a wild night long forgetten, Part III spins off into something else. It’s filled with murder, heisting and absurd stunts – none of which match the desired tone and comedy that we’re expecting. I laughed a few times, but not enough to make me ever want to watch it again.
One of the most annoying aspect is how the film is edited together. Instead of focusing on the entire Wolfpack, Galifianakis and Jeong are given way too much annoying screentime. What once was funny is now overplayed, burning their roles into unlikable rubble.
As always, if you dare see The Hangover Part III this weekend, there’s something hidden within the credits, so don’t get up once they start rolling – that is, unless you can’t wait to put this time-waster behind you.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.