The Hangover Part III
The third part in the comedy franchise takes one too many gambles that don’t pay off
The third - and hopefully final - entry in The Hangover series strays even further from what made the original such a surprise success. Darker than its predecessors, this time the action returns to Las Vegas (via Bangkok and Tijuana) but takes one too many gambles that don’t pay off. The worst of these is the decision to give Ken Jeong’s lamentable Mr Chow more screen time, closely followed by the continued erosion of the central Wolf Pack’s likeability, with Zach Galifianakis’ man child Alan a particularly grating presence.
It begins with Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) as they attempt to come to the assistance of Alan (now off his meds), only to find themselves at the mercy of a ruthless mob boss (John Goodman). He wants their help in finding missing fugitive Chow, who has stolen a fortune in gold from him and if they fail to comply, he will kill Doug (Justin Bartha, once again relegated to the sidelines).
Director Todd Phillips promised that things would be different third time around but while the changes are undoubtedly there, none of them really conceal the fact that the whole endeavour smacks of franchise desperation.While one or two of the thriller elements work, they would be better employed in a different film and come at the expense of the comedy, which is sorely lacking. The jokes are thin on the ground and those that do appear either fail to generate much laughter or arrive in bad taste (mostly based around dead animals or people). The main characters, too, feel stale with Galifianakis and Jeong sure to test the patience of even die hard fans. It’s left to an end credits sequence to serve as a reminder of what once was but by then it’s way too late.
General release from Fri 24 May.