Synopsis: This time, there’s no wedding. No bachelor party. What could go wrong, right? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.
When Todd Phillips introduced us to The Hangover it was a comedy that invoked a lot of discussion and also received numerous positive reviews despite its genre. The built up hype from the film necessitated the production of a sequel which attempted to emulate the mechanics of the first film and supplement it with cruder humor. Despite the second film’s poor reviews, the studios still felt there was profit to be made from the franchise and released The Hangover Part III.
While I may call The Hangover Part III a better sequel, it does not make it a good film. The plot followed a slightly different path than the first film but there were still many similarities. It’s clear that an attempt is made to differentiate this film from the others but it’s quickly set back on it’s usual course. This time the film skips the blackout and instead of retracing their steps, the guys are given another mission which quickly puts them back on their usual, danger-filled type of scavenger hunt. During their journey many of the usual antics take place as the characters fall into the repeated personas we’ve seen from the previous films. The dialogue of the characters seems more like forced catch phrases between Stu’s (Helms) random outbursts (“What the f*ck is going on?!?”), Phil’s (Cooper) cool demeanor, and Alan’s (Galifianakis) off-the-wall, zany comments. Mr. Chow (Jeong) is also more prominent in this film and despite his lack of character growth, I still caught myself laughing at his character the most. Even though I was expecting some of it, I thought Chow’s moments of humor caught me the most off guard and caused the biggest laughs.
Even though the characters may have worn out their welcome, there’s no denying that the actors fit well into their intended roles. The problem is that the roles have been portrayed the same way for so long that some of the cast are becoming typecast actors. Zach Galifianakis seems destined to play the same role for a long time and even though he may be funny now, eventually he will fall into the Adam Sandler category and lose the luster he once had. Bradley Cooper is a bit more distanced from being typecast due to his choice of critically acclaimed roles, but Phil’s character fits more into Cooper’s tabloid “Sexiest Man Alive” persona. Between this franchise and The Office, Ed Helms has made a name for himself but I don’t foresee him taking any significant roles that drift too far from his type of comedy. The series has done great things for all of these actors but I still think people would rather remember the original wolfpack opposed to what they’ve evolved into.
I won’t deny that I laughed during the film, it definitely had its moments. The problem that I had is that the laughter is recycled, being reused from the previous two films. This film, like the previous sequel, is still riding the wave of the first film. The studios know this franchise is a cash cow that cow is starting to be milked dry. The Hangover was great for what it was and I think these sequels have hurt the humor of the original and its replay value. You may enjoy the film if you are a hardcore fan of the original or if somehow you enjoyed the second film, but my recommendation would be to wait until it releases on home video and make it a RedBox night.
The Hangover Part III – 5.5 out of 10
An improvement from the second film, but not improved enough to be great.