PM Movie Reviews: The Hangover III
Let’s cut to the chase, The Hangover Part III is an awful movie that pales in comparison to the breakout comedy hit of 2009. The Hangover was an audacious bromantic romp and an energizing comedy filled to the brim with fantasy wish fulfillment.
It had a great cast of contrasting personalities and a brilliant structure (the whole having to piece together what happened the previous night was a stroke of screenwriting genius back in 2009, but not so much in 2011…). The pacing was great, the music selection was apt, the writing was funny and fresh, and Zach Galifianakis’ brand of comedy was a welcome mess of absurdity.
The Hangover Part III has none of these things going for it.
This bookend to the wolf pack saga at least doesn’t rehash the story structure that was loved so much in part I and tolerated in The Hangover Part II.
Instead, it opts to make Bradley Cooper’s Phil and Ed Helms’ Stu into side characters and brings the very characters that only work in small doses to the forefront: Galifianakis’ Alan and Ken Jeong’s Leslie Chow. This just doesn’t work because of how annoying and unrelatable these two characters have become.
Somewhere along the line, Alan went from being an extremely loyal friend and an amusing oddity loaded with outdated pop culture references and sick thrift shop threads to a dangerous and creepy menace with barely contained insanity lurking beneath . And Ken Jeong is capable of so much more that it’s shameful.
Also, Justin Bartha as Doug gets to do nothing except be off-screen for most of the movie. Yeah, again. For the third time.
2009s The Hangover probably worked so well at the time because audiences could envision themselves and their gang of buddies going on a ridiculous adventure after an awesome night of partying in Sin City.
Every group of friends has someone that’s a little like Phil, Stu, and yeah, Alan. They talked like how our friends talk and they acted like how we think our friends would act.
That was then.
Now, Phil’s just a huge dick, Stu just wants to yell “WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON” at everything, and Alan is so far off the deep end that if I had a friend like that, I’d delete my facebook account and move out of the state.
Probably the biggest crime this film commits is that it’s just not that funny.
You’re probably in bad shape if Tyrese Gibson’s character in this weekend’s Fast & Furious 6 is getting more laughs than your whole movie. At times, it just seems cruel in its attempts to get a laugh.
This dialogue exchange between Alan and Chow sums up the film’s mentality pretty well:
“We can’t be friends anymore. When we get together, bad things happen and people get hurt.”
“Yeah, but that’s the point! It’s funny!”
That’s arguable. The Hangover Part III is just a few notches above the extremely dark and cruel, Very Bad Things, a 1998 black comedy about a group of friends who try to deal with the consequences of accidentally killing a stripper during a bachelor party in Vegas.
It’s definitely not that bad, but Part III is still pretty bad.
P.S. If you still end up seeing Part III and you don’t hate these people by the end of it (you’d probably enjoy Very Bad Things), there’s an after credits scene you’ll want to stick around for.
By Jeff Le