Release Date: May 23, 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Todd Phillips
FilmPulse Score: 3/10
The wait is finally over! No, not the anticipation for the newest installment into the adventures of the Wolfpack, but the hopes that, with this film, The Hangover franchise will finally be over and everyone involved can move on with their lives. Judging from the performances in The Hangover Part III, a lot of the actors involved already have moved on, opting instead to completely phone-in their performances.
I enjoyed the first Hangover. I also enjoyed and defended the second installment, even though Phillips decided to essentially film a ‘do-over’ by rehashing the storyline and main plot points. The most important aspect regarding the first two films is that they made me laugh and that is, not surprisingly, what I expect from a comedy. The Hangover Part III, however, failed on almost all fronts when it came to comedy, or even entertainment, for that matter. The film was marketed with the promise that it was going to be different than the first two films. No more bachelor parties. No more weddings. No more trying to find a missing person by retracing the previous nights’ escapades in search of clues. They succeeded in effectively removing all of the tired plot-points, but at the same time they seemed to remove all of the comedy, all of the talent…all of everything really.
Part III starts with Alan (Zach Galifianakis) transporting his newly-purchased giraffe down the freeway until the giraffe is decapitated by an overpass, causing a multi-car pile-up – classic Alan. The cleanup and check-writing that Alan’s father (Jeffrey Tambor) has to endure causes a great amount stress; so much so that, having to deal with Alan as his son for 42 years old has finally caught up to him, and the stress from the ‘Freeway Mess-acre’ has proven too much for his heart. So, after the funeral, and after 42 years of Alan’s antics, his family finally realizes that Alan is out-of-control and stages an intervention, with the help of Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms), in an effort to persuade Alan to go to a mental health facility in Arizona.
(I’m finding it really hard not to write ‘Yadda, Yadda, Yadda…I do not recommend this movie’.)
The four member Wolfpack embarks on their road-trip to save Alan’s mental and physical well-being, but damn if some new celebrity character doesn’t show up to ruin the trip in the form of Marshall (John Goodman in a wasted role), a big-time criminal looking for Mr. Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong). Since, Mr. Chow only talks to Alan, Marshall decides to kidnap Doug; the only way the Wolfpack can get Doug back is by bringing Mr. Chow to Marshall. Shortly after these happenings, The Hangover Part III gets a full-fledged injection of Mr. Chow and his ridiculously over-the-top, hate-filled antics.
This injection of Mr. Chow to the storyline is one of the two main problems with The Hangover Part III. The character of Mr. Chow is OK in small doses, but here he quickly wears out his welcome, mostly due to fact of his irritating and absurd accent. The second major fault with Part III is the aforementioned lack of passion in any of the line deliveries or acting performances as a whole – so much so that throughout the film, Ken Jeong drops his accent repeatedly, as if he couldn’t be bothered to maintain any semblance of continuity with his character. The entire cast, for that matter, seems to sleepwalk their way through the film’s 100 minute run-time as if the film is some sort-of mandatory community service. I don’t think I’ve ever watched a film where I could tell that the actors were completely indifferent. The indifference was palpable.
There were a few moments of humor, mostly provided by Galifianakis with his standard sight gags and throwaway lines, but overall the film lacks any real comedic punch. Given that Part III evolves into a pseudo-action film, it also fails to even entertain on any level; the whole affair seemed lazy. The script, the acting, the camerawork, even the soundtrack came off as lazy and poorly executed. The one bright beacon of hope from The Hangover Part III is that mercifully (please) this franchise has come to an end and Cooper, Helms and Galifianakis can all get on with their lives.