Thursday, May 23, 2013


Now playing at every shopping mall multiplex in North America:


(Dir. Todd Phillips, 2013)

Nobody actually has a hangover in THE HANGOVER PART III (well, except during the end credits – sorry if that’s a Spoiler!), but the movie itself is a hangover from the events of the first two films.

The premise of this second sequel to the 2009 smash hit, billed as “The Epic Finale To THE HANGOVER Trilogy,” is thankfully different from the first two (PART II was identical to the first except that it was set in Bangkok), but it still follows the same pattern of normal guys (Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms) getting more and more trapped in the circles of insane people (Zach Galifianakis and Ken Jeong). 

Writer/director Phillips shoots the HANGOVER movies in the style and tone of action thrillers; they don’t resemble the comic worlds of the Apatowian universe at all. This approach doesn’t appeal to me because the humor, what genuine little there is here, feels misplaced.

But onto the plot, this time written by Philips and Craig Mazin (also co-writer of the second one) which concerns Jeong escaping from jail in Thailand, and conning the “Wolfpack,” as Alan calls them, into stealing a bunch of gold bars from John Goodman as an angry crime boss.

Goodman, who so could've phoned his part in, kidnaps Justin Bartha, who always gets the short end of the stick in these movies, leaving Cooper, Helms, and Galifianakis to track down Jeong in, you guessed or saw the trailers or TV spots, Las Vegas.

Now, I love Galifianakis and think he’s one of the most hilarious stand-up comedians working today, but his clueless character shtick again wears out as early as the end of his second scene.

That scene by the way features Jeffrey Tambor reprising his role as Galifianakis’s father, again exasperated by his dysfunctional son’s behavior.

As the likable yet slightly douchy Phil, Cooper does as well as he can with the hectic material, and just like the last couple of entries, Helms’ characterization largely consists of being frustrated and baffled by Galifianakis’s extreme stupidity. Come to think of it, Helms functions as an audience surrogate for anybody who doesn’t think this stuff is as funny as the cast and crew supposedly do.

As for Jeong, he's doing the same over-the-top shenanigans he did in the previous films, and on Community, and both cases it's gone way beyond tiresome (especially on the post-Dan Harmon episodes of the NBC sitcom).

I like these guys, but all three HANGOVER movies are over-hyped lame comedies that have a measly minimum of actual laughs. Bet you can take all the funny moments in this one and make a less than 5-minute Funny or Die video clip out of it. 

Bet that would include a few moments of Melissa McCarthy’s bit as a pawn shop owner/Billy Joel fan that Galifianakis flirts with, and with hope would edit out the useless Heather Graham cameo and more importantly the shot of the giraffe decapitation presented as the movie’s big opening joke. It’s one that has mostly been spoiled by the heavy marketing of this movie, but be prepared to see a particularly grotesque shot more if you pony up admission.

It’s one of many places that made me so thankful that THE HANGOVER PART III isn’t in 3D like every other summer blockbuster wannabe out there. I’m also very thankful that they are promising that the franchise is closing up shop and that this will be the last one.

It better be because three of these dark gross-out anti-comedies is three too many.

More later...

1 comment:

Thomas Watson said...

This third film wasn't based on a hangover, which in some aspects felt refreshing, and they were able to introduce new characters through it. But overall, the film is predictable and boring.