If you hate the first two Hangover movies, you can exit this page, and I say “Good day.” In The Hangover III, nothing has changed. These characters aren’t trying to convince you to like them. The Wolfpack trilogy makes no mistake about who these characters are, which I believe is what makes them so easy for some folks to hate. In the first film, Phil (Bradley Cooper) begins by taking funds from his class to pay for his trip to Vegas. Stu (Ed Helms), an uptight and weak-willed dentist, is a complete lunatic when he’s drunk. Alan (Zach Galifianakis) is a complete lunatic. That never changes. In both The Hangover and The Hangover II, excess was celebrated. In The Hangover III, excess seems to have taken a toll and Alan needs to go to rehab. Obviously, it’s never just that easy for The Wolfpack.
After some major drama goes down with Alan on the freeway, the Wolfpack is forced to get back together for his father’s (Jeffrey Tambor) funeral. The story leads them back to where everything began in Vegas, and I don’t want to spoil anything for those that still want to see it. I’ll just say that Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) has a huge part in the film. What made him good for a split second was that he was only there for a split second in the first film. In this film, it doesn’t always work because it feels like it’s a joke that went on much longer than anyone expected, but it wasn’t awful either. It worked for the purpose of this film.
The Hangover III is a nice way to end this trilogy. This is the first film where there is a real danger, and more at stake than just making it back for someone’s wedding. I won’t go over details of the plot because you can watch the trailer and figure that out. You can take this as a major flaw, but the film doesn’t really have a lot of jokes. Just a lot of Alan, and more of the same gags we’re used to like Stu yelling at Alan for being alive. Instead, it is a smorgasbord of different genres. Director Todd Phillips throws everything, but the kitchen sink at us with an action film, a thriller, a little heist, coming-of-age, and sprinkles in some comedy. I actually think he did a great job with it. If this were a stand-alone film, I believe people would enjoy it more, but they just can’t put out the flame of that sequel film. Plus, this one doesn’t work out of context of the other two movies (especially the first) because it ties so many things together by the end.
Bottom Line: Not for everyone, but there was a lot of effort in this film. Although there are way too many times it flat lines, I’d say the last 45 minutes to an hour were my favorite of the series.
The Ugly: Animal body count is just not a funny thing no matter what Phil says. No one laughed in the theater. Crickets.
The Bad: The lingering camera jokes. Holding the shot for a few seconds too long doesn’t make it funnier. Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms kind of seemed over it.
The Good: John Goodman is good at what he does. This was a nice way to end the trilogy, and although it seemed at times Bradley Cooper was a little bored, everything wrapped up nicely in the end.