The Hangover Part III Movie Review
For the final instalment of the trilogy, filmmaker Todd Phillips takes a sharp left turn, abandoning the formula of the first two movies to send the Wolf Pack on a road thriller that isn't remotely funny. A few wacky moments are provided by the actors, but there isn't one punchline in the entire film. And it doesn't really work as a thriller either, since there's no real suspense.
Once again it starts in Los Angeles, where everyone has recovered from their antics in Bangkok. But Phil, Stu and Doug (Cooper, Helms and Bartha) are worried that Alan (Galifianakis) is refusing to grow up, so they hold an intervention and set out to drive him to a desert retreat. On the way, they're waylaid by mobster Marshall (Goodman), who holds Doug hostage to force the the Wolf Pack to find renegade nutcase Chow (Jeong), who has stolen Marshall's stash of gold bars. They track Chow to Mexico, but things quickly get even messier as Chow slips through their fingers. And to catch him, they'll have to return to the scene of their original adventure: Las Vegas.
There isn't much to the screenplay, which is a series of action scenes and caper-style set-pieces strung together with rapid-fire dialog and general vulgarity. But while the film is expertly shot and edited, with a solid cast and terrific settings, there simply isn't any actual humour. No one gets drunk, so there's no hangover this time. And the only amusing moments are offhanded character bits that are utterly irrelevant to the nonsensical chaos of the plot. Which kind of makes us wonder why we ever found these losers so hilarious to begin with.
As with the first two films, much of the attempted humour is cheap and obvious. So the only thing left to watch is the interplay between these three hapless men, although the bromance is badly strained this time. At least it's livened up by Helms' superb underplayed panic and Galifianakis' surreal zaniness. A few characters from earlier films (including Graham) make random, thankless reappearances, and the gifted McCarthy is on hand to spice up her flirty scenes with Galifianakis. So while fans will just about go with it, everyone else will be annoyed by the lame story, corny sentimentality and the complete absence of recognisable comedy.