Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty
“Where is he?! Leslie Chow stole 21 million in gold from me and I figure the Wolf Pack has the best chance to find him. Doug is my insurance,” says Marshall (John Goodman) to Stu (Ed Helms), Phil (Bradley Cooper), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) who’ve just been run off the road and assaulted in the last installment in the Hangover comedy series, The Hangover Part 3.
When the gang finds out Alan has not been taking his meds for his mental conditions, Doug (Justin Bartha) – along with the rest of Alan’s family – Stu, and Phil stage an intervention to get him some help. After convincing Alan to finally say yes to getting treatment, the guys go on a road trip as escorts dropping him off at a treatment facility. But on the way there, they are hijacked by a mobster named Marshall who kidnaps Doug in order to motivate Phil, Stu and Alan to find Chow (Ken Jeong) who just recently broke out of prison. Marshall explains to a terrified Phil and Stu that Alan has been Chow’s pen pal while he was in prison and expects Chow to reach out and contact them. So it’s up to Stu, Phil and Alan to track down Chow, drug him, and deliver him to Marshall to save Doug.
Dark and uneven, The Hangover Part III is an improvement over the mean-spirited sequel but still falls far from the laugh-filled adventure of the first film. The movie plays out more as a weak crime comedy with very few laughs.
Zach Galifianakis’ character, Alan, who was originally goofy and weird but ultimately likable, has degenerated into being just an obnoxious, annoying jerk. Galifianakis may have been the breakout star in the first film but now he’s just repetitive and not very funny. Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms, who added so much to the first film and had their own moments of humor and craziness, are now just going through the motions. Their characters have become plot and laugh devices for Galifianakis’ character Alan’s dumbness and at times mean one-liners.
It’s sad that a film franchise that started out so fresh, original, and hilarious ends as a tired, predictable, and unoriginal adventure with only a few laughs. However, if you do decide to see The Hangover 3, be sure to stay through the start of the end credits for the only real laugh-out-loud scene in the entire film…not that it’s worth sitting through the movie just for one scene.
The Hangover 3 opened in theaters on May 23, 2013 and is rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, some violence and drug content, and brief graphic nudity.
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