The Hangover III


(We are undergoing updates and repairs, please excuse the mess).

When “The Hangover” came out in 2009 it did so with modest expectations. Few critics expected it to become a box office smash much less the highest grossing R rated comedy of its time. Naturally a sequel followed and despite mixed reviews, “The Hangover 2” reaped in millions and vaulted over the original in terms of earnings. So, it was no surprise when “The Hangover 3” was announced and that the cast and writer/director Todd Phillips would be back again for the further adventures of The Wolfpack.

The films starts with dysfunctional Alan (Zach Galifianakis), creating a spectacular mess and being his usual spoiled and oblivious self though the consequences which have tragic ramifications. His friends Stu (Ed Helms), Phil (Bradley Cooper), and Doug (Justin Bartha), decide that an intervention is needed and convince a reluctant Alan to get some help from a clinic in Arizona.

En route, the group is run off the road which results in Doug being held hostage by a criminal (John Goodman) who wants to use the group to bring in insane criminal Leslie Chow (ken Jeong). The group is told they have three days to find Chow and save Doug. It turns out Alan is the only one to have any contact with Chow since he was incarcerated. The guys soon find themselves in Tijuana hatching a desperate attempt to capture and return the demented Chow.

Naturally things do not go as planned and despite their best intentions the group only makes matters worse and sets a chain of events into action which bring them full circle in a race against time to save Doug.

This time out the film has ramped down the gross out humor of the first films aside for one epic scene following the credits. The film has some chuckles along the way but lacks the jaw dropping shock humor that defined the previous films. I spent the majority of the film enjoying the cast but waiting for the big comedic payoff to arrive which sadly did not come until the after-credits scene.

The cast works well with the material but it does seem like they have run out of ideas and are going through the motions. The addition of Melissa McCarthy does add some nice moments to the film and does leave open some ideas should they decide to continue the series despite promising that this is the conclusion. In the end it is a nice enough diversion but for me was neither as enjoyable nor memorable as the previous efforts.

2.5 stars out of 5.