“The Hangover Part III” fails to garner big laughs


Who would have thought that a raunchy comedy about three guys looking for their lost friend in Las Vegas after a night of debauchery would become a film franchise? “The Hangover” was an instant comedy classic and it even went on to win the Golden Globe award for best comedy/musical. However, its sequel ended up being more of a rehash of the original plot except it was set in Thailand. Straying from the formula, “The Hangover Part III” acts more like a dark, caper film than a comedy as most of the jokes don’t quite hit their mark.

It’s been a while since Alan (Zach Galifanakis) has been off his meds. Animal manslaughter and Alan’s refusal to change his life leads to his father (Jeffrey Tambor) having a fatal heart attack. An intervention is staged and it is decided that Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) will accompany Alan to get treated at a clinic. However, the Wolfpack end up being kidnapped by a temperamental crime lord named Marshall (John Goodman). Marshall wants Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong), who stole a stash of gold bars from him and he figures the Wolfpack are the only people who would know where Chow is.

It’s commendable to see that “The Hangover Part III” is learning from the mistakes of the first sequel and doing something different story-wise. This is a much darker film than its predecessors as it puts the Wolfpack in a life-threatening scenario and features a surprisingly high body count for a comedy of this caliber. Cooper and Helms do not have much to do this time around as they end up taking a back seat to Galifanakis, who becomes the main focal point in this film. His sense of humor and weird throwaway lines make up the most part of the film’s humor. This is strongly evident in the film’s most memorable scene where he hits it off with a Vegas pawn shop owner played by Melissa McCarthy as their awkward chemistry mesh well together.

Compared to the first two films, “The Hangover Part III” is a much a better movie, but this movie is totally unnecessary that feature some laughs and a few callbacks to the original. The over-the-top humor that “The Hangover” films is known for is severely missing here as the filmmakers fail to deliver big laugh-out-loud moments that made the original film a comedy classic. Jeong’s character, Mr. Chow, is just as irritating in this film as he was in the sequel. This movie suffers from Chow syndrome, the unnecessary and constant appearance of a secondary and unfunny character.

While it is an improvement to the second film, “The Hangover Part III” features a different scenario that is not a retread of the first movie with Galifanakis delivering most of the laughs. However, the movie fails to recapture the wit and originality that made the first film hilarious. Stay tuned for a mid-credit sequence that ends the movie on a high (and humorous) note that shows that the Wolfpack will never change.

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