The Hangover Part III
Tagline: The end.
We’ve been led to believe that The Hangover Part III is the third and final film in director Todd Phillips’ highly successful comedy franchise, which began in 2009. A case could arguably be made that there were far fewer laughs in the 2011 sequel, so what can Phillips – and his returning cast of Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis, among others – do to get us interested in the (mis)adventures of the Wolf Pack? This time around, there’s no wedding, bachelor party or even hangover to speak of so, er, good luck with selling the movie.
Does this mean that we’re in store for a radical, avant-garde comedy? Not exactly. Galifianakis’ Alan is apparently in need of treatment, but as his buddies attempt to help him out, they’re confronted by characters from their past, notably Ken Jeong’s Mr. Chow.
Some reviewers are even questioning whether The Hangover Part III can legitimately be labeled a funny film. “Phillips hasn’t really made a comedy here,” begins Empire. “That’s not because he’s written jokes that don’t land; it’s that a lot of the movie isn’t played for laughs. It’s less a buddy comedy than a convoluted heist movie with a surreal bent.” The British magazine’s verdict is a middling two-star review: “Tonally a complete departure from the rest of the series, which is at once laudably brave and disappointingly unfunny.” Variety is similarly unenthused: “Ditching the hangovers, the backward structure, the fleshed-out characters and any sense of debauchery or fun, this installment instead just thrusts its long-suffering protagonists into a rote chase narrative, periodically pausing to trot out fan favorites for a curtain call.” But if Phillips cares about the critics, he’ll be able to take some comfort from Urban Cinefile, though a line such as, “Neither as good as it wants to be or as bad as I had feared,” could make Phillips laugh or possibly cry. Still, stellar box office returns might make up for the poor reviews.