Published on May 27th, 2013 | by Allan Brown2
The Hangover 3 Review
Movie Review: The Hangover Part 3 (2013)
Director: Todd Phillips
Writers: Todd Phillips, Craig Mazin
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong
Plot: Following the death of his father, Alan (Zach Galifianakis) now off his medication, has become too much for his family to handle. Luckily he has the “three best friends that anyone could have” Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) who decide that he would benefit from professional medical help. This leads to a road trip of sorts where the Wolfpack run into some familiar faces from their past misadventures.
Director Todd Phillips returns with the final instalment to the Hangover series which reunites the Wolfpack for their final adventure. The film bravely steps away from the traditional formula and gimmicky flashback narrative, but is it enough to recapture audience’s interest after such a weak second outing?
The plot centres round Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong), who after escaping a Bangkok prison steals $21 million in gold bars from a drug dealing gangster named Marshall (John Goodman).
As Mr Chow flees to Mexico with Marshals money, Alan (Zach Galifianakis) who is now off his medication and causing mayhem at home, is persuaded by Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) to get professional help. As the Wolfpack embark on their final road trip to an Arizona medical intervention centre, they are kidnapped by Marshall who in turn takes Doug hostage. As Alan is the last known person to have any contact with Leslie Chow, the Wolfpack is tasked with finding him in exchange for Doug’s life.
Although the film breaks formula in its narrative structure, it fails to feel any fresher than its previous ventures and quickly becomes just another boring, limp and incredibly generic buddy comedy. I use the word comedy here sparingly, as there are far less laughs in this sequel and although Alan has some enjoyable comic scenes, they unfortunately feel patched in to the canvas of the story, ending up feeling more like a collection of short sketches that ultimately affect nothing in the plot.
One of the films possible failings is the fact that this is a Hangover film where the cast do NOT have a hangover! This was undoubtedly the strongest element in the series and gave it an edge and justification for all its silliness, for when you have a group of middle aged men acting the goat whilst sober, it’s just not as funny or justified.
Zach Galifianakis, who’s now iconic character, delusional man-child, Alan, takes centre stage here in a film that really only ever feels like a vehicle for the character. While his random behaviour and obtuse observations are often amusing, the lack of any engaging or interesting plotline means that not even this much loved comedy character is enough to save this very dull and monotonously generic movie.
The rest of the cast who seem only present to react to Alan’s comments and oddball behaviour contribute very little, if anything in the 100 minute running time. The only other presence that makes any kind of impact throughout the story is Mr Chow. Ken Jeong’s character has worked well in small doses throughout the series, however here he too plays a much larger central role and while he does add some humour here and there, he often overplays it, becoming more like Jar Jar Binks than the comedic anecdote.
Summary: The Hangover 3 is based on a throw-away line from the first movie and sadly it shows with a plot so thin you'd struggle to justify a 3 minute advert with its narrative. A lacklustre finale to a series that has well and truly lost its fizz.