The Hangover Part 3. Starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, John Goodman and Ken Jeong. Warner Bros. Entertainment. 14A. 1 Hr 40 Min.
Stepping away from the previous two films in the trilogy, The Hangover Part 3 abandons the amnesia-ridden plot of trying to recollect the events of a night of drug-induced debauched foolery in favour of a more sinister style of action-comedy hybridism that has almost nothing to do with an actual hangover.
This time the story is initiated by Alan (Galifianakis) whose antics lead to his father dying of cardiac arrest and his “Wolfpack” buddies—Phil (Cooper), Stu (Helms) and Doug (Bartha)—convincing him to enter a psychiatric facility in Arizona. In transit the quartet are ambushed by a group of mobsters lead by Marshall (Goodman) who take Doug captive and demand the remaining members of the Wolfpack find Leslie “Mr. Chow” Chow (Ken Jeong) and retrieve $21 million worth of gold that Chow has stolen from him. If they fail to do so, Doug dies.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with the plot—other than it having very little to do with the title—but its execution failed to live up to expectations. Doug is once again used as more of a plot device to provide the other characters a reason to care about what’s going on, rather than being a true member of the Wolfpack. Phil and Stu who had played larger roles in the previous two films are now relegated to semi-main character status. They seem to be in the film primarily to set up scenarios that allow Alan and Mr. Chow to shine and then humorously reacting to their antics—usually in astonishment.
Placing the entire comedic weight of the film on the shoulders of Alan and Mr. Chow who both utilize shock humour—Alan of the dimwitted variety and Chow of the sociopathic kind—was a high-risk move on the part of director Todd Phillips that didn’t seem to pay off. Although funny at times, the homogeneity of the humour can create a feeling of oversaturation and is therefore very hit-and-miss.
The actors did an excellent job at performing the roles they were given. This isn’t the type of film that demands an Oscar winning performance but the understanding and execution of the nuances of comedic presentation and timing demonstrated by the actors in this film are not to be understated.
The visual and audio quality was what is to be expected from a film with a budget of $103 million dollars—great. Although it seems giving Phillips such a large budget to play around with for a movie that was guaranteed to be a box office hit may have been the temptress that leads to the unnecessary introduction of excess action elements into a film that had no such expectations.
At the end of the day, The Hangover Part 3 is just another sequel thrown together to try to capitalize on the commercial success of the original. In the process of trying to be both a comedy and action movie, it managed to do neither well and as a result is a distinctly average and mostly forgettable movie.