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The Hangover Part III | reviews, news & interviews

The Hangover Part III

The Hangover Part III

Subdued finale for the laddish franchise

The Wolfpack are in Las Vegas again for 'The Hangover' franchise finale

You don't have to be a fan of The Hangover franchise to get most of the jokes in Part III, although it certainly helps. How else would you understand why the line “It all ends tonight” is so funny, or why the arrival of Mr Chow causes such hilarity in the audience?

For those just tuning in, The Hangover (2009) followed the Wolfpack, a bunch of friends - high-school teacher Phil (Bradley Cooper), dimwitted rich boy Alan, pompous dentist Stu (Ed Helms) and boring stiff-shirt Doug (Justin Bartha) as they went to Las Vegas on a stag weekend before Doug's marriage to Alan's sister. Mayhem, involving a call girl, drugs supplied by Mr Chow, a lost tooth and an unfortunate tattoo, ensued. The story was told in flashback as the quartet tried to remember what happened after their bender. In The Hangover Part II (2011) the quartet were transported to Bangkok with much the same story, only with less panache and even cruder humour, as Stu got married.

Part III picks up the story in Bangkok, where Mr Chow (Ken Jeong) escapes from prison. Meanwhile, back in the States, Alan (Zach Galifianakis) has just lost his dad and is off his meds, so his friends perform an intervention. The Wolfpack set off to a rehab centre but en route they are hijacked by John Goodman's Marshall (pictured right), a gangster on the trail of Mr Chow who rightly guesses that they will lead him to the Chinaman so Marshall can reclaim the gold Chow stole from him.

After a brief interlude in Tijuana, everyone ends up in - you've guessed it - Las Vegas for more capers, where there's cross and double cross, car chases and a heist. Along the way, Stu is reunited with former call girl Heather Graham and Alan meets the female version of him – unfeeling and socially inept in pawnbroker Melissa McCarthy; their meeting provides the now-anticipated final twist in the movie, and a very good one it is too. There are other decent gags, even if the best one, involving a giraffe and a low bridge, is predictable a mile off. The gross-out quotient, meanwhile, is distinctly lower here than previously.

In telling the story in real time, director/co-writer Todd Phillips (with Craig Mazon) has lost the tension of the “what just happened?” format, although tasteless jokes about people with funny accents and Jews are still part of the mix. Cooper, who has gone on to better things (and an Oscar nomination) since the first film, has had the sense to have his part reduced, while Galifianakis's limitations as an actor are highlighted by his character being set centre stage. Before, he was a spoilt fool; here we have to believe he's an idiot savant, and we don't.

Some would have you believe that The Hangovers are a study of male bonding and the fear that all heterosexual men supposedly have, that any affection, vulnerability or neediness will be misinterpreted as homosexual longing for each other. Oh, do give me a break; the films are just about blokes behaving badly, with a few decent laughs along the way - but fewer on each outing. A good time to close the franchise.

Watch the trailer for The Hangover Part III

After a brief interlude in Tijuana, everyone ends up in - you've guessed it - Las Vegas for more capers


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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