Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis
You may like this if you liked: The Hangover (Todd Phillips, 2009), Due Date (Todd Phillips, 2010), Ted (Seth MacFarlane, 2012)
After the death of Alan’s (Galifianakis) father, the other members of the so-called ‘wolfpack’ take him to get treatment to sort out Zach-Galifiankis-typecasting-itus. However, so we have a story, on the way they are stopped by a gang led by Marshall (John Goodman doing the angry John Goodman thing). Marshall kidnaps Doug and demands they bring him Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) as Mr. Chow stole a lot of gold off of him (how rude). Knowing that Alan is still in contact with Mr. Chow, the three of them try to track him down and return him to Marshall to save Doug. Naturally things go wrong and all sorts of hilarity ensues (!), including a return to Las Vegas and a very brief cameo from Heather Graham just to get her name on the poster.
What has happened to the Hollywood comedy genre? For me there has not been a really funny comedy to laugh with produced by Hollywood for some time. I must confess I am quite a cynic and mainstream Hollywood comedies rarely make me really laugh, but I thought the first Hangover film was fresh and genuinely funny. Unfortunately now the franchise has fallen into the common trap of complacency and assumes that it will not have to make any effort but still make a tidy profit. I entered with low expectations but still paid money to see it, so I suppose that in some way incriminates me as part of the process. However through the glorious invention that is the worldwide web now is my chance to warn those that are yet to see to not waste their hard earned money on watching this rubbish and stop lazy complacent unfunny tripe like The Hangover III from being made anymore.
This does indeed feel like a film that has simply been produced as a cash cow. Make sure you have the same director and cast, that’s it. How about a good script? A genuine attempt at comedy? Apparently not necessary it seems. The first film was a surprise hit and you could feel a genuine and committed attempt at comedy that produced a fresh, edgy and really enjoyable experience. Number two just upped the gross out factor and though I know many hated it, but at least it did what it wanted to do and was not afraid to offend anyone in the process. Number three’s main problem from the offset is that it ditches the formula that made number one so much fun, and just becomes some extremely ugly hybrid of various comedy genres.
There is no effort whatsoever put into the script or story as it is simply several lazy set pieces stuck together by an even lazier narrative. Even the cast appear to be there to pick up their pay checks. Bradley Cooper really looks like he cannot be bothered at all, which is disappointing considering if it wasn’t for the success of the first film he would probably still be stuck doing awful rom coms and films like Midnight Meat Train instead of getting Oscar nominations. Ed Helms is half decent but given no material to work with, and Zack Galifianakis seems to now portray characters that are just a bigger parody of the last one and are quite simply irritating. Ken Jeong has the same problem as Galifianakis and is beyond irritating, and yes he does get his cock out again!
Ditching the narrative structure of the first two was probably a good idea, but so much more effort and genuine passion is needed. This could have indeed been a fun heist/road/caper movie, and admittedly there are some mildly amusing moments, but this is actually a film that despite being only 100 minutes long does genuinely feel quite boring. In fact, the best and by far the funniest scene is in the middle of the credit sequence. This unfortunately serves as a rather depressing reminder of how much of a dramatic dip in quality the franchise has taken.
The Hangover III is once again an example of films being made solely for profit and how much directors and producers seem to think the viewers are total mugs. This is a film that makes no attempt to be funny as those behind it do not feel they need to try; it is boring and a complete waste of time and money.