The Hangover Part III - DVD Review

'The only reason this film isn’t currently residing at the top of my mentally collated “Worst Films Of 2013” list is that I’ve seen Movie 43.'

One thing that can be said for The Hangover Part III is that, unlike The Hangover Part II before it, it doesn’t simply rehash the plot and jokes of the original film. To be more precise, that is the one and only thing that can be said for The Hangover Part III. The only reason this film isn’t currently residing at the top of my mentally collated “Worst Films Of 2013” list is that I’ve seen Movie 43.

From its opening moments, this is a film which aims low and achieves lower still. Writer and director Todd Phillips seemingly goes into The Hangover Part III with the assumption that, having already churned out one lazy and mean-spirited sequel to 2009’s somewhat unexpected critical darling The Hangover whilst managing to turn a very tidy profit, he can essentially do anything he wants here and get away with it, no matter how poorly written, unfunny or offensive.

Phillips therefore spends most of the opening act ensuring Alan (Zach Galifianakis) is as unlikeable a presence here as possible, erasing any remnants of the socially awkward fool the character was introduced as two films ago and establishing him as an repugnant, despicable and obnoxious character towards whom it it impossible to have any feeling other than hatred. Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms clearly don’t want to be here at any point, and in the case of Cooper it’s hard to understand why he came back to the franchise for a third time with his cinematic CV recently going from strength to strength in movies a world away from here. As painful as it is to mention John Goodman’s extended cameo as crime boss Marshall, it feels necessary to do so if only to seriously question why the actor is anywhere near vacuous trash such as this.

After throwing away much of the set-up put in place in the opening act, Phillips wrongly assumes that what his Hangover franchise needs more of to succeed is excruciating gangster Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong). Spending the remainder of the film vying with Alan for most irritating screen presence of the year, Chow grates in every scene with Jeong’s performance consistently mistaking being offensive and outrageous for being funny. Indeed, considering The Hangover Part III is the third of a comedy trilogy, the humour here is disappointingly sparse. Admittedly when the jokes are present they fail far more often than they succeed, but there are regular stretches where Phillips doesn’t even bother.

Even with everything else he does wrong, Phillips manages to save The Hangover Part III’s most infuriating portion for the closing scenes. A cringeworthy montage in the final moments suggests the writer and director is under the impression that, in concluding the third and final part of his Hangover franchise, he has completed some important cinematic milestone which future audiences will be able to look back on and admire. Never mind the fact that this film would rightfully be almost certainly dead, buried and forgotten without a second thought if it didn’t have the Hangover label upon it. Let’s just hope the Wolfpack has now been culled for good.

By Ben Broadribb. Ben is a regular contributor to Film Intel, having previously written at Some Like It Hot Fuzz. He is normally seen in the wild wearing t-shirts containing obscure film references. He is a geek, often unashamedly so. He's also on and Twitter.

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