The Hangover Part III (2013)

Three men wearing suits and sunglasses, one carrying a sledgehammer over his shoulderCiao to Chow (and The Wolfpack)

In the aftermath of the death of Alan's father, the wolfpack decide to take Alan to get treated for his mental issues. But things start to go wrong on the way to the hospital as the wolfpack is assaulted and Doug is kidnapped. Now they must find Mr. Chow again in order to surrender him to the gangster who kidnapped Doug in order to save him.

In the (currently) final installment of The Hangover franchise, many things that appeared in the first film, but not the second, make a reappearance. So despite seeing the return of Heather Graham, Black Doug & Las Vegas, the laughs unfortunately do not.

The reasoning for this is found in how the film breaks away from the formula that enslaved The Hangover Part II, instead taking its own route, and it should be commended for that. But unfortunately, it's own route does away with the idea of being a comedy film, and in its place comes a dark action thriller full of anger, death and a weak storyline.

What doesn't help is how Todd Phillips chooses to focus the film upon Alan and Chow, who are undoubtedly the two most annoying characters of the franchise. Alan begins the film by staying as the whiny man-child that plagued the previous installment, demanding Oreo smoothies from his mother and buying a giraffe for no particular reason, with his fathers death really serving little purpose other than to make an excuse for The Wolfpack to realize their friend is actually in need of some help.

Chow remains an annoying caricature of any Asian gangster from the last 20 years, with his cackle being a strong contender for 'Most Annoying Sound of the Year', his love for cocaine failing to ever be funny, no matter how many times it's attempted, and his racism showcasing how low the film will sink.

The guys attempt at mimicking Abbey Road

Stu and Phil become vastly underused, with the two really just there to react to Alan and Chow, or to help them enact their plans. Once again, poor Justin Bartha is sidelined, as his kidnapping is the catalyst that sends The Wolfpack on their mission, making Doug feel less like a character and more like a plot device. John Goodman's Marshall tries to come off as a looming threat over The Wolfpack, and John Goodman tries but he feels no more than an underused character. Melissa McCarthy does as well as she can in her role, fitting in well with the group, but she really needs to make better decisions as to what films she stars in.

The most evident thing to take away from The Hangover Part III is how it should have just been one film, as opposed to a franchise, and this is backed up by the poor storyline, the jarring tonal shift from the rest of the franchise and the choices made on which characters to center on. Sadly, with how its done at the box office, chances are this franchise may get a sequel someday like how American Pie continued on the franchise last year. If that happens, then the least we can hope for is Ken Jeong being too busy to make an appearance as Chow.


Dan O. said…
Good review Rodders. I didn’t give a crap about any of these characters, even if the actors playing them are ones I usually like and find easy to relate to.