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The Hangover Part III - DVD Review

The Hangover Part III

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

HAVING been deservedly criticised for his lazy approach to The Hangover Part II, director Todd Phillips does at least try to freshen up the format for this third and reportedly final outing of The Wolf Pack. But the results continue to fall some way short of the high standards set by the original.

Gone is the blackout scenario and puzzle solving of the first two films, replaced instead by a more straight-forward thriller format. But absent, too, is the ability to make you laugh or the winning camaraderie that once existed in such free-flowing fashion.

The jokes here are thin on the ground with those that remain either unfunny or distasteful. While characters that once seemed fresh have become stale.

Zach Galifianakis’s man-child Alan, in particular, has become a tiresome creation with little or no character progression. While even Bradley Cooper’s Phil and Ed Helms’s Stu appear to be coasting.

Worse, the decision to give Ken Jeong’s onerous Mr Chow more screen-time is to the film’s absolute detriment and his presence is every bit as virus-like to the film’s overall health as one of the new characters suggests.

The plot, this time around, finds The Wolf Pack reunited while trying to stage an intervention for Alan, who has come off his meds following the death of his dad. En route to rehab, however, they find themselves at the mercy of Mob chief Marshall (John Goodman), who wants them to find missing fugitive Chow or face seeing their friend Doug (Justin Bartha, once more relegated to the sideline) killed.

The ensuing ‘adventure’ finds the trio heading back to Vegas (via Mexico) and indulging in the usual round of bickering amid increasingly outrageous scenarios.

Unfortunately, what once seemed fresh and exciting now seems desperate and formulaic. Phillips’ decision to ring the changes may deliver one or two neat plot twists but you can’t help but feel they’d be better served in a different kind of movie and detract from the comedy here.

What jokes there are revolve around death (mostly involving animals) or insult trading and merely serve to strain the relationship between the viewers and the Wolf Pack.

Indeed, it takes a barmy post-credits sequence to deliver the one genuine belly laugh and remind people of the original magic of watching this trio in action. But by then it feels way too late and something of a token gesture, fuelling the suspicion that this should never have been allowed to become a franchise in the first place.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 100mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: December 2, 2013