Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Hangover III review; another example of a horrible part 3

When The Hangover was released in 2009, it starred a bunch of unknowns at the time.  Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha and Zach Galifianakis made up the Wolfpack; a group of friends that knew how to party!  Who knew the film would go on to become the highest grossing R-rated film of all time?  Then it's identical twin, I mean the sequel, The Hangover II was released in 2011... and THAT film became the highest grossing R-rated film of all time.  It's already been well documented that the sequel used the same formula as the first; three friends wake up from a night of partying, they don't remember anything and must search for clues to find their lost friend.  All three films in the trilogy are directed by Todd Phillips.  The third entry in the trilogy is out... The Hangover III of course, and it's awful.  I'll explain why.  Let's go.

What I liked about the film:
Full Circle
I get a kick out of sequels, trilogies, franchises, etc.  I love when movies like The Dark Knight Rises call back to the first film in a trilogy.  Or how Fast and Furious 6 ties in the events from previous movies.  And I got a kick out of that in this film as well.  I won't spoil anything that wasn't in the trailer or movie posters.  We get to see what's become of the stripper Jade (Heather Graham), from the first film; and her son Tyler, or as the Galifianakis character calls him, Carlos.  There's another funny character from the first film, but I won't spoil it.  This was about the only clever thing in this film.

John Goodman and Melissa McCarthy
John Goodman plays a criminal that is only mentioned in passing in the first film.  Again, I really enjoyed how the writers came full circle to this character.  Goodman is wonderful.  He's scary, intimidating, unapologetic and a total villain.  Don't call it a comeback, he's been amazing for most of his career.  And with just about 3 minutes of screen time, Melissa McCarthy reminds us why we love her.  It's a role that could have been totally wasted (like Nick Cassavetes in part 2).  But she brought it to life and leaves us wondering what happens to her; more than the main characters.  Good stuff.

What I didn't like about the film:
It's not a Comedy
This is seriously not a comedy.  I think I laughed maybe twice during the entire film.  It's just NOTHING like the previous two films.  Even though people hated the sequel, which was a clone of the first, at least it was funny!  This movie leaves the comedy at home and takes us on an action-adventure that is so absurd, it loses us.  About half way through the film, I was done.  It's just too stupid to care.  And it's too bad too. The first film was so clever and the actors so witty in their delivery, it really was unlike anything I'd seen before.

Everything Else
Ken Jeong plays an international criminal, Leslie Chow, in all three films.  It started as a bit part in the first film.  The actor's star power began to rise and he became an even bigger part of the story in the sequel.  But when did the entire trilogy become about Leslie Chow?  The third movie revolves around everything he's done in the past.  The writing is terrible.  The motivation to get the Wolfpack to go along with the plan is just plain stupid.

I'm really disappointed in the cast too.  They didn't seem to care.  It felt like the Oceans 12 syndrome.  As if the cast and crew were at the party, and the rest of us weren't invited.  Just flat, redundant performances all around.  There's no growth to any of the characters.  And that was something that I loved about the first film.  Seeing Stu (Helms) step up to his girlfriend at the time, was a great example of a character's growth.  Nothing that even closely resembles that character development occurs in part 3.  Too bad.

The Verdict:
Off the Rails
The franchise jumps the shark, is off the rails, off it's meds and ready to be put to bed.  I was obsessed with the first film.  And I was one of the very few that liked the sequel.  But this third entry is inexcusable.  It's just so bad I can't defend it.  I know the studios are in the business of making money; but can you imagine if they took their time and created a script worthy of the wait?  I would have loved to have seen these characters grow over time.  Not just getting married, but see how they are as fathers, etc.  It's too late now.  The movie is underperforming at the box office and I doubt Warner Brothers will resurrect it.  Oh well.  It's Summer time and there's a ton of options in the next few months.  For now, goodbye to the Wolfpack.  Thank you for the laughs!  Even if they were missing in this movie.

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