The first Hangover was a unique comedy film that managed to tell a funny and equally intense story with plenty of laughs. Its 2011 sequel was a poorman's version of the very same product, featuring humour on the level of dumb chavs, absurdly graphic jokes and an endless slur of foul language and racism.
And so, to conclude his ambitious comedic trilogy, Todd Phillips has taken a new direction for the epic finale: no hangovers, no weddings, no rehashing. Will his choice be rewarded?
When the childlike Alan (Zach Galifianakis) buys a Giraffe which he then murders in a motorway crash, his friends Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) decide its time for his mental health to undergo some treatment. During their plans they are attacked by Marshall (John Goodman), a mob boss drug dealer who has a vendetta against the notorious criminal Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) whom Alan has been contacting. With Doug taken hostage as leverage, the Wolfpack must unite one last time and hunt down their greatest foe before time runs out.
The Hangover Part III admittedly falls flat when it comes to creativity; it boldly attempts a new direction for the series that was a terrific idea but lacklustre in execution. The story works but lacks a true punch to it - its a simple chase for a criminal, and while it certainly has some nice comical twists, it never manages to stand out in a glowing way. The characters are also a mixed bag in some scenes, with Galifianakis (fucking hate that name) portraying Alan with a comedic appeal but really overdoing his childlike nature, making him often creepy and annoying instead of socially inept. The biggest offender, however, is Kim Jeong as Leslie Chow: the once funny homosexual crook has only built upon his terribly annoying portrayal in the second film, becoming even more obnoxious and reliant on saying 'bitches!' in every sentence as if that's funny.
But if I shunt these grudges aside, I have a lot of good things to say about Hangover Part III. It has been criticised for its intensity and desire to be a dark action thriller but I simply couldn't see this. The film is still full of humour in the form of absurd slapstick and witty dialogue and the narrative embraces its melodramatic vibe, with serious moments being purposely laughable and over the top to lighten the mood. Never does the film feel like its taking itself too seriously and everything keeps moving at a solid pace. The acting across the board is exceptional bar a select few; really the biggest problems are misplaced jokes and a hollow storyline. Hangover III concludes its comedy franchise on a satisfying note, and while it could've been better, it's a huge improvement over its awful predecessor that at least some fans will enjoy.