The Hangover Part III

The Hangover Part III
Starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, John Goodman and Ken Jeong
Directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover)
Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, some violence and drug content, and brief graphic nudity

    In this third and supposedly final installment of the Hangover franchise, Alan (Galifianakis) is going through some hard times after the death of his father, and his buddies Phil, Stu and Doug (Cooper, Helms and Bartha) try to convince him to check himself into a rehab center in the hopes of getting him back to semi-normal again.  Unfortunately they are stopped along the way by a gangster (Goodman) who takes Doug hostage until the others can find and bring him Mr. Chow (Jeong).  

    I was really looking forward to this movie.  Reading the synopsis I was excited about two things: the fact that they weren’t doing another drug hangover like the pointless second film and that the story actually seemed pretty good.  And it would have worked too if there was any thought put past the initial idea.  The Hangover Part III doesn’t suffer from story, but rather the inspiration to create a comedy to even come close to matching up to the first film.  

    First off, the writing just isn’t very creative and its certainly not funny.  One of the things about the first film that worked so well was that each individual scene and each little character added their own little hook.  Whether it be the stupid drug dealer or the kid tazering Alan, the film was a blast.  In this third installment, the characters they come across are boring and add nothing to the enjoyment of the film.  There is so much space here for comedy and instead its filled with a vacuum.  It also feels like room was made for improv in order to add the laughs and they forgot to fill that void.   

    Secondly, the performances are quite bad.  Sure Galifianakis and Jeong are over-the-top and fun to watch, but Cooper, Helms, Goodman and the rest of the cast are phoning it in the entire time.  It’s like they know they are in a potentially bad film but the money is just too good to turn down.  I was bored by this cast for the majority of the movie and frankly, that is a huge letdown considering how talented they are.

    Overall, the movie suffers from a lack of inspiration.  The desire to produce a sequel overrode the need to create another legendary film.  Or maybe the pressure just got to everyone, forcing them to accept a not-so-great alternative for a final product.  And unfortunately the audience is taken for another ride they will discover they didn’t want to go on.  C