The biggest comedic franchise EVER (it’s official) rolls out it’s last edition of the trilogy, ‘The Hangover Part III‘, and what we get is a film which middles out, neither bettering the first, nor failing as bad as the second, just fine. That being said, there was a lot of laughter from the rest of the cinema throughout.
Whilst the ‘Hangover’ title is still retained, technically there is no actual drinking done in the film, and the structure from the previous two films is wiped away, in favour of a more action-comedy orientated adventure, which isn’t a bad thing, and after the second film’s re-hashing of the first, it was needed. But it shouldn’t have been called ‘The Hangover Part III’, get creative Hollywood! Stay till mid-way through the credits though, and you’ll see probably the funniest scene in the film…
Anyway, back to the start, Leslie Chow, played by the excellent Ken Jeong, busts out of his Thai prison, and is heading for LA to meet up with a certain Wolfpack, who’re mourning the death of Alan’s (Zach Galifinakis) father. Through one way or another, they are caught by gangsters who want Chow alive and captured, with the Wolfpack sent on a mission to find him. Film on.
The three central ‘Wolfpack’ members start to show their tiredness in the film. Almost supporting characters, Stu (Ed Helms) and Phil (Bradley Cooper), aren’t given anyway near as many funny lines as Chow or Alan, instead deemed to be the ‘logical’ ones,plus someone like Cooper has to wonder what he is doing in a film like this nowadays, what with an Oscar nomination and critical acclaim with films like ‘Place Beyond the Pines’, and ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, to thank for that. He’s proven he’s a solid actor on the whole, and I suppose that over the course of the trilogy, that has been one plus from it all. Helms, on the other hand, looks set to return to his TV comedy roots, as for me, he just screams a lot.
Zach Galifinakis is a strange case too. His Alan character was once the ‘cute’ one, the bumbling idiot who didn’t know any better, and so the audience took to him kindly. This third outing, however, sees his bearded buffoon, turn nasty. Whilst many of the cinema I was in were laughing at him, ‘because it’s Alan’, I thought his character was just a bit of a d**k, and whilst in the context of the film, he was probably the funniest one, he was given far too much to do on his own.
The induction of Chow as a main character is one the I like. Ken Jeong as a comedic actor is someone I’ve come to like throughout TV sitcom, ‘Community’, in which he doesn’t play a complete ‘Asian’ stereotype, and is allowed to be smarter, but the fact he is so well loved as ‘that crazy Asian guy’ in these series of films, shows he’s well rounded as an actor, his only worry being that he is typecast for the rest of his career, something I think he won’t mind too much as long as the paychecks keep rolling in.
On the whole, I’m not too sure what to think. It’s morphed from a straight out riot of a comedy, into some action-comedy hybrid, and delves inbetween both genres a little bit too much. The humour is sporadic and a times, lost, resorting to shouting and gross-out humour, and the action is pretty tame too, especially for a 15-rated film. I was surprised with how much of the cinematography I liked. The initial prison break with Chow is shot really well, and the ‘face-cam’, whilst it may be in use for a split-second is cool during the chase scenes. It’s nice to see a few of the supporting characters from the first film return, ‘Black Doug’ working for Marshall, the film’s villain, the hooker Stu married (Heather Graham) and her child (the same kid all grown up!), come back for a scene or two, but that just made me want to watch the first again, which I did and found it had aged well!
So, really, it’s a nice way to tie up the billion-dollar trilogy, and for it’s 100 minute running time, it’s a fun ride, especially with friends. If you can switch off, aren’t easily offended, grab a few friends and have a laugh at ‘The Hangover Part III’.