Whoever said “good things come in threes” was sorely wrong, in the sense that most film sequels in a trilogy are worse than their original film. While there are some notable exceptions to this rule, most trilogies get worse as the films are made. Originally, The Hangover was one of the funniest and most original comedies of all time. The film had the largest R-Rated box office opening of all time and went on to make a total of $277,322,503. Naturally, director Todd Phillips saw the chance to make an unneeded sequel and thus The Hangover Part II was unfortunately born. Then, Phillips went on to say that The Hangover was always meant to be a trilogy and now we have The Hangover Part III. So, how did it fare?
The Hangover Part III opens with Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong), a now imprisoned convict, who is seen creating a riot at the prison he is serving time in. Using the riot as a diversion, Chow manages to escape and that’s the last we see of him… for now. Cut to Alan (Zach Galifianakis), who is now acting out more than usual. His father has just died and he needs the support of his friends. So, Doug (Justin Bartha), Stu (Ed Helms) and Phil (Bradley Cooper) come to his aid and trick him into riding along with them to a fun place. Instead, the two plan to take Alan to a special home, until a man named Marshall (John Goodman) abducted Doug and held him ransom until the men can find Chow.
The only question on the wolf-pack’s mind is “where is Chow”? As the “three best-friends that anyone could have” search Vegas for their less than formidable foe, they learn that they’re going to have to head down to Mexico if they want what they seek. As it turns out, Alan and Chow are best buddies and stay in constant contact. With the outside help of Stu’s former Vegas wife, Jade (Heather Graham), and Alan’s new love interest Cassie (Melissa McCarthy), the wolf-pack will try everything to stop Chow and get back Doug, for the third time now. Hilarity may or may not ensue during their escapades and with this film, ends the Hangover Trilogy.
I can’t imagine that I was the only one that groaned at the news of a THIRD Hangover film. The second one was absolutely horrible, but it made enough money opening weekend and around the world to fund a third installment. I likened the second film’s success to the Spiderman 3 effect. After the monumentally fantastic Spiderman 2, everyone and their brother was excited for the third, so on opening day, a record number of people went to see it and were sorely disappointed. That’s essentially what happened after The Hangover was such a success, but I don’t know why they didn’t stop after two…
The Hangover Part III is a better film than The Hangover Part II, but let’s be honest, that’s not such a hard feat to accomplish. While the plot from the first film wasn’t recycled again, the plot for this film wasn’t anything worth recognizing. They still manage to take Doug out of the picture and they end up in Las Vegas one way or another. This time, however, the film does focus more on Chow and Alan’s friendship and we get more insight on who they really are and what motivates them.
As for Stu and Phil, they’re along for the ride, yet again. Ed Helms and Bradley Cooper looked bored out of their minds during the movie. They’ve each made better movies than this and it seemed like they were just doing the film a favor by showing up and half-assing. More than that, they had to endure the complete change of Zach Galifianakis’ character, as Alan was turned into a huge jerk. He’s unnecessarily rude and anything lovable about him is thrown out the window. He still has his funny moments, but they’re few and far away.
All terrible things aside, it was nice seeing familiar faces like Heather Graham and Black Doug (Mike Epps), as well as newcomer John Goodman. They provided refreshing bits of needed humor. It almost brought me back to the first film, but then I remembered that this was the third Hangover movie and everything at this point is completely unnecessary. No one is bad in this movie, but most of the performances are far from being good. Most everyone phoned it in and that really shows during the film.
While The Hangover Part III is better than The Hangover Part II, both films should be forgotten so that we can all go back to praising The Hangover for its originality and true humor. The sequels that it spawned skewered its name and I dislike that because I really like The Hangover. If we could all forget that the last two parts of the “trilogy” existed, that would be great. Until that day comes where we can purge our minds of the sequels, I ask of you that you keep watching The Hangover and that you don’t go anywhere near Part I and Part II.
The Hangover Part III Trailer