Monday, May 27, 2013

The Hangover Part III - Movie Review

The Hangover Part III brings the wolfpack back together for another crazy ride, but this time there is no bachelor party and no one is getting married. This time around writer and director Todd Phillips sends the crew on a mission that brings all of their adventures back full circle. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and Ken Jeong all return to their roles and John Goodman joins the cast as a new villain.

After Alan's (Galifianakis) father passes away, his friends and family join together for an intervention that, if he agrees, will see him shipped off to a mental health facility. Phil (Cooper), Stu (Helms), and Doug (Justin Bartha) all volunteer to take him to the location and the infamous Wolfpack is back on the road for what they hope will be a safe and uneventful trip. Of course, this would not be a Hangover movie if that's how things actually turned out.

Enter drug dealer "Black Doug" (Omar Epps) and his boss Mr. Marshall (Goodman) who has a score to settle with the crew based on their previous involvement with the one and only Mr. Chow (Jeong). The wolfpack reaches a deal to find Chow and bring him back to Marshall so he can be punished for stealing millions of dollars in gold from him.

Of course Chow, who has recently escaped from a Bangkok prison, has other plans that mainly involve returning to the lavish lifestyle he used to enjoy and will use every angle he can to achieve his goals. As the wolfpack gets caught up in what amounts to a war between crime lords, they find themselves back in Las vegas where it all began, but this time around the stakes are higher and the danger is...more dangerous.

It seems that people are falling into two camps regarding this third installment in the Hangover franchise. There are those that just want it to end and then there are the dedicated fans that will line up to see whatever adventure is thrown at the four guys who have always basically just wanted to get home safely. The Hangover Part III does raise the stakes to an all time high, but also takes the whole thing beyond any sense of real danger or believability. There are still plenty of funny moments, but it all seems very derivative and continues the trend of rehashing jokes and scenarios that we've seen play out before.

I won't say The Hangover Part III is a bad movie by any means, but its not something moviegoers will be clamoring to see over and over again. Its great to revisit the franchise and I honestly wouldn't mind if they kept making more (stick around for the hilarious post credit scene that hints at another sequel), but hopefully the creative team behind this series can find a way to reinvigorate a popular franchise that is in danger of becoming a stale and mediocre shell of its former self.

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