“The Hangover Part III” is the second unnecessary sequel in this series. Some movies do not require a follow-up and “The Hangover” was one of them. It was a nearly perfect comedy film. But we have had two films to continue the story of these characters so here we go.
This entry drops the whole black out plot and opts to become a more straight forward comedic thriller. Amazingly Philips seems more interested in the action sequences than comedy in this entry. The plot involves the Wolfpack as they head to a mental health facility in Arizona to drop off Alan after an intervention. On they way they are intercepted by Marshall (John Goodman), a big time criminal who wants Phil, Stu and Alan to find Leslie Chow. Turns out Chow stone millions of dollars in gold from Marshall and he wants it back. To make sure they complete the job, he takes Doug (Justin Bartha) as collateral.
This sets up a bizarre road trip that takes these characters from Mexico, to Los Angeles, and ends in Vegas where it all started. Amazingly there is not much comedy going on here. There are lots of chases and violence with a few chuckles here and there, but it is almost as if the screenwriters, Philips and Craig Mazin, couldn’t be bothered with writing funny dialogue. Every performance feels either phoned in or ad-libbed.
Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis all return but with the exception of Galifianakis, each look bored playing their roles. Cooper in general has sort of dropped the edge his character used to have. I kind of blame this on the writing and direction more than that the performance. Galifianakis to generate a few laughs and does manage to keep the energy going a bit pretty much from start to finish but even his schtick runs out of gas eventually.
Now as fond of these characters as I am, I do not need to see another movie with them. I’m sure that this film will make big dollars as the first two did, but the originality is gone and the story is dead in the water. Let them rest in peace.