Since loads of people saw this on Wednesday and I finally got round to finishing my Gatsby write-up, I reckon it’s about time to type my thoughts down about Part Trois of Le Trilogie D’angover as I saw it a few days ago.
The Hangover Part III (2013)
It’s very easy to sneer derisively at stuff like this, with its lowbrow, for-the-masses humour and vulgarity. It’s so easy, I’ve done it at least once before as seen here. Thing is, I’m feeling pretty philosophical about it all. The original Hangover wasn’t for me. I just couldn’t find it funny. Then again, I’m aware different people find different things funny, so whatever. In any case, I have to admit the central idea was fun, but it isn’t the comedy classic drooling wankers hold it up to be. I don’t hate the playa, I hate the game – and that “game” is the audience who think The Hangover is anything more than a dirty little smudge on the proud tradition of cinematic comedy. It’s actually pretty depressing to think we live in a world where there’s a Hangover trilogy.
“We can’t be friends anymore. When we get together, bad things happen and people get hurt.”
So, Dumbus, Bibble and Squit (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis) buck the trend by not waking up from a hectic night’s drinking, but just having to go on a caper involving scary man Marshall (John Goodman), series regular Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) and a fuckton of stolen gold. The Wolfpack have to track down Chow in an adventure that takes them everywhere from Tijuana to old haunt Las Vegas. It seems odd to praise a film for not doing things, but I don’t have much to work with here. I have to commend the film for actually steering away from the formula. What they come up with (an uninspired action comedy romp) isn’t any better, but at least it isn’t the carbon copy the second one was. In a similar vein, thank Christ this wasn’t in 3D. “The Hangover 3D” trips off the tongue so easily I bet there was some serious lobbying for some pointless dimensionalising before and after filming got underway. Of the cast, I like some of the actors but they’re all slumming it here, especially Ken Jeong who is fucking funny in Schrodinger’s sitcom Community but is just a big old mirthless stereotype here.
As I said, I’ve never found the series funny, but I get the feeling even fans of the franchise will walk away disappointed from this one. There just aren’t enough jokes. The film gets hung up on a buddy movie kick and as a result are the “wacky” scenarios are toned right down. The laughs from the audience were a lot sparser than for the shite Hangover II at any rate. I’d be fine with the franchise switching gears into more of an action comedy, but the setpieces aren’t that good. They just imitate things that have gone before. At the start, Chow escapes prison (in a Shawshank parody of all fucking things) and drops into a tunnel, only to hear a deep rumbling and be chased by a wall of water. Later on, in a hi-larious sequence, Alan causes a traffic accident that ends up with a huge truck jackknifing and spilling its hackneyed payload of massive, all-purpose pipes. I get that I’ve seen more films than most, but I refuse to believe that anyone with eyes has not seen these clichés somewhere before. Sure, it could be a pastiche, but I doubt it. In order to even be considered for something like that, there needs to be at least a sparkle of wit and intelligence to be found somewhere within. The only half decent sequence is a bit where Stu has to pursue a parachuting Chow in a speeding limo. It doesn’t win any bonus points though, because Bond crapflick A View to a Kill had a similar, better sequence 30 years ago.
“Where is he? Leslie Chow stole twenty million from me, and I figure the Wolfpack have the best chance of finding him! Doug is my insurance!”
I’ve run out of things to say about Part III. It was a joyless experience that seemed to be more concerned with slapping any old toss together to make a quick buck than making people laugh. It feels and plays out like a contractual obligation. Fucking dire.