The Hangover Part III
dir Todd Phillips
scr Todd Phillips, Craig Mazin
prd Daniel Goldberg, Todd Phillips
with Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, Justin Bartha, John Goodman, Melissa McCarthy, Heather Graham, Jeffrey Tambor, Mike Epps, Sasha Barrese, Jamie Chung
release US/UK 24.May.13
13/US Warner 1h40
The Hangover Part III
Another fine mess: Helms, Galifianakis and Cooper

jeong bartha goodman
See also:
The Hangover (2009) The Hangover Part II (2011)
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The Hangover Part III It's one thing when a sequel merely copies the previous film (see The Hangover Part II), but this one simply throws out everything that made the earlier movies so popular. Which makes you wonder what kind of joke Phillips is playing on us here, since the script is utterly bereft of either comedy or thrills.

Back to normal after their Bangkok escapade, Phil, Stu and Doug (Cooper, Helms and Bartha) worry that Alan (Galifianakis) is refusing to grow up. So they stage an intervention and set off to a desert retreat. En route they're attacked by mobster Marshall (Goodman), who holds Doug hostage while demanding that that they track down his nemesis Chow (Jeong) and recover a fortune in stolen gold bars. What follows is a series of chases and capers as they find Chow, get into trouble in Tijuana and make a return visit to Vegas.

The screenplay is merely a series of set-pieces strung together in a linear fashion by random dialog and under-developed motives, which makes it more heist movie than comedy. Imagine Ocean's Eleven without any laughs. There is no drunken chaos, no actual hangover and nothing remotely amusing aside from a few wacky touches improvised by the actors. In fact, it actually makes us wonder if we ever found these characters funny.

Phillips puts his big budget to use with first-rate production design, cinematography and editing. And scenes are adeptly staged even if they never build to a punchline. The actors find moments that are genuinely endearing. Helms is the standout, with his likably understated panic, while Jeong is at least unpredictably insane and McCarthy provides some sparky flirtation in her silly scenes with Galifianakis. On the other hand, Goodman phones in his performance from the summer home he bought with his fee.

As with the first two episodes, the lazy script relies on cheap, obvious gags, but it's hard to imagine any audience that would find this amusing. Appearances from recurring characters (such as Graham, Tambor and Epps) are thankless. And even the undemanding viewers who funded this saga will be disappointed by the lame plot, lack of laughs and corny sentimentality. Yes, amid the relentless vulgarity, this strains to be a warm bromance, but we truly hope these guys never see each other again. Please.

cert 15 themes, language, violence, brief nudity 21.May.13

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