Director: Todd Phillips
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zack Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, John Goodman
Written by: Todd Phillips, Craig Mazin, (based on the characters created by) Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
Running Time: 100 mins
Release date: 23rd May 2013
Hands up those who liked the 2009 comedy, The Hangover? Yes? So did I. Now keep your hands up if you liked the sequel, the originally titled The Hangover Part II? (My hand has gone down). Right, if you are a fan of the original but not the sequel then my advice is to stay well away from this third (and we are promised, final) outing of the Wolfpack. If you really liked the sequel (and you have to be honest) then maybe you’ll get something out of this, because this is the worst comedy film of 2013 this side of Movie 43! In fact, I think it would be an insult to call it a comedy.
Alan, the emotionally unbalanced member of The Wolfpack, has been sectioned to go to an institute after his father died. The only way he is going to get there is if the other members, supercool Phil, dentist Stu and former groom and Alan’s brother-in-law, Doug, take him all the way to Arizona. On their journey, they are run off the road by gangster Mitchell, who wants the boys to get the notorious Mr Chow for him, after he stole gold bullion. The Wolfpack agree, especially when Doug is Mitchell’s collateral and they track down the Chinese crook. Things aren’t going to be easy to get him to stay in one place and leading them back to the one place they don’t want to go to: Las Vegas.
The fun of the original The Hangover was putting all the pieces together of the boy’s drink and drug-fuelled night out: whose baby was it, how did Stu lose his tooth and why did they have a tiger? The second one was just a carbon copy of the first but mean-spirited and without any of the wit and charm of the first. This one removes any form of comedy that was left after the second and replaces it with bad taste, cruelty to animals, blatant racism and a plot so pointless and desperate that you give up caring after 10 minutes and just want the whole thing over. Plus it gives itself over to the two least comic characters, Alan and Mr Chow.
The Hangover delivered some clever laughs, even if it wasn’t always high-brow stuff and it was the situations that were funny, not the characters. The tone of this one is set right at the start where Alan, drinking and driving, is towing a giraffe, which he has bought, only to drive under a low bridge and have the animal decapitated, causing an accident. I’m not giving away a plot spoiler there, it’s on the adverts and trailers. Then any other animal that appears is dealt with in the same fashion. Laugh? I nearly called the RSPCA!
Nothing is sacred all for the cause of good comedy. We have racist jokes that don’t even make you cringe, just look bemused; attacks on the disabled and even the low, crude comedy moments just come across as pathetic.
Bradley Cooper, who has proven himself to be a fine actor with both Silver Linings Playbook and Place Beyond The Pines, is obviously fulfilling a contractual obligation and is left to play straight man to the increasingly annoying and unfunny Zack Galifianakis. He may have been amusing in the first film but here, he can’t even raise a smile. Even the bumbling, straight-laced Ed Helms is given nothing to do but look shocked and bemused. He does, however, get the biggest laugh of the whole film but that comes in the end credits! Yes, the only laugh in the cinema came at that point. Seriously, do you really want to wait for almost 100 minutes for one laugh?
Then there’s Ken Jeong. I like Mr Jeong in the massively underrated TV comedy, Community. As the psychotic, Chang, he is very funny. He makes brief appearances throughout the series. If he had a whole episode, it might draw me away from the brilliance of the show. Here, he is almost given the whole film and it is another reason for hating it so much. He is not funny. He screams, he shouts and he walks around naked. None of these things makes him remotely amusing and you just want him to go away.
Todd Phillips was disappointed by the second film and wanted to make a better third. He made a massive mistake and has inadvertently made a worse film than the second. It takes talent to do that. If it had been advertised as a thriller, then maybe we would be more accepting but it’s suppose to be a comedy and comedies, I always thought, were meant to make you laugh.
I saw this in a packed cinema and without any form of exaggeration, I heard four slight chuckles throughout and one big laugh right at the end (the only thing that actually made me laugh too). This is not good enough! If this is the last Hangover film, I say good riddance. Please go away and never darken our doors again. It will make a shed load of money and the producers will say, go on, just one more. No! Stop now, we don’t care!