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The Hangover Part III

2013 | 100 min | R | 2.39:1

The Hangover Part III


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

User reviews

3 user reviews

Movie appeal

Dark humor26%


Theatrical release date

 23 May, 2013
 24 May, 2013

Country of origin

 United States

Box office




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The Hangover Part III


Screenshots from The Hangover Part III Blu-ray

The Hangover Part III Preview  

 / 10
Preview by Brian Orndorf, May 23, 2013

It appears Todd Phillips received the memo. After the successful sequel, “The Hangover: Part II,” was released in 2011, there was a great swell of disappointment, watching co-writer/director Phillips basically remake his original 2009 feature, merely switching locales and stakes but retaining the same crude sense of humor and trust in comedic madness. Perhaps aware of the apathetic response to “Part II,” “The Hangover: Part III” heads in a fresh direction, with a new plot and a different focus on certain characters. It’s not exactly an apology, but the production’s once mighty devotion to hard R-rated chaos has been dialed down considerably, coming off affectionate toward the Wolf Pack as they embark on their final disaster.

After the death of his father, unstoppable man-child Alan (Zach Galifianakis) is left to rot in his stupidity, requiring an intervention spearheaded by concerned brother-in-law Doug (Justin Bartha). Promised a new life after time spent in an Arizona rehab facility, pals Stu (Ed Helms) and Phil (Bradley Cooper) elect to help with the drive, riding with Alan one last time. On the way through the desert, the Wolf Pack is ambushed by drug lord Marshall (John Goodman) and lackey Black Doug (Mike Epps). On the hunt for prison escapee Chow (Ken Jeong), Marshall is looking to retrieve a fortune in gold bars that was stolen from him, using the overwhelmed trio’s connection to the Asian coke fiend as a compass, threatening to kill Doug if the men fail serve up the thief in three days. Heading to Mexico and eventually returning to Las Vegas, Stu and Phil work around the clock to figure out a plan that will catch Chow and save Doug. Alan, however, is lost is his own world, possibly for good.

It’s a kinder, gentler “Hangover” for its third go-around, finding the screenplay (co-written by Craig Mazin) falling in love with these characters, treating the second sequel as more of a victory lap than a berserk creation that falls in line with the sticky atmosphere of the first two efforts. Gone are the blackout premise, Mike Tyson, and graphic male nudity, replaced here with a minor sense of threat emerging from Marshall, a gun-toting bully who wants his gold back and Chow dead. Instead of the Wolf Pack squeezing what remains of their senses to piece together a lost night, here they have a mission, but one that requires the capture of a wily creature who’s proven himself indestructible. “Part III” basically moves away from the group dynamic to focus on Chow and Alan, two lunatics learning a thing or two about maturity and personal control in the movie, though barely. Indeed, this is a tale of redemption, not anarchy, and how that harsh blast of daylight will hit die-hard fans of the franchise remains to be seen. In many ways, “Part III” is a PG-13ish take on the premise, though never fear, there’s plenty of profane material to go around. However, the raunchy stuff is less of a priority.

Points are awarded for the new conflict, making “Part III” more alert, more invested in raising a different type of hell. Fantastically shot by cinematographer Lawrence Sher, the movie has a different feel, more character-oriented than before, using Alan’s downward spiral as a launch point for a new round of insanity with a most reluctant Stu and disbelieving Phil. And lunacy does arrive with the reintroduction of Chow, who manages to pull a “Shawshank Redemption” on a Thai prison, working his way to Tijuana, where he persuades the Wolf Pack to help him recover the missing gold from the wine cellar of his old mansion, generating one of the larger set-pieces of property destruction found in the effort. Despite Chow’s manic behavior and interest in raising cockfighting roosters on cocaine and chicken, “Part III” would rather hug these men than survey the wreckage they create, with Phillips masterminding a softer, more contemplative picture, even giving Alan a romantic interest in pawn shop owner Cassie (Melissa McCarthy) and a reunion with the baby of the first film, resulting in a scene that reeks of pedophilia, yet aims to provide warm fuzzies. The last feature had Stu being anally pleasured by a ladyboy. For this installment, Phillips doesn’t have the strength to outdo himself, treating “Part III” as more of a family reunion, forgoing sizable laughs.

The film picks up some much needed energy when the story returns to Las Vegas, offering decent slapstick comedy as Alan and Phil figure out a way to infiltrate Chow’s stripper-and-drug filled penthouse suite. Yet, once again, there’s little frenzy to savor, lowering the movie’s heart rate at the very moment it should explode. “The Hangover: Part III” is certainly more inspired than “Part II,” perhaps more ambitious as well, but I’m not sure Phillips has earned the classic franchise gold star he happily affixes to this outing. It’s certainly a painless sit, but as blow-out trilogy climaxes go, this closer retains all the toe-curling misconduct of a particularly bruising “Downton Abbey” episode.

Starring: Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, Heather Graham, Jamie Chung
Director: Todd Phillips

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