Review of Hangover III, a 2013 Film Directed By Todd Phillips Starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifiniakis, Ken Jeong, Justin Bartha

GRADE : CC / 40%File:The Hangover Part 3.JPG

Summary: Hangover III is a kinda pointless film with an astoundingly shallow plot, whose sole purpose is to be as nasty and crass as possible in an attempt to humour us. The result – we rarely rejoice this Hangover.

Cast

Bradley Cooper –        Phil
Ed Helms                –        Stu
Zach Galifianakis –        Alan
Justin Bartha.         – Doug
Ken Jeong        – Mr. Chow
John Goodman –       Marshall

Hangover III is a kinda pointless film with an astoundingly shallow plot, whose sole purpose is to be as nasty and crass as possible in an attempt to humour us. The result – we rarely rejoice this Hangover.

Unlike everybody else present in the theatre hall, I haven’t seen the previous instalments in the Hangover series. And yet I felt throughout as though I was watching not a film but a season of Hangover; littlest thought has been given to the plot, and the characters have simply been thrown into a couple of pretty straightforward situations and given some silly sketches to perform. And it doesn’t help that our three leads sleepwalk their parts, totally unenthused by the material. Even as a non-fan, I can clearly sense that Hangover has jumped the shark.

What writers Todd Phillips and Craig Mazin do here is expand a few loose threads from the previous films or rather ‘episodes’. It begins with our jailed Korean lunatic Leslie Chow escaping Klong Klem prison after creating a prison riot to distract authorities. On the other side, rich bum Alan seems to live his life leisurely, buying a giraffe and accidentally killing it and indulging in similar misdemeanours. That’s when Alan’s family and his buddies, including fellow ‘Wolfpack’ members Phil, Stu and Doug, decide that he needs an intervention.

And so our four heroes embark on another journey, expecting nothing to bother them this time. But soon their journey turns to another wild ride when a couple of guys in pig-faced masks ram their vehicle and kidnap them in broad daylight. They are taken to an isolated spot, where we learn that their kidnappers are Marshall’s men, which includes Doug; Doug had a minor role in the first film and Marshall’s name was only mentioned by him once in that film.

Marshall informs Phil, Stu and Doug that their friend Alan has been in constant touch with Leslie Chow via the internet; the two crazy net-pals loved sharing the inane and insane misdemeanours they committed, it seems. Marshall wants to hunt Chow down and get the gold-bricks (worth millions) that Chow stole from Marshall’s men (they in turn had stolen it from the bank) years ago. Now that he has found the only link to Chow, he gives Phil, Stu and Alan the task of finding the madman and bringing him to Marshall. If they fail, Doug, who shall remain with Marshall’s men, will be killed.

It doesn’t take much time to find Chow as the guy tells Alan via internet to meet him in Mexico. Chow is really a disgusting piece of sh*t who shall, for Christians at least, die a horrible death in hell! The insane guy who speaks very much like Hannibal Lecter, brags how he spends his time in Mexico (you know the way most people do) cockfighting, giving men blowj*bs etc (certainly going to hell!… According to Orthodox Christians, at least). The four make a plan to retrieve the stolen gold from ‘Chow’s mansion’ in Mexico, and they succeed, except that it’s not Chow’s mansion but Marshall’s and the ‘stolen’ gold was Marshall’s half that wasn’t stolen by Chow before (but it is now, obviously).

Now it would hardly make sense for Marshall to rely on Phil, Alan and Stu but the makers of Hangover need an excuse to harass our trio further. So Marshall orders them to find Chow, get gold or Doug’s dead. The makers also need to come up with an ‘intervention’ for rich bum Alan, so there’s a ‘what-can-at-least-in-this-case-be-deemed-as-touching’ moment between him and Jade’s son Tyler (Jade is recurrent character from Hangover 1) plus his romantic connection with Cassie, a pawnbroker who rejoices in treating her mom like sh*t. All roads finally leads the three to Vegas, where it all ends indeed.

There are a lot many times you’d hear the f-word in Hangover III, usually in flat and unimaginative dialogues like ‘F*ck!’ ‘What the f*ck’s going on?’ ‘Motherf*cker’. We chuckle a couple of times, then start wondering whether it’s really funny. Do the filmmakers want us to guffaw like an idiotic teenager whenever the ‘f-word’ is spoken? Is being nasty all the time real comedy?

Even the situations in which the characters are thrown are given very less thought. Consider the scene where Chow and Stu enter the mansion to disable security cameras and buzzers before the rest can proceed. Except for Chow acting like a mad dog (literally), crawling on his fours, sniffing Stu’s butt and later saying he’s color-blind while instructing Stu which color wire to disable, nothing else is done to make the situation more interesting. Hangover III has one-dimensional situations, and that’s just sad.

The trio of Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis are barely risible and act like they’ve been given a chore. On one hand, a cardboard would’ve looked more excited than the disinterested Bradley Cooper and on the other hand, Ed Helms does bad comedy. With more focus given to Zach’s character Alan this time, he fares better yet totally fails on occasions. Like the part where Alan complements Phil’s body in a Diesel t-shirt (never include product placement in a joke): a total FAIL. It’s only fresher (to the series) Melissa McCarthy as pawnbroker Cassie who injects some freshness to this feeble film.

The movie says ‘It all ends here’ but Tyler’s and McCarthy’s introduction plus the post-credits scene hint there’s more Hangover in store. Wish these guys would hang up their boots and retire and say “Nevermore!”.

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