The Hangover Part III(2013)
- RatedM18 /GenreComedy
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
When ‘The Hangover’ debuted in 2009, it unexpectedly garnered over US$16 million (S$20.1 million) on its first day of release. Fans were in love with the natural chemistry between the Hangover boys and the crude humour they brought to the screens.
Two years later, the sequel met with much disappointment, with many deeming it a bad copy of the first film. This year, the “Wolf pack” barrels through the third instalment of the franchise, this time with a darker plot.
Gone are the opening scenes of the boys shaking off their hangovers and figuring out what went down the previous night, much like how the first two films played out. ‘Hangover III’ kicks off with an escape from a dirty Bangkok prison, with comedian Ken Jeong reprising his role as the madcap villain Leslie Chow. Leaving viewers hanging, the next scene sees Alan (Zach Galifianakis) in a convertible, excitedly driving home a wild giraffe, but promptly causing a massive accident on the freeway.
Stu (Ed Helms), Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Doug (Justin Bartha) are beginning to get worried as Alan has been off his medication for half a year, and he’s in a pretty bad state. After an intervention, the boys hit the road, prepared to haul Alan to a treatment centre in Arizona. They soon find themselves in serious trouble as an insanely rich drug dealer, Marshall (played by a no-nonsense John Goodman), puts a halt to their plans. He captures the lot and orders them to hunt down Chow, who has stolen US$21 million in gold bars from him.
At this point, the plot inexplicably morphs into an action/thriller movie, something loyal fans won’t have envisioned for the finale. However it does actually work – the evident lack of an actual hangover quickly dissolves the predictability from the first two movies while keeping the element of a hunt down intact.
One does start to wonder why Justin Bartha’s character is almost always missing in action – the first movie revolves around tracking him down in Las Vegas, and in the second, he remains as a cover for the boys while staying safe in the villa. This time round, Doug is held hostage with Marshall as the three others frantically look for Chow.
Despite the obvious change in film genres, director Todd Phillips keeps the spirit of the ‘Hangover’ boys somewhat in place, with Alan’s excruciatingly annoying (but mostly hilarious) antics peppered throughout the 100 minutes. Together with Stu and Phil, the boys have definitely matured since the first film four years ago.
‘Hangover III’ moves away from the straight up douche comedy aura they perfected in the first movie; this one makes viewers sit up a little more and digs deeper emotively. Though nothing comes close to its initial 2009 success, the latest instalment proves to be a valiant attempt to recover from the weak second film and end the franchise on a memorable (non) high.