Directed by: Todd Phillips
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Heather Graham, Ken Jeong, John Goodman
Just four years after the first movie came out, The Hangover trilogy has been concluded, and it couldn’t come soon enough. Having released three films in four years, you get the impression that the success of the first film has very much been milked, and with two sequels having been rushed out, the fall in quality shows.
The second film was a largely unimaginative sequel, pretty much rehashing the same story from the first in a Bangkok setting. Part III then, thankfully, is better than the second, but not by much.
The story this time sees Doug (Justin Bartha) kidnapped by John Goodman who will only return him if the group can capture Chow (Ken Jeong) and return his stolen gold. It is different at least to the storyline from the previous two, but is not particularly thrilling.
The problem with the film is you can tell it’s just the product of milking the cash-cow. The first film was fantastic, and probably a bit of an unexpected hit, which has led to the studio carrying on the trilogy into a series which doesn’t really have any continuation.
Bradley Cooper looks bored throughout most of the film, it’s as if he knows this movie isn’t a whole lot of good. Indeed at two moments he even manages to speak the thoughts of the audience when he says ‘it ends tonight’ and ‘what are we watching?’ (he’s actually watching Chow butcher some classic Johnny Cash at karaoke, which is probably an unintentional satire on the quality of this sequel).
Heather Graham returns as Jade, but her appearance is only fleeting, and has little bearing on the story. Thankfully Mike Tyson has not lowered himself to another cameo appearance; even he has more dignity than that.
Towards the end where the four friends are walking down the hotel corridor and the shot is interspersed with those of the previous two films as a nostalgia type flashback, it becomes clear that there’s no nostalgia because it has only been four years since the first movie.
There are a few funny moments: the post credits homage is laugh-out-loud and Alan (Galifianakis) meeting a pawn shop assistant is sweet, but for a comedy, these moments are few and far between.
As a stand-alone film, Part III is incredibly average. As a conclusion to a trilogy it’s even worse and largely serves as proof that some films should just remain a one-off. The original is a modern comedy classic, but its story and characters have been tarnished by two very sub-par sequels. Hopefully Todd Phillips and the studio will see that the creative well has run dry for these characters and move onto something else. Sadly the film will no-doubt be a box office success due to the popularity of the original which will probably spur the studio into attempting to churn out more. Thoroughly disappointing and a waste of a good evening, this film is not recommended.