I’ve never been to Vegas but I can’t picture the city without thinking of The Hangover (2009).
A group of friends retracing steps and misadventures, still holds up as one of the funniest comedies in recent memory.
The second Hangover (2011) rehashed the first trip, this time in Bangkok, but had laughs and shock value.
The third Hangover ends The Wolfpack’s story, almost without a trace of humor.
The first Hangover cost only $35 million to make and brought in nearly $280 million, becoming the highest grossing R-rated comedy at the time.
Of course, Warner Bros wanted to make money, so the second Hangover followed.
Hangover 3 tries so hard to NOT duplicate the “we got drunk and lost a friend the night before a big wedding” formula, it’s an entirely different, humorless movie.
The focus this time splits between Alan (Zach Galifianakis), who has gone off his medication after losing his father (Jeffrey Tambor) and Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong).
Chow has been laying low, communicating only with Alan, via email. A drug dealer named Marshall (John Goodman)wants Chow’s head for stealing millions of dollars from him.
Marshall tasks The Wolfpack with finding Chow and holds their friend, Doug (Justin Bartha) as collateral.
Even though it’s the second time in 3 movies that Doug isn’t there for most of the adventures, he isn’t missing a thing.
Maybe the complaints of the first two movies being mirror images of each other inspired a definite change in this one. It’s so different, it’s lost the heart of what made The Wolfpack enjoyable.
Most of the movie feels too serious to be fun and the attempts at jokes come off as awful.
Alan’s drive home with a giraffe in a convertible, meets a gruesome, predictable and awful end.
I’m struggling to remember a truly funny moment, where the first two films had several.
Sadly, the funniest moment in the entire film comes during the credits. It was one moment that reminded us of how ridiculous the original movie was and why we loved it so much. If only the rest of this movie had more of that.
Zach Galifianakis’ character gets the most chances at comedic moments.
His trademark weirdness is worth a few chuckles, but even his character’s arc takes a dramatic turn. Stu (Ed Helms) and Phil (Bradley Cooper) take a backseat to Alan and Chow’s story.
The writers had nothing for these guys to do this time around.
The unexpected success of the first film created a studio demand for a trilogy. Instead of an ending to a story, we get another cash grab.
Hangover 3 attempts an Ocean’s Eleven meets Big Lebowski approach, but lacks the heart or humor of either.
What happened in Vegas the first time (and even in Thailand the second time) made for great comedy.
What happened on the third trip should never be talked about.
Hangover 3 feels like a real hangover. It’s a painful experience that you want to forget and promise yourself will never happen again.