Rating: 3/4

What would you expect from a third installment of a series about friends getting extremely wasted and drugged and ending in new places each time?  Well, a movie that does not have to do anything with what the series is known for.  Matter of fact, don’t even expect a party (except from Mr. Chow, he is a handful of a party himself).  The Hangover Part III is a darker, extremely more violent movie than its predecessors, and though it never reaches the potential of the first film, it does something that the second could not pull off: it keeps the audience laughing all throughout the movie.  And if you doubt that this is true, let me just say one thing.  The Hangover Part III revolves mainly around the character of Alan (Zach Galifianakis).  That is good enough for me, and for anyone who is looking for a good ass laugh this summer.

The Hangover Part III starts off back in Vietnam, in a maximum security prison which has seen how its extremely secure system is no opponent to the one and only Mr. Chow, who started a crazy riot as a cover-up for his escape.  Meanwhile, America’s favorite character in the series, Alan, gets into trouble after causing a mass accident on the freeway after an incident occurred with his giraffe (yes, I said “his giraffe”), which causes a heated up fight between him and his father that ends up with one of the two dead and the other one being approached by his friends to send him to rehab.  Alan agrees to go to rehab, only if Stu (Ed Helms), Doug (Justin Bartha), and Phil (Bradley Cooper) take him.  On their way to rehab, all hell breaks loose.  Their car is crashed by a gang led by Marshall (John Goodman), who takes Doug as captive (oh, what a surprise!) until the Wolfpack brings him Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong), which sends them into a long quest to get drug-loving Mr. Chow to come with them, be it the easy way or the hard way, to save their beloved friend.

THE HANGOVER PART IIIThe Hangover Part III successfully keeps the audience laughing throughout the movie.    Centered mainly around the character of Alan, it succeeds in two thing that are possibly the main reasons that I gave this movie 3 stars, instead of a maybe deserved 2.5-star rating.  After reading different reviews from acclaimed critics before actually seeing the movie, I was scared that maybe the fact that most of the movie revolves around Alan would get old quickly after the first half of the movie.  However, though at the end it is clear that there might have been too much Alan and a lot less Stu and Phil, Todd Phillips, in my opinion, made a pretty good job not only keeping the laughs coming from Alan, but actually giving us more insight into the character of Alan.  In the first two movies, Alan was just that fat guy whose ridiculousness and weirdness kept the audience laughing throughout the movie, more so in the first one than in the second one.  Part III of the trilogy smartly makes us actually think, care, and worry about Alan’s persona, something that the first two did not actually strive for.  This is possibly what I liked the most about this third part of the box-office hit trilogy.

The other thing in which The Hangover Part III succeeds is in the fact that it is so different from the other two movies.  The second film was criticized harshly because of its strong resemblance to the first film in every aspect of it.  This third film is completely different, and when I say completely different, I might be sugar-coating it.  This movie strives to be so different from the other two, that at some points, one can even forget that it is part of the Hangover trilogy.  The movie has been negatively approached mainly because of this fact; however, I think this is the reason why this movie is a winner in some way.  It is what everyone wanted, something different, and it is being seen as if it were something to be ashamed of doing!  Todd Phillips did what everyone wanted, he gave us something new and less predictable, and in my opinion, he went the right direction.

However, not all in The Hangover Part III is golden.  The problem of this movie is not the actors, and most importantly, it’s not Todd Phillips, as many think.  It’s Phillips’ co-writer, Craig Mazin.  Craig Mazin might be best known for co-writing in spoof movies like Scary Movie 3Scary Movie 4, and Superhero Movie.  These are movies with no plot, no character development, no nothing, just laughs that come from the horrible acting presented by its actors and from its parodies of box-office hits, parodies that are sometimes smart, and many times awful.  Knowing this, how can the team behind The Hangover Part II and III even think of adding him to the team?  Craig Mazin is not good writing this type of comedies, comedies that actually give a damn about plot and characters.  The Hangover trilogy is not at all a parody of any movie; in fact, I would even dare say that the first one was actually an innovative comedy.  The second film had Craig Mazin written all over it, with few to zero originality and relying heavily on every material that gave the audience a laughing moment in the first film.  I’m not gonna say that I did not laugh, because I did still laugh in the second film, but it was probably one of the most unoriginal films I can think of.  In the third film, I’m guessing Todd Phillips told Mazin to leave at least 80% of the writing to him, because if it were up to Mazin, I’m pretty sure we would have ended up with the same movie as the first two, but in Cancun or Punta Cana.  Still, traces of Mazin jokes could be seen in many of Alan’s scenes and mostly in Mr. Chow’s scenes, who would start off doing something hilarious, but then it would get repetitive, with only a few chuckles being heard from the audience.

Hangover-3

The acting in The Hangover Part III was great, overall.  Justin Bartha as Doug was pretty descent, since we never actually get a chance to see him act that much, for he is never given too much screen time.  Both Ed Helms and Bradley Cooper reprise their roles greatly, and the chemistry between this two is as strong as ever in the third film.  John Goodman, one of the few newcomers, does an excellent job as gang leader Marshall, showing us a tough and fearful guy with no soft spot anywhere around him.  As for Ken Jeong, I still doubt that he is actually acting.  I’m not saying I do not like him, I’m just too damn sure that he is exactly like Mr. Chow in real life, excluding the drugs and alcohol.  Ken Jeong must have in Mr. Chow the easiest role he has set a hand upon, and I absolutely love it.  Melissa McCarthy also has a small role in the movie as Alan’s love interest,Cassie, and she is as funny as always.  However, the real star of this movie is, by far, the lovable Zach Galifianakis.  Zach Galifianakis shows in this movie how good of an actor he can really be when given a bigger role.  He is able to keep the audience laughing, all by himself, while at the same time, making them feel and care for him.  Zach Galifianakis finally shows in The Hangover Part III that he is so much more than a goofy looking guy.

I might have been lucky that I went to a screening of the movie with a pretty big audience that was certainly in a good mood, for they laughed throughout the whole movie.  But it is clear for me that  this certainly had a small role in the fact that I certainly enjoyed this movie.  It exceeds the second film in mostly everything, and though it is not as funny and smart as the first film, it was still able to provide a pretty good package of laugh-out-loud moments.  In the end, The Hangover Part III is a good conclusion to a box office record-shattering series.

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