‘The Hangover: Part III’ Movie Review – Dead and Gone
The “end of an era” is a phrase people sometimes use to garner unwarranted attention. However, in the case of some franchises, the “end of an era” can be a defining reason why the movie is a success. Looking at previous trilogy finales, they are good because of how they end the whole franchise, not just that story. In the case of Todd Phillips’ The Hangover: Part III, the movie ends the franchise effectively enough. Going into the movie, this is one of the only things I truly wanted (even more than laughs).
In the prologue, Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) escapes from a maximum security prison, setting forth the events that lead up to the main conflict for the “wolfpack.” The wolfpack includes Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis). When “black Doug” (Mike Epps) and his dealer, Marshall (John Goodman), rough up the wolfpack and take Doug (Justin Bartha) hostage, their main mission becomes finding Chow to save their best friend.
No cut to the morning-after hangover.
Earlier I wrote extensively about how shameful Part II is in relation to the original Hangover. The two movies are almost exactly the same. This alone makes Part III a welcome change-of-pace.
The main character development, although most characters change some way over the course of each of the movies, had previously been delegated to Stu. If you remember, Stu breaks up with his long-term girlfriend in the original and makes a defiant speech about his place in his new family in Part II.
Part III changes the formula by finally giving this major character development to Alan. Not only has he been the most consistently funny character (yes, some think he’s overrated) but he hasn’t had a whole lot more to add other than being a socially awkward loner. Part III, though, sees Alan trying to move on from his ways and find something more to his life.
It also switches things up when it comes to genre because it’s essentially an action comedy now. The others didn’t have nearly as much action, so you should take this into account when going to see the movie.
Setting-wise, the movie hops from place to place, eventually ending where it all began – Las Vegas. I actually expected more of the story to take place in Vegas; however, a substantial portion of the film takes place in Mexico.
As I previously mentioned, the success of the movie is partially due to the consistency of the series. The first one was hilarious and the second one was a re-hash. Therefore, as a franchise, Part III is the “rubber match.” Does the trilogy-capper sum it up well enough? In my opinion: yes.
Before Men in Black III inevitably planned a sequel, I would’ve considered these movies very alike. Part III has both similarities and differences, bringing the similar story aspects (characters, themes, and etc.) together in new way. The one way to ruin this would be to continue the story (like The Men in Black franchise is doing). It’s over – dead and gone. Let it rest.
Let’s talk about audience real quick because it’s also worth mentioning that audience plays a big factor in whether this movie will appeal to the masses. The Hangover movies have never tried to appeal to everyone. It’s raunchy, it’s shameless, and it really doesn’t care if you don’t like it. They aren’t apologizing. Therefore, it goes without saying: if you didn’t like the first two, you won’t like the third one.
On the flip side, if you didn’t like the second movie (like me), The Hangover: Part III will make up for the previous shortcuts. Todd Phillips didn’t create the best movie in the franchise, but he made a surprisingly emotional end to a franchise most people think is comedy only. That’s good enough for me.
The Hangover: Part III released yesterday and is available around the country.