Anthony's Film Review
The Hangover Part III (2013)
The third and final Hangover manages to wrap things up once and for all...
If The Hangover in 2009 is a drink that really screws with our minds (in other words, a clever comedy that impresses us with originality) and The Hangover Part II in 2011 is that same drink again but with less of a buzz (in other words, a near identical repeat of the first comedy that doesn't feel as fresh), then The Hangover Part III in 2013 is the recovery period during which some problems still remain unresolved (in other words, a movie that presents new material while staying connected to the first two). Naturally, the big question is whether the third movie, being notably different from the first two in plot, is an unnecessary movie that struggles to force something on the audience just for box office returns. In my opinion, that's not the case. The Hangover: Part III does fit nicely in the series, and it presents a finale that truly wraps things up.
As I've implied above, this movie does not involve any drinking before a wedding, let alone a bizarre hangover. Instead, the past comes back to haunt the main characters, consisting of the Wolfpack trio of Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and Alan (Zack Galifianakis) plus the supporting character Doug (Justin Bartha). These characters are headed for a mental health facility to help Alan when, out of nowhere, a mobster named Marshall (John Goodman) stops them at gunpoint. (This character was not seen in the first Hangover movie, but was briefly mentioned by name when an important detail about the hangover came to light.) Marshall kidnaps Doug at gunpoint and demands that Phil, Stu, and Alan seek out the Chinese gangster named Chow (Ken Jeong), whom Marshall blames for stealing some gold bullion.
This is certainly a different kind of wild and crazy adventure. Instead of a familiar life situation going so awry, the story is essentially a crime thriller that is a bit dark but still comedic. It may sound as if the writers of this movie have lost their minds, but they haven't. The plot does balance familiar characters with fresh new situations. This is the main reason why I think The Hangover: Part III is an entertaining romp. It's engaging to see Phil, Stu, and Alan constantly follow leads to complete an objective, only to face complications and twists that force them to repeat the process. Any good plot presents conflict and surprising developments, which is certainly the case here.
As for the humor, there are some laughs. Not as many as in the original Hangover movie, but there are some nonetheless. For example, there is a caper scene in which Stu and Chow perform the first steps in burglarizing an empty estate. Believe it or not, they have to crawl like dogs in order to fool a home security system. What's funny is that, even in this tense situation, Chow jokes around by doing two things that are natural for canines but are gross for humans acting like dogs. A bit later, Stu and Chow prepare to cut the security system's wires but cannot agree on which wires to cut. The reason for this, I admit, did make me laugh a little.
Because this is the last part of what is now the Hangover trilogy, we get to see a few characters with final fates. This is particularly true for Alan, who still exhibits the behavior of a socially inept man-child, and Chow, who can appear as friend or foe depending on how he is treated. But don't worry. Phil and Stu still have plenty of memorable screen time. What's really interesting is how the Hangover series comes full circle, as the climax of Part III takes place in the setting of the original Hangover: Las Vegas. That includes the Caesar's Palace casino and hotel where all the craziness ultimately began.
So is The Hangover Part III the epic conclusion to the trilogy of mayhem and bad decisions (as one of its taglines states)? In a way, yes. While I would not call it epic, I would still consider it a good finale simply because there is the feeling of things tidied up once and for all. I will agree with many people that the first Hangover movie is the best of the three. At the same time, I still enjoyed Part III for what it is, just as I still gave some praise to Part II. Looking at the series as a whole, the Hangover movies have made me laugh while following a memorable principal and supporting cast. So to the minds behind the trilogy, I say, "Thank you for this amusing three-part cinematic drinking experience."
For more information about The Hangover Part III, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my reviews of The Hangover and The Hangover Part II.