The Hangover Part III: The Wolfpack Reunites for Old Times’ Sake
Out with the old and in with the new; that’s probably the best way to sum up the feel of this third – and supposedly final – instalment of The Hangover franchise. Director Todd Phillips is the man behind the wheel once more and, along with the Part II writer, Craig Mazin, adds a fresh angle to the story we all thought we knew so well.
Ditching the drunken daze of the previous two films, The Hangover Part III decides to take its self a little more seriously this time and shifts its focus to distressed man-child, Alan (Galifiankis). After the loss of his father – whom he constantly refers to as his life-partner – Alan begins to raise cause for concern amongst his family and friends; he’s been off his meds for over half a year, he’s acting out and he still refuses to move out of his family home.
Alan’s brother-in-law, Doug (Bartha), takes action and calls in the rest of the Wolf Pack – pretty-boy Phil (Cooper) and inane dentist Stu (Helms) – to help drive Alan down to a mental institution in Arizona.
Unfortunately, their road-trip is soon intercepted by Marshall (Goodman); a mobster who wants them to track down Mr. Chow (Jeong) and return the twenty one million dollars in gold that he stole. In order to keep the group motivated, Marshall holds Doug hostage.
Showing serious signs of fatigue, The Hangover Part III seems to be running on its last legs and comes across as slightly desperate to please. The jokes are few and far between and, although there are a couple of seriously amusing moments, everything feels forced and, at times, just plain lazy.
The decision to shine the spotlight on Alan and Chow is one of the reasons; having initially shone as side-kicks, the characters just don’t work as leads. Cooper’s, Barth’s and Helms’ characters are completely diluted and seem to be completely lost in the story; Barth is once again underused, Cooper looks bored, Helms is doing his best – with the little material given – while a great actor like Goodman is shamefully wasted.
On the plus side, Phillips and Mazin create a more coherent storyline this time – instead of just another drunken fiasco. The story moves along nicely and the soundtrack – which includes ‘Down in Mexico’ by the Coasters – underlines the story’s spirit perfectly.
All in all, though, this is a poor showing of a goodbye – is this really the end for the Wolf Pack?