Opening today is The Hangover Part III. The wolfpack is back and back where it all got started. It’s been a few years since their adventure in Thailand and after the death of a loved one and a run in with a new bad guy, the “three best friends that anyone could have” must return to Las Vegas to find Mr. Chow and hopefully not get caught in any of the chaos of their first time there.
The Hangover Part III reunites Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha as Phil, Stu, Alan and Doug. Also returning to the ensemble are Ken Jeong as Mr. Chow, Heather Graham as Jade, and Jeffrey Tambor as Alan’s father, Sid. Joining the starring cast is John Goodman. Director Todd Phillips completes his trilogy.
As I write this, The Hangover Part III is currently “rotten” on that critic website, but you know what I say to that? Who cares? The critic in the big newspaper in my city hated it too. And I repeat, who cares? I certainly don’t. I’m a big fan of the first two movies and couldn’t wait to see this one. Critics didn’t like the other movies yet both made HUGE money because the fans loved them. And that’s pretty much all you need to know about the third movie, if you loved the first two films, you’ll love this one.
I will admit that the new film is nowhere near as laugh out loud hilarious as the original, but can a film ever be that way? If anything Part III is more reserved (minus a few scenes) and actually has tender moments including a fantastic scene between Zach Galifianakis and a younger character returning from the first film. Sure the movie has crazy scenes with Ken Jeong because that’s what the fans want. Same can be said for Galifianakis and a shocking end credit scene with Ed Helms (which remember to stay for). Add in a cameo from the queen of comedy right now Melissa McCarthy and the always awesome John Goodman and the film isn’t short on laughs, it’s just less raunchy laughs. If you loved the first two films, you’ll love this one.
I’ve read different things that say the series is formulaic and low brow humor. So what’s your point? The first movie did $270+ million and the first sequel did $250+ million domestically so why screw around with a formula that works? Bradley Cooper is the good looking, grounded character that balances out Zach’s over the top, childlike antics with Ed Helms being the analytical one that gets caught in most of the shenanigans. It simply works. I enjoyed all three films, own the first two and will buy the third when it hits DVD/Blu-ray. And you know what? I’d watch a fourth if they decided to do it.
I also read somewhere that now that Bradley Cooper is an Oscar nominated actor he is beyond films like this. Yes, Bradley has a huge star studded drama coming out at the end of the year from David O. Russell, but where does it say he can’t do comedies anymore? Just because Tom Hanks left comedies behind and has done nothing, but dramas since doesn’t mean Cooper has to. Cooper is funny, he can do comedies too.
The Hangover Part III gives fans what we want, laughs around a storyline that gives us closure. We get big jokes out of the great Ken Jeong (there is seriously no one better at doing what he does). We get old characters popping back up that tie the films together. We get two new great characters from McCarthy and Goodman to go with our favorite wolfpack. If you loved the first two films, you’ll love this one. It’s that simple.