The Wolf Pack Goes Out With a Whimper

What’s a Hangover movie without a hangover?

No, this isn’t a riddle. The Hangover Part III answers this question and takes the franchise in another direction. After being criticized that Part II was just a carbon copy of the first, critics are now complaining that it is too different. Be careful what you wish for boys.

Part III is really Alan’s story. Spoiled by his parents with too much money and not enough social skills, he runs rampage killing a poor giraffe and brining shame to his father. After his father’s sudden death, his brother in law brings the wolf pack to help intervene. They are going to get him to a great spa that is sooo much fun!

On the way to the mental facility, the team is run off the road by a gangster (John Goodman), Doug is kidnapped, and Chow is on the loose. If the pack doesn’t get Chow and the money that he stole, the gangster is going to kill Doug. Phil devises a plan to get Chow back into custody, and is, of course, played for fools. Chaos ensues and the boys end up back in Vegas.

Hangover-III-Poster-Ken-Jeong1Chow is the clear winner of this franchisee. Ken Jeong takes him from a secondary character from the first movie and makes him the main vein of the entire series. In this installment, he carries it.  It is Cho more than the exploits of the Wolf Pack that packs the humor especially when he tricks the wolf pack into doing his bidding.

The movie is really about Alan’s journey into adulthood albeit a weird and zany one. If Judd Apatow had done this movie, it would be have been marvelous. Because that’s what Apatow does well: combines zany humor with rich morals and character development. Todd Phillips’ insane Hangovers shouldn’t be this way. These movies’ value rides on the guys being rode hard and put up wet and not remembering it. It’s not a place for mushy adult emotions.

Alan is not the only one who has grown. Stu has finally settled down and manages not to have sex with one. Phil never takes of his shirt. And we see shots of all them with their happily wedded wives. But we don’t want to see that. We want chaos and that is where Part III fails. It’s more controlled chaos with a coming of age story tucked in instead of party time ruckus.

Many will not like The Hangover Part III, but if you can separate it from the other movies, you will enjoy it. But that  is hard to do when you were waiting for that final graduation party.


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