The Hangover Part III – one word: disappointing. Although a mildly satisfying final to director Todd Phillips’ trilogy, the film’s unimaginative linear narrative and stale blokey humour makes it all but a lacklustre regurgitation of expired gags from ‘over it’ party animals.
What started with a bang – Phillips’ Part I was a worthy surprise hit in 2009 with its comedic smarts and, despite offensive anti-Asian jokes in 2011’s Part II, the sequel remained entertaining – has ended with a whimper.
We’re off to a semi-intriguing start. The Wolfpack reunite in the hope of rehabilitating man-child Alan (Zach Galifianakis) whose father has just died of a freak heart-attack. He’s off the meds you see, so Alan’s mates, good-looker Phil (Bradley Cooper), nerdy dentist friend Stu (Ed Helms) and brother-in-law Doug (Justin Bartha, who’s practically an extra) stage an intervention and huzzah they’re in luck! The gang are en route to a rehab clinic in Arizona when they’re ambushed by a motorway mob led by crime boss Marshall (John Goodman) who demands they find feisty Asian gangster Mr Chow (Ken Jeong) who stole $21 million in gold bars from him.
Thereafter, The Hangover Part III cascades into a lazy splattering of heists, high-speed car chases, robberies and out of place slapstick. Much of the action is dull, uninspiring and garners very few laughs. Interestingly enough, Mr Chow has become central to the film’s tale; perhaps even Phillips himself realised the Wolfpack no longer held enough charm to pack a cinematic punch.
And not only is the Wolfpack back – so too is Vegas. Ultimately a trilogy about male camaraderie, a return to the City Of Angels seems fitting to conjure up nostalgic memories of good ol’ times. Unfortunately, Phillips doesn’t pull it off – instead we’re left with the bitter sting of ‘been there done that’.
** out of five stars
BY LISA OMAGARI
The Hangover Part III is in cinemas now.