The Hangover Part III


In 2009, Todd Phillips and co. had a surprise smash hit with “The Hangover”, a movie about three men who awaken from a night of blackout drinking to find they’ve lost one of their friends. They then have to recreate the events of the night before in order to retrace their steps and find their friend. In 2011, Todd Phillips and co. had another smash hit with “The Hangover Part II”, a movie about three men who awaken from a night of blackout drinking to find they’ve lost one of their friends. They then have to recreate the events of the night before in order to retrace their steps and find their friend.

“Part II” was widely criticized for being a regurgitation of the first film. It was nearly a note for note facsimile, and critics punished it accordingly. In response, Phillips and co. pledged “The Hangover Part III” would not be “the same old thing”. Instead, they made a movie that has little to do with anything fans love about the first two films.

No drunken debauchery, no blackout, no “Hangover”.

Worst of all, few to no laughs.

As Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) drive Alan (Zach Galifianakis) to a mental health facility, they’re attacked by a van full of armed men who work for a gangster named Marshall (John Goodman). Marshall informs the “Wolf Pack” that Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong), the volatile criminal that they’ve associated with in the past, has just escaped from jail. Marshall claims that Chow stole $21 million in gold from him years ago, and now he wants the Pack to track Chow down and get the gold back. To ensure their cooperation, Marshall kidnaps Doug, leaving Phil, Stu and Alan to find Chow, recover the gold, and save their friend.

Luckily for them, Alan has been keeping touch with Chow in jail, and he has a lead on where to meet him. In order to corner him, the Wolf Pack will have to cross the Mexican border to Tijuana, and eventually back to Vegas… where it all began.

Don’t let those legendary hot spots fool you, however. In this chapter, there’s no partying in the Wolf Pack’s future. “The Hangover Part III” repositions the three reprobates as quasi-bounty hunters, out to track down Chow. There’s no drunken antics involved this time out. No regrettable acts. It’s “The Hangover III: The Chase of Chow”. I can understand, after the trashing Part II took for its lack of originality, the desire to venture into new territory and explore different elements with the plot. However, there’s little to nothing here left that the fans love about the first two movies outside of the characters.

The characters, of course, are the same for the most part. Cooper’s Phil is still the slick, composed one, Helms’ Stu is still exacerbated by just about everything, and Galifianakis’ Alan still barely has a grip on reality. Jeong wears out his welcome in an expanded role as the chatty, unpredictable Chow. Melissa McCarthy makes her first appearance in the series as a creepy love interest for Galifianakis. Their scenes together are uncomfortably funny, as the two overweight, socially challenged people discover a mutual attraction.

Sadly, however, that’s one of the films few bright spots. For most of its run, “The Hangover Part III” is a caper movie with a dull caper. Chow lives the wild and crazy life, but the Wolf Pack do not. For the most part they just try to put up with each other (and Chow) while trying to meet a mobster’s demands. There’s a reunion moment that fans of the franchise will appreciate (and I won’t spoil), but as to what fun and insanity this installment brings to the table, the answer is “not much”.

The characters provide some laughs here and there, but there’s nothing inherently funny about the story or the events. Occasional spots of humor simply aren’t enough to meet expectations for this concluding chapter of this high-profile comedy trilogy.


Daniel Fogarty


64 thoughts on “The Hangover Part III

  1. Lightning in a bottle. It can be almost impossible to duplicate. Sometimes it can happen (Dark Knight–LOTR), but it is few and far between.

    The Hangover was the rare occurrence of perfect…everything. Magic. They should have left it alone, to stand proud and unique among the common. But, nope. Of course not.

    Now, like the Matrix–I just ignore the sequels and love the one. Sad sigh.

    Anyways…whatcha gonna do? 😀 Watch Fast Six and have a blast! Which I did.

    • LOL, well, of course I did that too 😉 Review pending later this afternoon. Now THAT’S a sequel! It’s the SIXTH installment and its still going strong! LOL 😀

      Meanwhile, though, this was a dud. There’s no other way to put it. Dull and disappointing. Yeah, I’m totally gonna have to pull a matrix on this and forget the third part (though I actually liked Hangover part II 😯 )

      Later, Nedi 😉

  2. a bit generous of a score still. at least from what I thought you might give it while reading your review. I had no qualms giving this one a lower score. ha. it wasn’t funny as an overall film…and that’s not good for a film in the “comedy” genre.

    [Interestingly this time around I agree with your review (even the McCarthy part) but disagree with your score.]

    Haha. I mentioned the lack of a hangover in my review as well. 😀

    This is The End will get all of the Hangover 3 disappointed fans and bring Team TFF to the top of the draft! 🙂

    • Well, something has got to become the Smash Comedy of the Summer, right? There’s always one. I dont think this will be it, either. It’ll probably open strongly, but then drop sharply, I think word of mouth is going to kill this one. 😦

      As to the grade, it was a disappointing film, and deserved to be criticized, but it wasn’t as bad as a D or an F. I’m certain that people will be able to kill time on cable with it and not complain too badly.

      C- is still a pretty sucky grade.

  3. Good review. Yeah, this was pretty disappointing. Not as terrible as the second one, but still not very good, and with little in the way of actual comedy. I can appreciate them at least attempting something different, but too bad that something still didn’t quite work. Oh well though. *shrug*

    • I actually like the second one better. Way better actually. At least there (as unoriginal as it was) they were still…. getting hungover!

      I understand why they went “different” too, but you’re right, it didnt work. 😦 “little in the way of actual comedy” is spot on, and a pretty damning statement to boot. 😦

  4. Absolutely loved the first one. Absolutely loathed the second. I think I’ll watch this only to let Todd Phillips sort of make up for the atrocious Part II. I don’t think I’ll like it a lot, though, since Jeong is a main character now and I don’t like him, not even in Community.

    • I hate to spoil your plans, but I don’t think that this movie will “make up for” anything. It’s just not funny enough… And if you don’t like Jeong, you’re in extra trouble, cause he’s much more prominent in this installment than he was in the prior two. 😯

      Sorry to be the one to tell you Fernando. LOL

  5. Good review! It is not funny at all! Even though I hate all the Hangover films they have at least a few good laughs. This has none. lol

  6. Its not as terrible as most people are saying but it doesnt bring anything great to the table. Even though it wasnt as funny as I thought it was going to be but I still found some enjoyment in it. Your review is pretty much spot on.

    • Thanks Issy. Yeah, its not like its insufferable or anything, it does definitely have some laughs scattered throughout. I dont think its anywhere near as funny as either of the other two though, and especially not the first. 😦

  7. Nice write up dude. I guess I must be alone in the universe with my appreciation for parts 1 AND 2 lol. But part 3 is just a totally different movie. I commend Todd Phillips for trying, but it carried such a big risk doing something different and unfortunately they all suffered the consequences by the seems of it. you can check out how i trashed it on my page if you want, but we’re pretty much eye-to-eye on this one . . .

    • “I guess I must be alone in the universe with my appreciation for parts 1 AND 2 ” – No, not at all. I liked Part II quite a bit, though its hard to defend it. People got cranky about the fact that its such a carbon copy of the first, but I didnt mind as much. I focused on it as it was, and I thought that it was really funny actually.

      As to this one, yeah,* *I guess you have to hand it to Phillips for trying, but he certainly didnt stick the landing 😦 He missed the target by quite some ways, I think. I mean, this movie was just poorly conceptualized, really. 😦

  8. It was nice to see a film come out that was so far out of my field of interest that I could read one of your reviews of it. Nothing here, either blatantly or between the lines, telling me to ever bother putting it on the field, either.

    Feeling validated, I will return to casually ignoring Ken Jeong’s contant tweets about it.

    • LOL. I dont follow him on Twitter, but I can imagine him going off about it. He’s definitely front and center in this flick, there’s no doubt about it.

      Unfortunately, at least in this case, that didnt wind up being a GOOD thing. 😦

  9. As someone who hasn’t watched any of the movies, and is just reading your review and others… is it fair to say, at this vantage point in time, that the creators just plain got lucky the first time? Because it sure sounds like they didn’t understand how they made a hit in the first place. “OK, that was a hit… let’s do it again!” “OK, we got blasted for being too repetitive… let’s do one that’s nothing like the others!” One extreme to the other. It just sounds like they didn’t know what to write.

    • No, I think the first one was very clever… its such a simple idea you wind up wondering why no one had done it, you know? But anyways, it introduced three stars who have gone on to become names of various degrees… it was a big, deserving hit. I think they erred in making the sequel too much of the same thing. Personally, I still thought it was a very funny movie, but people savaged it. I can see why they tried that, though. I can also see why they tried to vary it up here, I mean, they did get pretty raked over the coals for Part II. I just think they chose poorly as to what to do with it being “Different”.

      So III to me is the first one where Id say they “didnt know what to write”. “The Hangover” certainly wasn’t the first movie to get a knockoff repeat sequel, you know? So I kind of forgive that one…

      Fair question though. I’d recommend Part I highly, but I seem to recall you’re not a fan of movies revolving around people getting wasted. Still a very funny comedy though…

  10. I’m glad this film is getting trashed. I thought the first film was overrated and the 2nd one was dumb. At least it’s good to know that it’s not being well-received and the fact that both Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms will be off to do better things after this. Plus, Zach Galifanakis nor Ken Jeong are funny. They never were.

    Oh, if I ever come across Ken Jeong one day. I’m going to give him the ass kicking of a lifetime for butchering Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt”. As a longtime NIN fan for nearly 20 years, the one thing you should not do is to piss off the NIN fans. We can get easily offended by someone butchering a NIN song in a bad way.

    • LOL. WOW. I’ll let Jeong know if I ever run across him! 😯

      I’m an unapologetic fan of the first movie, thats a nouveau comedy classic, and rightfully so. I also like the second one, but have to waive the white flag if someone wants to attack it, I can see everyone’s points…

      Jeong has certainly played his hand, but Galifanakis is a funny guy… I’m hoping for him to get some worthy projects after this, he hasn’t been in all that much outside the Hangover series….

      Jeong DID butcher “Hurt” though NV99, no doubt about it. LOL

  11. Not nearly enough John Goodman I thought. I think that if the gang had to deal with him more instead of Chow the movie would have been better. Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms were underutilized which is a shame considering that the strength of the first 2 movies were their characters. It was alright not nearly as good as the first which was excellent in every way.

    • That’s true about Cooper and Helms, they certainly weren’t as prominent in this film as in the prior ones. And Chow was given a much larger role, which isn’t a great trade off 😦

      I’m not certain that more John Goodman is the answer though.

      Definitely nowhere near the quality of the first movie though. Not even close…

  12. A C- is a gift, Fogs… I hated this. Bad. Bad. Bad. So disappointing 😦 The fact that Todd Phillips makes a BIGGER sh*tfest than the second is baffling…

      • I dont know. Its hard to translate these things from one ratings system to another. I gave it a 2 out of 5 for my Lambscore… which mathematically translates to a 40, but then when I look at that out of a 100, I think its too low. LOL

        So…. C- 😉

  13. You confirmed my suspicions. Liked the first, but thought the 2nd was among the worst of the year. Part 2 was a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, ugly,nasty film. No way am I going back a third time.

    • I didn’t have all the hatred for Part II that everyone else did, but it’s a hard movie to defend.

      This movie could use a little nastiness though, it was bland and dull… That was its biggest offense. 😦

  14. Ed Helms really pisses me off in The Office but I found him funny in the last two movies, mostly because of his reactions to the stuff he did while being drunk 🙂 I’ll probably catch this one on DVD, but I’m curious about the reunion thing.

    • He’s far funnier in these films than he is in the Office. The “Nard Dog” was a ridiculous, stupid character. Not one of the things I’ll miss about that show, that’s for sure. 😦

      This movie is definitely better suited for home viewing than a trip to the theatre Sati, let’s say that at least! 😯

  15. I felt a need to apologize for seeing this. I knew it wasn’t going to be any good and I went anyway. Sometimes addiction is a drag. Oh yeah “Don’t do drugs!”

    • Or, like I like to say “Dont do a lot of Drugs” 😉

      This is definitely one of those that if people DO like it they’ll have to qualify it as a guilty pleasure, cause the rest of us are going to be making faces when they say that they like it… 😯

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