Hey gang, Valkor here. When the first Hangover film was released, it was a unique, fresh and outrageously funny film. The second outing, pretty much offered up the same kind of fun, only in a different setting. But then The Hangover III enters the scene and it's not only the finale of the series but also takes the trilogy away from its roots, giving it a much darker tone. But is it funny? Is it worth checking out? The answer to both questions is a resound "yes". Some spoilers ahead.
In Hangover III, the Wolfpack are going full circle taking things back to where it all started in the first film, touching on the second and ending their adventure where the first one began. We start off with Chow (Ken Jeong) escaping a Thai prison but then the film kicks in with Alan (Zack Galifinakis) and the death of his father, Sid (Jeffrey Tambor), who is tired of Alan's shenanigans. And in the process of telling him off, dies of a heart attack. We learn that Alan has been off his meds for awhile and he's been doing a lot of crazy shit, so the gang – Stu (Ed Helms), Phil (Bradley Cooper), and Doug (Justin Bartha) stage an intervention, where they address Alan's problem and suggest he stay at an institution in Arizona until he gets better. Reluctantly he agrees but mainly because Phil, Stu, and Doug would take him there. Along the way their car is suddenly sideswiped off the road and we're introduced to Marshall (John Goodman) and his goons, one of which is black Doug (Mike Epps); if you don't know, Marshall is the big boss referenced in the first Hangover film, who would be pissed because Black Doug screwed up the bags, switching the ecstasy for roofies (and we all know what happened after that).
In this film we get to see Marshall and he IS pissed. But it's not because of the drugs - he's got his sights set on Chow, who as it turns out stole twenty-one million in gold bars from him. So of course he wants that gold back. And the only solid link Marshall knows of, that may be able to get to him is the wolfpack, more specifically Alan who has been in contact with Chow since... well since part two. So Marshall forcefully enlist the Wolf Pack to aid in the recovery of his stolen merchandise and Chow. And to insure that Stu, Phil and Alan comply, he's keeping Doug as insurance. Fortunately, Alan has been corresponding with Chow and they find him in Tijuana, Mexico. From there they'll find the gold, lose the gold AND Chow, and ultimately confront him and Marshall in the one place they thought they'd never see again – Vegas.
The final film in the Wolf Pack trilogy is the darkest of the three, stepping away from the formula set up by the first two films – there's no wedding, no bachelor party, and no drug induced, memory loss hangovers where someone goes missing. Does it work or was this a misfire on director Todd Philip's part.
The only way The Hangover III would even be passable at the theaters would be if they stepped away from the original format embraced by the first and second films. I mean, who'd want to see the same film over again? I still enjoy the first film and yes I enjoyed the shit out of The Hangover II, so I can honestly say, without question, I absolutely loved The Hangover III! While a complete departure from the first two films, at its core, it still stays true to what those films started because even when these guys are sober, they still can't seem to stay out of trouble. And because they're sober, the story isn't about them chasing down crazy clues to find someone, they know who they have to find but it's getting him to where he needs to be – now that's the problem. The film is also very cohesive in how it uses Marshall and Chow to connect the first two films to the third – actually… it's fucking brilliant! The story is way more serious than the first two, but the jokes, thankfully, balance things out. They're not as strong or as memorable as the first two, but they do hit their mark. There are also a lot of heartfelt moments, a couple in particular, when Alan has a realization that he can't keep going in the direction he's headed, especially with Chow. Or when Alan puts the shades on a now grown up a bit Tyler/Carlos… so touching. Thinking about it, the film manly revolves around Alan and while I think it's a bit much, he carries his role quite well. Sam for Jeong's Chow, whom I am glad, was given more to do. Cooper's Phil and Helms' Stu again you're getting solid performances. HUGE plus (no pun intended) goes to John Goodman, who completes the entire package. Finally, the film doesn't forget its beginnings and ends how the first two films start – with a hangover moment, the return of the monkey and Chow's penis, plus something had to happen to Stu. And if you've seen the meme floating around then you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, go watch the film and enjoy. Overall The Hangover III is a great ending to an amazing and hysterical trilogy.
I know that Alan is at the center of this film, but there's just too much of him; he's kinda like Jar Jar Binks in Episode One. He just spouts out a lot of dumb stuff. Next, no Mike Tyson? Or did I leave the film too early? They brought back the fucking Monkey and Ken Jeong's penis, why no champ? Finally, and this one is a doozy, the scene where Chow traps the guys in the basement of the house where they just retrieved the lost gold. Phil, minutes before knocked down a wall with a sledge hammer, they gather up the gold and Chow locks them in the basement. WHERE THE HELL WAS THAT SLEDGEHAMMER???
I thought I escaped Jeong's penis… I was wrong… so wrong…
The Hangover III is in theaters now and if you've seen the first two films, then do yourself a favor, complete the trilogy and go see this one. It's not as bad as some reviews might state; to me it serves up a side of serious, wrapped around a fun movie that's the perfect ending to the perfect trilogy. So, out of TOV 5 stars, I give The Hangover III 4.5 stars. I'm kinda sad it's over; but to the wolfpack and everyone who worked on the films I will say "Thanks for an amazing and hysterical ride".