Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It Came From The Cineplex: The Hangover Part III

"It All Ends?" Dear lord, we can only hope... 
I'm not gonna waste a lot of bandwidth on this film because I'm not a fan of the series, didn't particularly want to see it and once I did I didn't much care for it.

I saw the original The Hangover when it premiered in back in 2009, but unlike 99% of the population I didn't think it was the greatest achievement in comedy filmmaking that our civilization has ever produced. I scored it a B, which seems pretty high now that I look back, calling it mediocre at best with surprisingly few laughs and that it was saved only by the presence of Zach Galifianakis. 

That pretty much sums up my feelings for Part III. Except for the B part.

Most audiences agreed that The Hangover Part II was little more than a carbon copy of the original, with only a change of location (from Vegas to Thailand) to differentiate it. I didn't even bother to see it so I can neither confirm nor deny this. The Hangover Part III definitely tries to break the formula though, veering drunkenly into action thriller territory rather than comedy.

I have to wonder if writer/director Todd Phillips heard the criticisms about Part II and deliberately tried to do something different this time? If so I'll give him credit for trying, even if his efforts burst into flame on the runway without ever becoming airborne.

The dearth of comedy was the biggest problem I had with the film. I thought the funniest part in the whole movie was when Galifianakis' Alan character knocks over a display of musical instruments on his way out of a pawn shop. Even then it didn't generate a guffaw; I just kind of breathed out of my nose a little harder than normal.

Probably the funniest thing about The Hangover Part III isn't even in the actual film-- it's the poster, which is a swipe from homage to Harry Potter And The Blatant Cash Grab Part 2. They even used the same "It All Ends" slogan! Folks, when your ferkakta poster is funnier than your actual comedy film, you've got troubles.

It's also pretty darn similar to this one as well. Galifianakis seems to like participating in staring contests on his posters.

The Plot:
The Wolf Pack gets together for one last mission, but not for the usual wedding. This time the guy that no one cares about who sits out all these movies is being held hostage by a drug dealer (played by John Goodman). The dealer wants the Pack to bring Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) and the gold bars he stole back to him or the guy no one cares about dies. The Pack tracks Mr. Chow to... duhn duhn DUHN! Las Vegas, the city where it all started.

That's the entire plot, folks!

Pros:
• God bless Melissa McCarthy. She's the best thing in the entire film. Things pick up considerably during her few all-too-brief scenes with Galifianakis (who also seems to perk up when he's interacting with her).

That's about all I've got.

Cons:
• For a so-called comedy there are very few actual laughs. Vast chunks of screen time drag by without a single discernible joke or amusing situation. 

• What does director Todd Philips have against animals? In this film he (fake) kills a giraffe (by decapitation yet!), two guard dogs and at least one chicken during the film. Jesus, I'm no PETA member but even I think that's a bit excessive. Worst of all I'm pretty sure these animal deaths were all intended to be funny.

• This film contains some of the worst special effects and prosthetic makeup I've seen outside of a SyFy Channel feature. As the movie opens,  Alan hauls a giraffe down the highway in a sequence that features some truly abysmal green screen shots. Seriously, it's like 1970s era effects.

Then in a post credits scene, Stu (Ed Helms) wakes up after yet another wild party to find he's now the proud owner of a pair of breast implants. The quality of the breast prosthetics is shockingly bad, just slightly better than those rubber chests you can buy at one of those Halloween stores that pop up every October. 

• I could have happily lived out the rest of my life without ever seeing Ken Jeong's shockingly tiny penis. I hope for his sake that was some kind of foam latex prosthetic!

Not funny enough to be a comedy and not exciting enough to be an action thriller, The Hangover Part III is an unqualified mess that I'm sure will end up grossing $300 million anyway. I give it a C

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