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The Hangover Part 3 Review

Updated on June 3, 2013

The Hangover Part 3

4 stars for The Hangover Part 3
The Hangover Part 3 Poster
The Hangover Part 3 Poster | Source

A Whole New Twist

Director Todd Phillips created one of the funniest comedies in years when he released The Hangover. He followed it with The Hangover Part 2, which was mostly just a rehash of the formula that made the first film so great. The sequel lacked the same charm the original had, but the setting of Bangkok added fuel to many jokes that have been done before.

Now, years after the original film, the trilogy has finally come to an end. The Hangover Part 3 has been unleashed on cinemas and the Wolfpack is back together. But does this film live up to the original and more importantly, does it shake up the formula of the series to deliver something different. The answer to both questions is a resounding yes.

Alan Needs Help

The story begins with Alan causing a terrible highway accident and his father getting too worked up over him and dying. This causes Doug, Stu, and Phil to stage an intervention for Alan to get some help. They decide to take him to a facility where he can get his life together and start down a new path. On their way to the treatment center, they are run off the road by a truck and tied up.

When the bags come off their heads, they are confronted by Black Doug, returning to the series, holding a gun at them. Confused at what's happening, Marshall is revealed from the back of the car. Marshall, of course, was referenced in a throwaway line from the first film by Black Doug. He reveals that Mr. Chow stole $21 million in gold bars from him and that the Wolfpack are the ones to find him since he escaped prison in Bangkok. Marshall takes Doug as his collateral and leaves Stu, Phil, and Alan to track down Chow.

After locating him in Mexico, they are led to a house robbery, which they believe is Chow's old home to get the bars. Chow double-crosses the group and flees to Vegas. Now forced to return to the place that haunts Stu and Phil, it's what they are forced to do in order to rescue Doug and capture Chow.

Back in Vegas

With the Wolfpack back in the city of sin, they find out Chow pawned a gold bar in a very funny scene involving Alan and the pawn shop worker. She informs them that Chow was looking for hookers and drugs and it leads them to old face.

Jade returns to the series for the first time since she and Stu got their wild wedding annulled. She doesn't exactly add a great wealth of material to the film and is used more a plot device to forward the story, but it's better than a random character we never met. It also gave us a sweet moment between Alan and the baby Carlos, now growing up into a little boy. The touching moment is more for Alan to grow as a person than anything else.

The final showdown with Chow is funny and somewhat unreal. The movie culminates in a shocking conclusion that gives the Wolfpack and Chow a bittersweet send off. Thankfully, there is a nice post-script to the story that allows us to have a funny breather after the climax.

Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, and Ed Helms return to Vegas
Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, and Ed Helms return to Vegas | Source
John Goodman as Marshall in The Hangover 3
John Goodman as Marshall in The Hangover 3 | Source

A Different Comedy

Unlike the first two Hangover movies, this film is very dark. The humor is more directed and antagonizing than before. There is a large amount of violence in this film that was never present before. It quite shocking at first to see how different in tone this film is from the first two. Audiences will certainly be taken aback initially, then the humor becomes expected and you roll with it more freely.

The cast is up to par once again. Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms aren't nearly as vital players as previous films, but they are on point for snappy one-liners or physical gags. Zach Galifianakis really shines in the film as it is truly his story. He has really lost himself in the Alan character and it's great to see him evolve from film to film to where he reaches by the finale. Ken Jeong has a much larger role as Mr. Chow. The fan favorite character has perhaps a little too much screen time in this film and he comes across as far more violent and vile than before. Perhaps this is the true Chow and we see how bad for the group he really was.

Mike Epps and Heather Graham both turn fun performances in their brief return to the series. Always nice to see familiar faces return to series'. Justin Bartha once again only has brief screen time but still manages to be the straight-laced Doug who just wants to help. At least he wasn't wasted by being stuck at home and is a vital part of the plot.

New to the cast was John Goodman as Marshall. Goodman has the chops to deliver humor and be menacing at the same time. He channeled a bit of his Walter character from The Big Lebowski in a few moments. He is a wonderful actor and adds a great level of threat to the Wolfpack's lives.

Technically Speaking...

In terms of filmmaking, the movie looks great. The sweeping shots of Vegas and the low light that is present throughout makes for great shot selection. The cinematography can really capture a moment and the sometimes frantic editing lends itself to the fast-paced movement of this film.

The writing is sharp and these characters are never better. By this point, you can sense that a lot of this was likely improvised on set. The actors are having fun being these characters one more time. Todd Phillips as such a fun style to his directing and captures the right moments of subtly to get the performances he needs.

After seeing the dark tone of this film, it would be really interesting to see Phillips tackle a thriller or dark drama. You can see he would have a unique approach to genre and could deliver something special.


The Wolfpack adventure has come to an end. it was a wild ride to reach this point, but one we all had fun taking. The movie is worth checking out and you will enjoy this new take on the series. For the people that complain it's too different, they are likely the ones that complained the second was too similar. You can't always have your cake and eat it too. This movie shakes it up and tries to give you something you'll remember. And it succeeded.

The Hangover Part 3 Trailer


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    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I feel like it was a fitting ending as well. I mean while Phil and Stu always seem to clean up Alan's messes- it is fun to see them trying to save poor Doug once again.

      My favorite character is Mr. Chow- Ken Jeong is such a great physical comedian and his jokes had me rolling- especially the scene where he and Phil break in the mansion.

      Great review!