The Hangover Part III Film Review
It's unfortunate that a lot of people hated the second film. If they hadn't of hated it with such passion, then we might have been spared this terrible attempt to appeal to the people who wanted the formula changed up. The result was an unmitigated mess that wasn't funny as much as it was uncomfortable to watch at times. This movie was so bad that it made me appreciate the under-appreciated sequel that much more. People missed the joke of the second one, so we got an action comedy crapfest that shouldn't have been allowed to happen.
The first Hangover took everyone by surprise. It was a movie that was easily dismissed before it's release as another disposable summer comedy that wouldn't amount to anything. However, when the movie hit theaters, critics and audiences alike fell in love with the wolfpack and turned it into a the highest grossing R-rated comedy at the time and a critically acclaimed success. After the wild popularity of the first movie, a sequel was inevitable. The formula was identical to the first film, but the location was changed to Bangkok, Thailand. This time, the critics and audiences weren't so kind. The film was panned, but it still went to get record box office numbers. The major complaint was that it was a carbon copy of the first film that went horribly wrong. I disagreed with that argument when I saw it in theaters and I enjoyed the film despite my opinion that it wasn't as good as the first one. It was still funny to me, so I enjoyed it. The whole point of the sequel was how the hell that could happen to them again. The entire joke came from the fact that they let themselves get thrown into the same situation with even worse results than what happened the first time around. Since most people hated it though, the filmmakers decided to change the formula for the inevitable third film. That turned out to be a horrible decision. What made The Hangover so popular in the first place was the formula it established with the reverse narrative and bachelor party gone bad scenario. Despite the success of the formula, fans and critics wanted a change, and they got their wish. The Hangover Part III ditches the bachelor party and the reverse narrative for a cheap action comedy.
This time, the wolfpack takes Alan to a mental health facility for treatment after he killed a giraffe, catching national headlines and causing the death of his father. Along the way, a gangster named Marshall runs them off the road, kidnaps Doug, and makes the others find Mr. Chow who stole millions of dollars worth of gold from him and has escaped from a Bangkok prison. Their journey takes them to Tijuana, Mexico and back to Las Vegas. None of it was particularly funny except for the intervention scene shown in a trailer, and random funny moments that were more funny because of how horrible the events unfolding on screen actually were. At one point in the film, Phil blurts out "What the fuck am I watching?" which is exactly how I felt during the whole movie. The after credits scene showing the aftermath of Alan's wedding reception was better than the entire movie. If they had went with THAT scenario instead of the crappy, dated, action comedy junk that we got, then this movie might've at least been funny. Unfortunately, any part that was actually funny was a result of how awkward, uncomfortable, and unfunny the film really was.
It takes a lot for me to really hate a movie. I can find redeeming qualities or some sense of enjoyment out of movies that everybody else hates. I enjoyed G.I. Joe Retaliation as a fun ride that was more faithful to the G.I. Joe material. Hugh jackman as Wolverine is the only thing that makes X-Men Origins: Wolverine watchable. I enjoyed Gangster Squad as an old school, but out of date, gangster film. I enjoy Michael Bay movies for the ridiculous cheesefests that they are (and because I'm a big Transformers fan). However, this movie struck all the wrong cords with me. It wasn't funny, the formula was unnecessarily discarded, and everything that was enjoyable about the first two movies was thrown out because people missed the point of the second movie. The Hangover Part III stunk. Don't go see it.
Update: After seeing this movie again with a fresh perspective, I have to boost the rating to three stars. Despite how ridiculous this entire movie was, I still laughed. It was still funny. For me, if a comedy makes me laugh, then it did it's job. There are a lot better comedies out there (like the first Hangover), but I don't hate it with a passion like I did the first time I saw it. After all, I don't think anything can get any worse than Project X. Seeing that little jerk that played Costa in this movie reminded how much I hate Project X and it's bullshit, misguided message wrapped in drug glorification and stupid, 21st century douchebaggery.