Is it really The Hangover when there’s no hangover in the story? In the latest chapter in the Hangover saga, they ditch the “piece together what happened last night” plot device and replace it with a story focused on crime, kidnapping, and chasing down a character.
Kicking things off two years after Part II, we begin with Leslie Chow (coke-addicted crime-lord/chaos incarnate) escaping from his Bangkok prison cell during a riot. (Right out of the gate, the movie is pretty clear that this is going to be a Chow-centric affair.) Next we’re caught up to speed in the life of Alan, who has regressed further into his role as a manic perpetual man-child, and the rest of the “Wolf Pack” as they figure out a way to get Alan some mental help. On their way to a mental clinic in Arizona, the gang is attacked by Marshall, a drug kingpin who was name-dropped in Part I, who kidnaps Doug in order to get Alan, Stu, and Phil to track down Chow for him. The rest of the movie is one failed scheme after another to give Chow over to Marshal. Their adventure eventually leads them back to Las Vegas, where it all began, and a few run-ins with some returning characters.
Todd Phillips returns once again to direct the final chapter(?) in the Hangover Trilogy with all the raunchy humor audiences have come to expect from him. The Wolf Pack is again played by Zach Galifianakis as Alan, Bradley Cooper as Phil, Ed Helms as Stu, and Justin Bartha as Doug. Chow is once again played by Ken Jeong and John Goodman joins the cast as Chow’s rival, Marshall. Returning cast in smaller roles include Jeffrey Tambor, Mike Epps, and Heather Graham. Overall the cast is fine but the characters of both Alan and Chow are used so much and elevated to a level of such overt crassness that they could easily become grating after awhile.
In the end, Part III is far better than it’s initial predecessor but neither sequel comes close to the brilliance of the first Hangover movie. If you’re a fan of the series than “The Hangover Part III” should serve as a nice closure to the story but for audiences just looking for a entertaining R-rated comedy, they might as well save their money and just rent “The Hangover” again.
For those looking for a little more classic Hangover humor, wait through the credits for a small extra scene.