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HANGOVER, THE, PART III

SYNOPSIS:
In the aftermath of the death of Alan's father, the wolfpack decide on an 'intervention' and convince him to go along with it, taking Alan (Zach Galifianakis) to get treatment for his mental issues. But things start to go wrong on the way to the hospital as the wolfpack is assaulted by a masked gang and Doug (Justin Bartha) is kidnapped by Marshall (John Goodman) who demands that they find Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) and the stolen gold bullion or else he will kill Doug. They have no idea how much angst they are about to experience.

Review by Louise Keller:
To its detriment and in a fizzer of a finale, Hangover Part III is unfortunately more like the second film of the franchise than the first; a mish mash of over-the-top skits that are never based on any kind of reality except that of the misconceived scriptwriters. The first Hangover caught everyone's attention because the premise was in a reality to which we can all relate. Four buddies on a pre-wedding weekend of debauchery and madness in Las Vegas. The second film was a pale imitation, emulating the elements but contrived in a bad way. The third film sets its reality so far and beyond anything credible that it is all played for laughs with no reality to balance the madness. As to be expected, there are moments of sheer lunacy, but these alone do not make this third Hangover worthy of the headache.

Picking up where the last one left off (in Thailand), the film begins with a jail escape - by Mr Chow. Director Todd Phillips and co-writer Craig Mazin obviously cottoned onto the fact that Ken Jeong as Mr Chow was a big part of the first film's success (and his outrageousness was the best thing about the second film), but here they have totally misjudged how to best use the character. By elevating Mr Chow as a key character (instead of an incidental one whose crazy exploits - naked and otherwise - made him a firm favourite with audiences), he is no longer funny. You know what they say: too much of a good thing.... In any event, Mr Chow is no longer a breath of fresh air that makes us laugh despite ourselves, but a tedious, foul-mouthed and unlikeable character who outstays his welcome.

The other unfortunate plot strand is that involving Alan (Zach Galifianakisat his most unbearable), who is off his meds and needs to be incarcerated in a facility in Arizona. Everything smacks of a set up and then unlikely elements are thrown into the mix. There's a giraffe whose cameo is short-lived (play on words), gold nuggets from a Middle Eastern Sheik and cocaine snorting roosters to name a few. Attempts at making this a buddy movie fail miserably. Heather Graham makes a blink-or-you'll miss-her token re-appearance in Vegas while Mr Chow's leap from Caesar Palace's Penthouse has novelty value. Highlight and most amusing is the pawn shop scene with Melissa McCarthy as Cassie, who takes an instant shine to Alan. It's not just WHAT, but HOW and credit to McCarthy to make her scenes zing.

Just as well for McCarthy, because everyone else is wasted - from Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha and even John Goodman whose role as the crook from whom Mr Chow has stolen the loot, is a bit of a yawn. So, sadly the Hangover is well and truly over. Sadly, because it could have been so much fun - like the first film.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Neither as good as it wants to be or as bad as I had feared, The Hangover Part III is a crazy-paving of a movie, as you'd expect, with its focus on Alan (Zach Galifianakis), with Doug (Justin Bartha) stuck in kidnapped mode. It's Galifianakis, plus John Goodman as the big time crim Marshall and Ken Jeong as Chow the oddball who dominate the story, which tries to stay off-balance as much as possible, and thanks to Galifianakis, that is achieved.

Chow's character is seen as a comic driver, his eccentricities a blessing, but perhaps it's a tad overdone, and the one-note joke wears out. Still, there is mileage in it - and him. Jeong is unstoppably funny in an edgy way. Needless to say, women are scarcely seen, except as minor supports, Vegas hookers or trampy young girls in background. Seems perfect for the film's target market, really, if you'll excuse the cynicism.

Some overly sensitive people may find the treatment of Alan's mental illness tasteless and negative while others will not even think of that; they'll just laugh at the grey humour it generates. Alan is also the butt of fat cracks, but the film redeems this apparent ism with a small but crucial subplot which involves Alan and Cassie, played by the wildly comic Melissa McCarthy. You can probably guess ... but it's the execution that matters.

At least the film redeems its silly and juvenile tone with a story that has teeth ... or is it balls. Goodman comes to the rescue with a totally dramatic characterisation to ground his character and his scenes, while the excesses of the adventure serve to provide the thrills that have made this franchise such a popular one (notwithstanding the sequel being a dud, strangely enough).



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 1

HANGOVER, THE, PART III (M)
(US, 2013)

CAST: Bradley Cooper, Heather Graham, Zach Galifianakis, Melissa McCarthy, Jamie Chung, John Goodman, Ken Jeong, Justin Bartha, Ed Helms, Mike Epps

PRODUCER: Daniel Goldberg

DIRECTOR: Todd Phillips

SCRIPT: Todd Phillips, Craig Mazin

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Lawrence Sher

EDITOR: Jeff Groth, Debra Neil-Fisher

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Maher Ahmad

RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 23, 2013







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