THE HANGOVER PART 3 (Todd Phillips, 2013)
We all knew what we are getting into once we bought a ticket to see this movie. Movies like THE HANGOVER PART 3 exist so we can postpone too much analysis, like on recent more serious fares like TRANCE, and SIDE EFFECTS, and remind ourselves we can still laugh every once in a while. Perhaps not as funny and inventive as the first movie, but also not as unfunny and as culturally insensitive as the second one, THE HANGOVER PART 3 still manages to deliver plenty of sidesplitting humor and a few surprises, too (watch out for the hotel balcony scene!).
Part 3 is basically Alan's (Zach Galifianakis) story trying to get it together. Like in the previous movies, Chow (Ken Jeong) is the main cause of everybody's misfortune, this time because a mob boss (John Goodman) is out to settle a score with him. If it were me I'd kill Chow already, but as the movie progresses, I realized Chow was badly needed to make the plot work. Chow represents the black sheep in our families, or the sociopath classmate in our class who in the end will be instrumental in our transformation.
But going back to Alan, it's nice to see his character grow from mayhem to order. His relationship with Chow is emphasized, analyzed and resolved in the end- or is it?
Meanwhile, Stu (Ed Helms) is still subjected to insane situations, and especially in the post-credits scene which you must not miss for the sake of your life.
Phil (Bradley Cooper), aside from being the sizzler in the crowd (the young ladies in the audience were gasping with "oooohhhhs" and "aaahhhhs" even when the movie hasn't started yet) keeps it all together, like in the previous films.
Also, Doug (Justin Bartha) is the object of retrieval, yet again. Alan jokes to the thugs, "can't you take Stu instead?"
If we learned any lesson at all from THE HANGOVER PART 3, it's that bad seeds die hard. (and old habits, too!)
Plus points for the movie, is the inclusion of Melissa McCarthy as a pawnshop owner. She balances Alan's wild side, and that lollipop scene is equal parts gross and hilarious.
On the downside, I don't think animal rights activist will take lightly the decapitation of a giraffe, and the execution of a chicken in the style of BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD. Personally, I think the skits were uncalled for, and done in bad taste. It's one thing to suggest the killing of an animal, then there's the graphic representation.
Still, THE HANGOVER PART 3 is a passable way to pass the time. It moves at a turtle pace, sure but when you get to the freaking balcony scene (oh boy here it goes again), all the wait is worth it. The montage at the end is heartwarming too.