The Hangover Part 3 is an incredibly funny experience when you think about the fact that you actually pulled out notes of your hard earned money from your wallet for a film that literally reaches out to your face, slaps it hard, lunges in your pocket, pulls out your cash and gives you a wedgie. But unless you’re accustomed to seeing the funnier side of things in a daylight robbery, this film will make you poorer both financially and emotionally.
Director Todd Phillips, clearly not content with the unfunniness of The Hangover Part 2 returns for a third time and finally achieves what he hoped for – a giant explosion of humorlessness. The lack of humor is so powerful here that even Zach Galifianakis looks like he doesn’t give a single molecule of goat ordure – he actually becomes the character from his show ‘Between two ferns’. The plot was sort of novel when the first film came out in 2009, repeating the same gags for the third time plays out like a drunk standup comedian pulling out a railway platform joke book and reciting its contents.
This time the action shifts to Arizona and Mexico – the wolf pack (Galifianakis, Helms, Cooper, Bartha) is nabbed by a crime lord (John Goodman) and tasked with extracting $20 million of stolen money from an absconding Chow (Ken Jeong). Now the problem here is Jeong was hilarious in his bizarre bit part in the original film, giving a full film to him makes him significantly less interesting as he just doesn’t have the comedic chops. Moreover, the protagonists aren’t really very likable – it was fun to see the buffoons suffering for their stupidity in part one, it’s difficult to root for them when they’re in trouble here. Their lines this time are also simply crass, not the least bit funny and there’s plenty of graphic nudity to imply some sort of comedy.
The only salvation is the hilarious Melissa McCarthy as a pawn shop owner who should actually have been given all of Jeong’s screen time. The film is shot very well, but crediting an unfunny comedy for its cinematography is like admiring the impeccable bell around the bull in the China shop. It all ends with a predictable, drunken night with the threat of a fourth part, and you’ll only wish for a gigantic bottle to make you forget about the whole thing.
(First published in MiD Day)