PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

May 31, 2013

Thank goodness this is the last 'Hangover'

Sean McBride
The Port Arthur News

— Audiences cheered when “The Hangover” burst into theaters in 2009. Not only was the film unapologetically raunchy, but it introduced the funny oddball that is Zach Galifianakis to the world. Skip forward two years and audiences still chuckled at the inevitable sequel, but that film just didn’t have the same charm as the original. I called it “a mediocre retread of the original movie” in my review.

Skip ahead two more years and “The Hangover III” arrives in theaters, dead on arrival. This third film features a script that’s practically devoid of humor and a cast that seems to be sleepwalking through their way to a paycheck. Even Galifianakis seems to be off his game. I will admit that there was one very funny bit, but it’s during the end credits.

The rest of the film is simply bad.

At least it’s not a retread this time around. The new story begins with Alan (Galifianakis) going off the rails. The Wolfpack, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) decide it’s time to stage an intervention. They hit the road to take their friend to rehab, but a gangster (John Goodman) ambushes the guys and takes poor Doug as a hostage. It turns out that Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) stole some gold from the mobster, so the guys have to track him down if they ever want to see Doug alive again.

That’s not really a great set up for a comedy. If it weren’t for the cast involved, you might think that you were watching a dark crime thriller, especially since the film takes great delight in killing off various animals. Who thinks that decapitating a giraffe or suffocating a rooster is humorous?

I’m not sure where it all went so wrong. The cast is certainly capable of being very funny. Galifianakis always makes me smile with his off-the-cuff quips. I also like Ken Jeong, although he’s funniest in cameo performances. Jeong’s characters are far too grating to be a major player, so he quickly wears out his welcome here. Melissa McCarthy also gets a nice cameo moment, but even she falls flat.

I’m amazed that such a funny film could devolve into a complete waste of time in a few short years. The cast and director are quite talented, but they don’t bring anything special to this film. The tone of the film feels off and the script is a mess. The action sequences are okay, but that’s not why anybody would want to see “The Hangover III.”

Thank goodness this is the last of the “Hangover” films. Talk about going out with a thud.

Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are published bi-weekly in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM-TV and KBOI 2-TV. Sean welcomes your comments via email at smcbride@kboi2.com.