VOD film review: The Hangover Part III
James R | On 29, Nov 2013
Director: Todd Phillips
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong
Watch The Hangover Part III online in the UK: Netflix UK / Amazon Prime / Apple TV (iTunes) / TalkTalk TV / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Google Play
“Who gives a f***?” That’s Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper after a giraffe gets killed in The Hangover Part III. Then he laughs.
Cooper returns as Phil, leader of The Wolfpack, made up of instantly-forgettable Doug (Justin Bartha), always-outraged dentist Stu (Ed Helms) and brainless beardo Alan (Zach Galifianakis). But with no weddings and no drinking to happen the night before, Todd Phillips’ sequel takes his men out of their morning-after comfort zone and puts them in a heist movie instead.
In itself, that’s no bad thing: if there’s one thing this increasingly poor-taste franchise needed, it’s a change of direction. The problem is that this isn’t even a good heist movie. It’s a badly written mess that builds up to one set piece then finds an excuse to repeat the same plot points for another 20 minutes. Well, that and shots of them walking down corridors in slow-motion.
Even worse, away from the staple formula of collective amnesia, it becomes glaringly obvious that these people aren’t characters at all: they’re wafer-thin cut-outs, clippings from Nuts magazine whose only defining trait is occasionally waking up with a bad headache. Doug contributes no more than three words to the whole endeavour, while Stu’s hysterical reactions lost their novelty years ago. Galifianakis manages to raise a few smiles, but nothing more amid the clunky plotting. On the plus side, Phil’s stopped being so offensive after Part II’s unexpected bout of xenophobia – when that counts as a film’s good qualities, you know there’s a problem.
As these unsympathetic men traipse from one un-enjoyable plot point to another, The Hangover Part III swiftly dismisses any remaining goodwill from the first entry in the series. If it were funny, gripping, annoying – engaging on any level – that would be something, but all this banal sequel manages is to be less rage-inducing than the last one. It may not be offensively bad, but it’s still bad. And bumping off an animal for giggles doesn’t help matters. After all, there are so many things to care about more in this world: salmonella, poor quality masonry, the varying sensitivity of Oyster card readers on the London Underground. All of them are more interesting than this bland, dull piece of nothing.
Unfunny, unlikeable but mostly just unmemorable. That question from Bradley Cooper maybe got it right after all.
The Hangover Part III is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription. It is also available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a Prime membership or a £5.99 monthly subscription.