Derek Winnert

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This article was written on 23 May 2013, and is filled under Reviews.

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The Hangover: Part III – Film Review

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Bad news, Part III’s all about Zach Galifianakis’s 42-year-old slacker slob Alan and Ken Jeong’s sadistic, sexually freewheeling monster mobster Leslie Chow. Spread out over 100 laugh-light minutes, Galifianakis’s and Jeong’s acts have become pretty weary, mostly worn and largely unfunny.

 Meanwhile, straight men Bradley Cooper (Phil) and Ed Helms (Stu) are largely left just standing there (though, to be fair, Helms works a lot harder to raise laughs), while a sidelined Justin Bartha (Doug) is off screen most of the movie that has him kidnapped by grotesque heavy Marshall (John Goodman, unexpectedly struggling). Jeffrey Tambor (Alan’s dad Sid) gets killed off in no time, Mike Epps (thug Black Doug) ditto, Heather Graham has zilch to do as ex-hooker Jade, and Melissa McCarthy can’t make her Vegas shop-owner character remotely funny.

This isn’t the world’s most likeable bunch of performers, and anyway likeability isn’t their flavour, but it’s not really their fault The Hangover Part III’s a letdown, it’s down to writer-director Todd Phillips and his co- writer Craig Mazin. They’ve come up with a reasonable plot but run out of energy, ideas and laughs – and it’s time out for The Hangover. Thank goodness it’s The End.

 The plot has drug-dealing businessman Marshall hunting down Chow, who has nicked half of his stash of $20million worth of gold bullion and has now supposedly escaped from his Bangkok jail. Marshall gets his boys to seize the Wolfpack, keeps hold of Doug as insurance and gives the other three days to find Chow and hand the sleazeball over to him.

One of the problems this time is that the script bizarrely wants you to like, indeed love, Galifianakis’s Alan. The whole point of the character is that he’s an anti-social freak. He may have just though it was funny to have lopped a giraffe’s head off on a low bridge on the freeway, causing a major pileup, and had a few laughs after his dad died, but his buddies never turn on him as the waste of space he really is, and actually want to help him out. Apparently he’s just sad and lonely. All he needs is the love of an equally fat woman to make him adorable. That’s where Melissa McCarthy comes in. They click and spark, though, unfortunately, only with each other.

Isn’t it odd that you see some folk and find them immediately funny? Some of us just don’t get why Galifianakis’s and Jeong’s turns are such a hoot. Just looking at their sulky faces in this movie can put you in a bad mood. And just being anti-social and stupid isn’t a laugh riot. Middle-aged blokes acting like idiot teenagers and always getting away with it scott free may seem like fun to old blokes and teenagers who of course can’t behave like this in the real world. Fair enough. But we’ve been here twice already and the returns are diminishing. And a movie that can’t make Goodman at all amusing must be in trouble.

© Derek Winnert 2013

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