Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Hanging and over

The Wolfpack’s back, but there are few rip-roaring moments in “The Hangover Part III,” final part of a successful series of comedies starring Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Justin Bartha.

Exhibiting erratic behavior, the man-child Alan (Galifianakis) has gone off his meds, unaware of the damage he’s been causing. An intervention is staged by his loyal pals Phil, Stu, and Doug (Cooper, Helms, and Bartha). But en route to a treatment center, the old friends are stopped by the mob boss Marshall (John Goodman), who tasks them with finding the troublemaker Chow (Ken Jeong) and his stash of gold bars. Doug is taken hostage, so the trio scrambles to find the erstwhile drug dealer and ex-con.

This third and final part slightly deviates from the formula while retaining some familiar elements. Phil, Stu and Alan go on a series of misadventures, not to find out what happened to them the previous night, which was already rehashed in the second installment, but they still do crazy stuff before getting Doug back. The surprises this time aren’t as interesting because they ditched the amnesiacs’ “mystery” (although not entirely—do stay for the extra end-credits scene).

It meanders and drags, making it a “regular” heist-comedy and is less about the gang’s substance-influenced outrageous behavior and their results. “The Hangover Part III” could’ve been so much more—Melissa McCarthy is a welcome addition of sorts—but it just isn’t the hazy and consistently gut-busting “Hangover” we remember anymore.

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