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:: The Hangover Part III

Congratulations Todd Phillips: you’ve managed to run one of the most promising movie franchises into the ground and let it die out with barely a whimper. Phillips set the comedy world ablaze with his 2009 film ‘The Hangover’ – it was fresh, it was out there and above all it did what very few modern day comedies do… it made people. Then came the sequel, and it was obvious that Phillips couldn't replicate the same success he had with the first. He used the same basic plot but went for over the top gutter humor to get laughs and that in return put fans offside.

Now Phillips returns to finish off the franchise with the third installment. It seems that he did listen to his fans and not use the same plot-line, as the film’s promotions hint at there is no bachelor party kicking things off, he also listened about having no gutter humor… the sad thing is though what he is ended up with is a below par ‘crime’ film that barely has any humor at all.

It’s no secret that this film was always going to center around Alan (Zach Galifianakis). The film opens with Stu (Ed Helms), Doug (Justin Bartha) and Phil (Bradley Cooper) being left responsible for taking Alan to a retreat after a run of his medication has seen him go completely off the rails. Sadly though, the trip to the retreat is cut short when the Wolf Pack find themselves run off the road by henchmen working for stereotypical gangster, Marshall (John Goodman), who takes Doug hostage and orders the others to bring him Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) who owes him $21 million.

It is hard to fathom exactly what Todd Phillips was aiming to do with this film. The humor really feels like it has been sapped completely out of the film, and it ends up becoming a virtual crime drama that doesn't really ever excel in that genre either. Gone are Mike Tyson’s tiger and Thai shemales and along with are gone the laughs… you know something is very, very wrong when a scene consisting Zach Galifianakis and Melissa McCarthy become cringe worthy rather than garnish any comedy gold.

Fans of ‘The Hangover’ franchise really do have the right to feel a little ripped off by this film. Because the biggest insult to anyone that has sat through the boring parts of the film is the fact that the scenes during the credits are the funniest of the film… now only if Mr. Phillips had decided to start the film there instead.

Sadly, the cast are the big losers (aside from the fans) with ‘The Hangover Part III’ are the cast. Zach Galifianakis does what he can to try and lift the film, but poor Bradley Cooper is left floundering with a script that doesn’t really call for Phil to do much at all. As previously mentioned, Melissa McCarthy is massively underused, as is Ken Jeong who has shown with his work on ‘Community’ that he is actually capable of reaching some pretty good comedy heights.

Sadly, it seems that Todd Phillips really ran out of ideas for ‘The Hangover’ franchise and as a result this final installment is a ho-hum affair that is largely a disappointment to all who have loved the previous films.