Thursday, 23 May 2013

THE HANGOVER PART III - Review By Greg Klymkiw - Please, let this finally be over.

The Hangover Part III (2013) 1 PUBIC HAIR
Dir. Todd Phillips
Starring: Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianikis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, John Goodman

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Could anything be worse than The Hangover Part II?


The Hangover Part III.

This one reaches some kind of nadir I didn't think was possible after Part II, but Part III opens with Zach Galifianikis "accidentally" killing a giraffe. If you think that's funny, I can only assume you think kiddie porn is legitimate erotica, that America's War On Terror is not about money and that for-profit marine parks are a humane way to treat dolphins and whales.

I'll go a step further. If you think this is a good movie, you're just plain stupid.

The Hangover was a somewhat unexpected comedy hit in 2009. Then again, there was a time when a movie like that would not be an unexpected hit at all. It was a genuinely hilarious fish out of water gross-out laugh-grabber. It took the world by storm - as it should have. Since its makers had already created a movie that was just fine, one assumed the studio might have left well enough alone and allowed the picture to remain an untouchable stand-alone picture with the potential to be a comedy classic.

But no, more money was needed and the greedy oinkers in their designer suits could sniff the added earning potential of a franchise. Too bad. The second instalment was little more than a tired retread that resurrected the characters from the first film, pretty much aped the structure, but instead of setting it in Vegas, they shifted the locale to Bangkok.

Well, Part II surprisingly garnered a whack of dough - surprising because it was so utterly dreadful. Not only that, but it was racist beyond belief, aimed at the most mind-challenged knuckle-draggers and simply not funny (unless you were one of the aforementioned individuals of the moron persuasion).

Since the first picture delivered such memorable characters, it was predictably inevitable that audiences would want to see them again. Sadly, audiences these days are a sorry lot and need to see the same thing over and over and over again. In The Hangover, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) were a pathetic, but believable and somewhat endearing wolf pack of mismatched buddies who visited Vegas to have one last blowout before one of them ties the knot. Under the influence of copious amounts of booze and drugs, the groom-to-be mysteriously disappeared and the other pals, all suffering from hazy hangovers, attempted to piece together their “lost weekend” and find their missing friend. As the film proceeded, more and more of their adventures came back to them and oh, what a night it turned out to be!

The comedy writing was so sharp, funny and unabashedly, but brilliantly crude in Hangover I that one hoped the filmmakers would find an entirely new adventure for a tremendous clutch of characters. They deserved better than what Part II gave them.

Part II, as loathsome as it was, though, seems in retrospect a masterpiece compared to Part III.

Using the lamest device imaginable, our heroes decide to conduct an intervention and commit the crazy Alan to a detox centre. In the process, they're kidnapped by a gangster (a loud and extremely unfunny John Goodman) who forces them to ferret out the mad Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) who's stolen a whack of gold. Doug is held as ransom and the movie nosedives into a tedious mess involving a return trip to Vegas to save their buddy.

The movie plods along to its inevitable happy ending and if I laughed at least once, I can't remember what it was for.

As over-the-top as The Hangover was, it actually had a strange sense of credibility going for it, which, in both sequels, is thrown completely out the window. Okay, so it’s a gross-out bro-mance, you say. Who needs credibility? Well, I’d argue that it was that very credibility that made the proceedings in the first movie so damned funny. Here, all we get are strained, over-the-top gags in a formula that's become very stale, very fast.

While Part III spares us the racism and the extremely unpleasant sexual exploitation subtext of Part II (as well as the "benign" presence of convicted rapist Mike Tyson), it unforgivably gives us no genuinely surprising laughs.

Again, on good will alone, The Hangover Part III will probably be a big hit, but all that's going to prove is just how horrendously bereft of brain-matter contemporary audiences are un-enviably "endowed" with.

I can hack stupid when it's funny, but here, it's just plain stupid.

And worst of all, it's a big fat bore.

"The Hangover Part III" is in wide release via Warner Brothers.