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Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Hangover Part III



"What the fuck am I watching?"

Bradley Cooper asks that question as he watches Ken Jeong kareoke Johnny Cash covering Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt" in a Tijuana dive, but that question is applicable to the entirety of The Hangover Part III. The Hangover Part III triples down on one more absurd adventure for The Wolfpack of Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis. Unfortunately, Part III also triples down on Ken Jeong's depraved, insane gangster Leslie Chow, who more or less dominates the proceedings this time around. A little Jeong goes a long way, and this is not a reference to his snub of a penis that graces the screen once more time. While staging an intervention for the increasingly disturbed Galifianakis, the Wolfpack are ambushed by Las Vegas crime lord John Goodman, the employer of "Black Doug" from the original Hangover. Goodman forces the Wolfpack to find Jeong, and $24 million in gold bars Jeong stole and hid in Mexico, or else he'll murder their Doug, Justin Bartha, who sits this debacle out at gun point. Thus begins an escapade that takes the Wolfpack from the slums of Tijuana back to their old stomping grounds of Las Vegas; a bunch of Wile E. Coyotes chasing a fucked up little Chinese Road Runner. Part III, to its credit, breaks the formula of the first two Hangovers and offers up an entirely different sequence of events, but everyone feels the drag of doing this deal one more time. Cooper is an honest and excitable actor - those are some of his strengths - and the general listlessness of his performance in Part III is telling. Galifianakis and Helms feel like they're going through the motions as well, with Galifianakis completing a franchise-length story arc of going from being weirdly loveable to just offputting and kind of despicable. A sprinkle of funny gags here and there occasionally call back to the hilarity of the original film, but The Hangover franchise has been sorely waylaid by diminishing returns. If there's a Part IV, maybe the wives and women of the Wolfpack, Sasha Barrese, Jamie Chung, Melissa McCarthy, and Heather Graham, should get a chance to wake up all fucked up in a hotel suite as well.