Sequels are the curse of modern-day moviegoing. Occasionally
you find a good one, but more often the second or third installment dissipates
all the fun and sense of discovery that made the original a hit in the first
place. The Hangover is one of the
funniest movies in recent memory. I tried to remind myself of that as I watched
The Hangover Part III, a pointless
and mostly unfunny film that can only be seen in a positive light because it’s infinitesimally
better than The Hangover Part II.
I won’t waste much time describing the storyline. Suffice it
to say that Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms get in trouble again because of their
dimwitted friend Zach Galifianakis, whom they try to deliver to a
rehabilitation facility in Arizona. Instead, they’re waylaid by bad guy John
Goodman, who holds their friend Justin Bartha for ransom until they can produce
the slippery bad guy known as Chow (Ken Jeong).
Among the movie’s built-in problems are the fact that Galifianakis’
character is more pathetic than amusing, and Jeong has far too much screen time
for a character who is only funny in tiny spurts.
This dreary, lamebrain comedy takes everything that was
fresh and original in 2009 and beats it into the ground. Director Todd Phillips
and his co-writer Craig Mazin are probably laughing all the way to the bank, but
I had little reason to laugh as I suffered through this time-waster. Let’s hope
they mean it when they say this is the final film featuring these characters.