If any series was in need of a do over, it was The Hangover. After the huge success that was the original, director/co-writer Todd Phillips followed it up with the laziest sequel imaginable. The Hangover Part II was literally a case of substituting the original setting while filming a near shot for shot remake in Bangkok. While it still went on to outgross the first one — at least worldwide — it took a critical beating. But the press weren’t the only ones raking it over the coals. Fans were just as let down too, and everyone paid the price. For the final chapter of The Wolfpack, Phillips is back with co-writer Craig Mazin to give us the sequel we deserve with The Hangover Part III.
Part III opens in Klong Prem Prison in Bangkok, and a riot is underway while Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) makes his escape through the sewers. Back in the States, Alan’s (Zach Galifianakis) father Sid (Jeffrey Tambor) is finally driven to a heart attack, thanks to his son’s arrested development. After the funeral, Doug (Justin Bartha) leads an intervention for Alan, along with Stu (Ed Helms), Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan’s sister Tracy (Sasha Barrese), and mother Linda (Sondra Currie). Alan has been off his meds for six months and is more brass than ever. Everyone wants him to check into a facility in Arizona and Doug talks Stu and Phil to tag along to drive him down. Soon enough, they’re forced off the road by Black Doug (Mike Epps), who works for Marshall (John Goodman) who wants the Wolf Pack to find Mr. Chow who stole $21 million in gold bars from him and believes they are the only people who can find him. Shenanigans ensue.
Featuring an actual plot this time, Phillips apparently took note that he had a lot to make up for after the last Hangover. What’s funny about Part III is that there are no black outs, no missing body parts, no Mike Tyson, but still plenty of cock — even if of the fowl variety. Phillips seemed to be on a roll after Road Trip, Old School, and The Hangover; but his time in the limelight hit a roadblock after Due Date and The Hangover Part II. And while nothing could outdo the original, Phillips and co-writer Mazin give us a sequel with a new story instead of a carbon copy set in a new country. Part II may have worn out Mr. Chow’s welcome, but now they’ve managed to rein him in a little, and have really let the Wolfpack out of their cage. You could call this “The Galifianakis Show” as he’s truly the main character now and funnier than ever. It even manages to squeeze in the faintest bit of heart but makes sure we all know that this truly is the end. There may not be a Part IV, but at least The Hangover Part III is a hilarious conclusion.
Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures