The Hangover Part III
This review first appeared in the Sunday Star-Times, 26th May 2013
The Hangover movies tattooed their own mark onto the face of movie history, and though it’s always hard to “bring it!” with the third movie, at least in this instance the posters reassure us this slightly weary follow-up is The End.
Following an opening scene highway “incident” and a family “tragedy” (well, this is an irreverent comedy, so let’s not over-egg it), the lads we know and hopefully still love get together to stage an intervention. On the way to deliver Alan to rehab to cure him of his spoilt little rich-kid ways, the theme from Midnight Cowboy augurs badly for what’s to come, and before you can say “John Goodman!”, in typical Hangover style, once the wheels come off, things go rapidly from bad to worse.
The inevitable game of cat-and-mouse that has formed the plot of this trilogy now gives centre stage to Ken Jeong’s Mr Chow, the straight-faced, crude-talking, angry little man with the squeaky voice. Barring a few off-colour lines that plummet, Chow is the biggest character in the movie and Jeong pulls out all the stops. By comparison, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms sit in the backseat while the in-joke continues that Justin Bartha’s Doug spends most of the film kidnapped and off-screen.
As usual, Zach Galifianakis steals the show as the intensely misguided Alan, and it’s a delight this time round that he meets his romantic match in Melissa McCarthy’s pawnshop worker. Their scene together is a masterpiece of how to nail the mix of mockery and eye-wetting sincerity.
There’s not quite the hilarity (or, mercifully, the gross-outness) of the first film, but director Todd Phillips knows how to deliver entertainment dressed in sensational photography and a great soundtrack. If you travel second class, this last hurrah is worth the ride. Oh, and do stick around till the very end.