We join the Wolfpack on their latest adventure just as Alan (Galifianakis)’s father passes away, leaving him his fortune. Alan’s mental health issues had clearly become a real danger to others (an early scene sees him decapitating a giraffe on a freeway) and the gang just can’t let it go on any longer. So after a particularly awkward intervention they find themselves on the road again, this time to take Alan for a stay in rehab. However, on the way they find themselves kidnapped by John Goodman’s gangster Marshall, and get embroiled with the unhinged Chow (Ken Jeong) once more.
Not to beat around the bush, The Hangover III is bad. It’s not a good film in any technical way, and the laughs are too few and far between to really call it a comedy. The fabulously obnoxious inventiveness of the first film is but a distant memory, as the gang find themselves involved in more and more elaborate scrapes that leave you wondering who thought a trilogy would be a good idea. The Wolfpack made sense when it was largely a figment of Alan’s imagination and a hefty dose of psychedelics, but put into a more straightforward road-trip/revenge thriller setting the whole premise falls apart. The writers also seem to have forgotten to write any jokes, instead passing off giraffe decapitation and dog poisoning as laughs.
An essential flaw inherent in this third installment is the realisation that, despite the shiny, gorgeous casting, none of the characters are at all likeable. Alan, who was at first a charmingly chaotic lost-boy becomes needy, spoilt and rude. The other three are so one-dimensional I know them simply as “the one with the face tattoo”, “the boring one who keeps getting kidnapped” and “Bradley Cooper”. Even the presence of the wonderful Melissa McCarthy (in the funniest scenes of the film) can’t save this train-wreck. I am going to give the cast the benefit of the doubt and assume they all had some hefty penalties attached to their contractual obligations tying them to this dead giraffe* of a franchise, and that none of them actually thought this would be in any way be amusing or great art. Seriously, Cooper, after the wonderful Silvers Linings Playbook and The Place Beyond the Pines- what were you thinking?!
The Hangover part III joins a long line of sequels that really should never, ever have been made.
2 out of 10- avoid
*You see, dead giraffes aren’t funny.