“We’re damned if we do, and damned if we don’t”. That’s what the makers of The Hangover trilogy are thinking. Hangover turned out to be the sleeper hit of the year it was released in. Its wide success across the continents let to the most obvious decision of making a sequel. With the original cast in tow, Hangover 2 took place in Asia and tried to get away by repeating the concept of the original Hangover. Although the film made money it was greatly criticised by those who liked and hated it as being un-original and a copy of the first film. So, the makers when making the third in the series went ahead and although kept the very basic premise the same, roughly, tried something different. Unfortunately in this case they ended up finishing the series with a fizz rather than a bang.
Trying to culminate the entire series of events that took place in the first two films, Hangover III backtracks to the original film and that faithful night when Alan, played by Zach Gallifianakis, bought drugs that kick-started everything. The film desperately tries to join threads between all the three films and ends up becoming more of a con-caper action adventure, than a comedy, with Ken Jeong’s Mr. Chow being the centre of attention.
The sad part is that the audience pretty much did want what they saw in the first two films, even if they weren’t ready to admit it. What they got instead was melodrama that just didn’t fit in well. During the original film, the cast was relatively unknown or hadn’t hit big time, thus there was a novelty to that, but now, all the faces are familiar and the cast seems out-of-place and out-dated acting out roles they did years back. The new addition in the cast, John Goodman as Marshal, is wasted in the story that focuses more on Alan coming to turns with reality than on trying to bring some fun element that would have made the film unique.
The Hangover III isn’t a bad film. It tries to be different and to an extent succeeds in doing so. Where is lacks, unlike its predecessors, is in the comedy department. The jokes just never hit the right spot. They are juvenile in nature half the time and at others just aren’t funny. There are occasional hints of great comedy, but unfortunately the film waits till the very end, the after credit scene, to give the audience a laugh-out-loud fall-off-the-seat moment. The audience might leave the theatre with a sweet taste, but it’s not enough to counter the bitterness of the entire film.