The Hangover Part 3 Review, a not so epic ending
In 2009, writer and director Todd Phillips conquered the world with his fifth film, The Hangover. It was a great financial success at the box office and also well reviewed by critics. Jon Lucas and Scott Moore’s screenplay created a charismatic comedic trio with all the functional stereotypes of classic American comedy: the handsome and quiet man, the neurotic one and the fat idiot.
The success was so high that the adventures of the “Wolfpack” continued with a decent second chapter (not many people liked the choice to put the same original plot in a different location) and with a third chapter, which is the object of this The Hangover Part 3 review. To be honest, I think that this is a very overrated saga, and even the original movie wasn’t as unpredictable as people seem to think, at least in my opinion.
This time around, Alan is quite unstoppable. He stops taking his medication and after another one of his pranks (he bought a giraffe and decapitated it accidentally) his father decides to put him in a mental institution. But his dad dies, and now his friends resolve to convince him to go in this “special” hospital. But during the travel they are kidnapped by a strange gangster (John Goodman), who is angry because Mr. Chow stole millions from him. Alan wrote him many letters, so they are the only ones that can find the crazy Korean. Doug is taken hostage, and the trio is coming back to the rescue.
Four years after the first chapter, something is changing and we can see it already in the first sequence of the movie, located in a messed jail. The director Phillips said that this movie decrees the end of the saga, thus he wanted to make a grand and memorable ending. I can’t say that his desire has been realized, because this movie has many shortcomings in a style that brings down the final result. Personally I found the main problems to be directing and screenplay.
All the three films of the saga have one gargantuan problem: they really aren’t as unpredictable as the authors are convinced. With the plots of the first and second chapter many outcomes were possible, but the writers chose the easy way, going to a more aggressive kind of comedy and preferring the more popular and – at times – vulgar way. The comic parts are disconnected, resulting as separated and isolated sketches.
Alan creates an incident which is as destructive as it is absurd, but the movie continues with a regrettable turn to bad taste. Joking about a mentally disturbed person (in this case, Alan, as his father says) isn’t really nice, and all the sequences linked to his reclusion in the mental hospital can’t easily be tolerated by sensitive people. There is a difference between being politically incorrect and being insolent. Disrespecting this difference could easily lead to a vulgar product.
The arrogance of the script is doubled by the directing, that tries to realize a few elegant moments but fails miserably in the attempt. Todd Phillips is not a mannerist, and his effort to give a more touching element to the scene fails on all accounts.
Nonetheless, there are many worthy ideas in The Hangover Part 3, but they are never fully exploited. The movie is too focused on Alan and Mr. Chow, sidelining all the other characters. Fortunately, at least the three main actors (now some real Hollywood stars) do their part very well, and I couldn’t but appreciate the hilarious appearance by John Goodman.
Only one question remains unanswered: why is the title unchanged if no one gets drunk at the end?