Stunt Granny Movie Review: The Hangover Part III

hangover3-finale-600

The Matrix Revolutions, Spiderman 3, X-Men: The Last Stand, Iron Man 3, The Godfather 3, Jaws 3D

All of these films have the distinction of being the weakest movie in their franchises trilogy and now you can add The Hangover Part III to that list. The movie isn’t bad so much as it is so glaringly different that it is a head scratcher. If you are looking for the over the top lunacy of the first movie or the grim and dirty shenanigans of the second then you are in for a letdown. Sure there is still a decent amount of humor but not as much, well really nowhere near the amount audiences have come to expect from this franchise.

Don’t go in to “The Hangover Part III” expecting the same old same old. The movie is carefully crafted to not resemble the previous two films in anyway. Sure they end up in Vegas but gone are the bachelor parties, drug induced blackouts, ridiculous alcohol consumption, mystery and unfortunately the fun.

Thirty minutes in to “The Hangover Part III” Bradley Cooper’s character, Phil, yells out “What The fuck am I watching?” As Ken Jeong’s, Chang, takes the karaoke stage in Tijuana and starts singing Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt” it was hard not to share the same sentiment.  It is a spectacular scene and something the movie needed a lot more of. It was unpredictable, absurd and funny. It ends abruptly and the movie rolls back in to its Fugitive storyline of the hapless trio trying to track down Chang.

The circumstances surrounding this film revolve around the newly escaped Change and his theft of millions of dollars from John Goodman’s character Marshall. After a series of events that you can see from the trailer and numerous television spots The Wolfpack head to Arizona and are intercepted by Marshall looking for a way to get to Chang. He explains the convoluted backstory and insists they find Chang or Doug; yup he gets relegated to nothing again, killed.

This isn’t to say the movie is bad, I enjoyed it, but after two biting and harshly funny movies the abrupt change in theme and attitude is jarring. The anticipation for the first huge laugh wears off after the opening moments that were of course ruined by the trailers and television spots. If you have seen them then you know Zach Galifinakis’ character Alan doesn’t use much foresight and ends up causing a rather large mess on the California interstate. It is funny and built pretty well but it felt unnecessary and forced. It was intended to be the movies big shock moment but having been ruined by previews it doesn’t get the laugh it probably should have.

The Hangover franchise was built on sarcasm, hostility and a real sense of arrogance and it has been wildly successful despite the fact there was really no justification for any other movies. As a standalone film The Hangover was totally different. It was mean –spirited, unapologetic and unpredictable. The second was even more mean spirited if not downright nasty at times but got too cute. This time around the nasty aspect has been replaced by bigger action pieces and an overwhelming sense of finality.

The story lags at points as nostalgia and call backs to the previous films are forced in to the plot. Instead of gong forward there is a concerted effort to fill in history where nothing is needed. Also, in the place of laughs the action grows larger and larger while the plausibility of the events diminishes. This wouldn’t matter much if there were strong comedic patches to cover these flaws. This is goes back to the central issue with the movie. You just don’t know what you are watching. While the effort is there to create something totally different it doesn’t succeed. A straight up action movie would have been fine. It would have messed with the audience in a big way but then no one could complain the movie was the exact same as the other two. This one isn’t at all.

The Hangover Part III contains the same faces and characters of the franchise but nothing quite seems the same. It leaves you unbalanced. Sometimes it works and others it just fails.

On a positive note the Director of photography, Lawrence Sher is top notch. Each set and environment is filmed in totally different ways. He creates totally different characters with the choice of lighting and backdrops. Tijuana is washed in dark, muted tones that create a sleazy environment. The neon street lights off the Tijuana streets barley illuminate the characters while inside the bar lighting reflects off of each of them in unflattering ways.  The close up on Chang singing shows dramatically just what this character is all about. He is a slimy, grimy man. Close ups of his oily, sweating face jump off the screen. You immediately feel a level of discomfort  with Chang and it sticks.

On the other hand Las Vegas is filmed with a shimmer that paints Vegas as the pristine fun palace that it was in the first film. As soon as the city lights are shown in the background they are inviting and comforting. It reminds you of the first The Hangover. Las Vegas was a playground unlike the streets of Bangkok with their dirt and filth. But then The Hangover movies have always had a very particular visual style and are one of the unheralded appeals of the films.

Another stand out of this film is the performance of Zach Galifianakis. While he was largely forgotten in the second movie the third is all his. His emotional range is spot on and despite the reported of ending for the film what he says and how he acts makes you believe his character. As the movie winds down you see a change in Alan and it is all owed to Galifianakis. You can see the sheer joy and happiness in his eyes as he finds a “soulmate.” You see the anger at his dad eulogy even with sunglasses. It was a good choice to give him the bulk of the action as it pays off in spades.

The rest of the actors are just there. This isn’t a negative but after two other movies what else can you do with the same characters and what they have been through. Bradley Cooper is still the dashing mini-van angry husband. Stu is still the nervous dentist looking for validation. Chang is still the over the top drug riddled malcontent. Chang may have been ratcheted up a bit but it is necessary with the amount of screen time he is given.

Look, there have been worse comedies this year. There have been worse action movies this year. The Hangover Part III tries to be too different than its predecessors and it shows. It has a few laughs but nowhere near the amount of the first two films. It illuminates the fact that it is time to wrap this series up and really makes you wonder if it was even needed. – Jeremy

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

The Matrix Revolutions, Spiderman 3, X-Men: The Last Stand, Iron Man 3, The Godfather 3, Jaws 3D

All of these films have the distinction of being the weakest movie in their franchises trilogy and now you can add The Hangover Part III to that list. The movie isn’t bad so much as it is so glaringly different that it is a head scratcher. If you are looking for the over the top lunacy of the first movie or the grim and dirty shenanigans of the second then you are in for a letdown. Sure there is still a decent amount of humor but not as much, well really nowhere near the amount audiences have come to expect from this franchise.

Don’t go in to “The Hangover Part III” expecting the same old same old. The movie is carefully crafted to not resemble the previous two films in anyway. Sure they end up in Vegas but gone are the bachelor parties, drug induced blackouts, ridiculous alcohol consumption, mystery and unfortunately the fun.

Thirty minutes in to “The Hangover Part III” Bradley Cooper’s character, Phil, yells out “What The fuck am I watching?” As Ken Jeong’s, Chang, takes the karaoke stage in Tijuana and starts singing Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt” it was hard not to share the same sentiment.  It is a spectacular scene and something the movie needed a lot more of. It was unpredictable, absurd and funny. It ends abruptly and the movie rolls back in to its Fugitive storyline of the hapless trio trying to track down Chang.

The circumstances surrounding this film revolve around the newly escaped Change and his theft of millions of dollars from John Goodman’s character Marshall. After a series of events that you can see from the trailer and numerous television spots The Wolfpack head to Arizona and are intercepted by Marshall looking for a way to get to Chang. He explains the convoluted backstory and insists they find Chang or Doug; yup he gets relegated to nothing again, killed.

This isn’t to say the movie is bad, I enjoyed it, but after two biting and harshly funny movies the abrupt change in theme and attitude is jarring. The anticipation for the first huge laugh wears off after the opening moments that were of course ruined by the trailers and television spots. If you have seen them then you know Zach Galifinakis’ character Alan doesn’t use much foresight and ends up causing a rather large mess on the California interstate. It is funny and built pretty well but it felt unnecessary and forced. It was intended to be the movies big shock moment but having been ruined by previews it doesn’t get the laugh it probably should have.

The Hangover franchise was built on sarcasm, hostility and a real sense of arrogance and it has been wildly successful despite the fact there was really no justification for any other movies. As a standalone film The Hangover was totally different. It was mean –spirited, unapologetic and unpredictable. The second was even more mean spirited if not downright nasty at times but got too cute. This time around the nasty aspect has been replaced by bigger action pieces and an overwhelming sense of finality.

The story lags at points as nostalgia and call backs to the previous films are forced in to the plot. Instead of gong forward there is a concerted effort to fill in history where nothing is needed. Also, in the place of laughs the action grows larger and larger while the plausibility of the events diminishes. This wouldn’t matter much if there were strong comedic patches to cover these flaws. This is goes back to the central issue with the movie. You just don’t know what you are watching. While the effort is there to create something totally different it doesn’t succeed. A straight up action movie would have been fine. It would have messed with the audience in a big way but then no one could complain the movie was the exact same as the other two. This one isn’t at all.

The Hangover Part III contains the same faces and characters of the franchise but nothing quite seems the same. It leaves you unbalanced. Sometimes it works and others it just fails.

On a positive note the Director of photography, Lawrence Sher is top notch. Each set and environment is filmed in totally different ways. He creates totally different characters with the choice of lighting and backdrops. Tijuana is washed in dark, muted tones that create a sleazy environment. The neon street lights off the Tijuana streets barley illuminate the characters while inside the bar lighting reflects off of each of them in unflattering ways.  The close up on Chang singing shows dramatically just what this character is all about. He is a slimy, grimy man. Close ups of his oily, sweating face jump off the screen. You immediately feel a level of discomfort  with Chang and it sticks.

On the other hand Las Vegas is filmed with a shimmer that paints Vegas as the pristine fun palace that it was in the first film. As soon as the city lights are shown in the background they are inviting and comforting. It reminds you of the first The Hangover. Las Vegas was a playground unlike the streets of Bangkok with their dirt and filth. But then The Hangover movies have always had a very particular visual style and are one of the unheralded appeals of the films.

Another stand out of this film is the performance of Zach Galifianakis. While he was largely forgotten in the second movie the third is all his. His emotional range is spot on and despite the reported of ending for the film what he says and how he acts makes you believe his character. As the movie winds down you see a change in Alan and it is all owed to Galifianakis. You can see the sheer joy and happiness in his eyes as he finds a “soulmate.” You see the anger at his dad eulogy even with sunglasses. It was a good choice to give him the bulk of the action as it pays off in spades.

The rest of the actors are just there. This isn’t a negative but after two other movies what else can you do with the same characters and what they have been through. Bradley Cooper is still the dashing mini-van angry husband. Stu is still the nervous dentist looking for validation. Chang is still the over the top drug riddled malcontent. Chang may have been ratcheted up a bit but it is necessary with the amount of screen time he is given.

Look, there have been worse comedies this year. There have been worse action movies this year. The Hangover Part III tries to be too different than its predecessors and it shows. It has a few laughs but nowhere near the amount of the first two films. It illuminates the fact that it is time to wrap this series up and really makes you wonder if it was even needed. – Jeremy

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: