“The Hangover III” Falls Flat On Laughs

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HOLLYWOOD—It was the picture that exploded at the box-office back in 2009.  “The Hangover” the first movie to depict a bachelor party gone horribly wrong; it was full of pouty humor and had a unique premise.  Its 2011 sequel “The Hangover II” pushed the envelope in a way that offended many audience members and critics.

I still think to this day I’m the sole individual who thoroughly enjoyed the picture.  I never laughed so hard watching a movie.  Well we knew it was inevitable as a third installment in the franchise has arrived “The Hangover III” which chronicles the journey of the wolf-pack, Stu (Ed Helms), Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha).

I would argue that the wolf-pack primarily consists of Alan, Stu and Phil, Doug appears to miss out on much of the antics, which I think, is a pity as so many audiences have eagerly wanted Doug to get in on some of the action.  This installment finds Alan in a depressed state of mind and to help him shake that feeling his buddies take him on a trip to where:Las Vegas.  The place the crew promised not to return to after they lost Doug the day before his wedding.

If you thought the antics and gross out scenes of the last two movies were over the top, you have not seen anything yet.  There is a horrific scene involving a giraffe that will anger anyone in the movie seat; you know its make believe, but for the filmmakers to go there just seemed so wrong.

The primary focus of this installment is not the Wolf Pack, but a nemesis to them, Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong). Chow gets the gang tangled into a mess involving Marshall (John Goodman), a man that Chow stole millions of dollars from.  In an attempt, to protect themselves, the gang is forced to relocate Chow and return the missing money or pay with their lives.

There is a hilarious cameo by funny lady Melissa McCarthy in the movie, but beyond that it’s the same ole gross-out laughs that were delivered to audiences the first and second time around.  By the third chapter, those laughs have become as flat as a pancake.  Stu continues to stand front and center in some of the most gross out scenes, while Phil and Doug skate clean in my opinion.

“The Hangover III” should have been titled Alan and Chow’s outrageous journey, as that is what it mounts to.  The third picture has been advertised as the final chapter, and in my opinion the franchise has indeed run out of steam.

By LaDale Anderson