The Hangover Part 3 Movie Review
The Hangover Part 3 would probably have better critically acclaim as a comedy if it was actually comedic. But, it’s not. This is an almost cynically dark mystery thriller with a few jokes thrown in. As a result, the tone is deeply confused and off-putting for the movie’s 1 hour & 40 minute run time.
But, then again, to me… none of these movies were particularly “funny”. They were interesting comedic mysteries that was always interesting and intriguing, even if (to me) it wasn’t laugh-out-loud funny. The 2nd film reused the formula from the first one, only making it a little darker and even more twisted than the first one. While, with this one, it throws away the formula to tell an almost entirely different story, which is the way to make it new again. But, it loses two thing that are EXTREMELY vital to these films working as a comedy.
1). The humor
2). The energy
Now, you’ll notice I’m only talking about this film in the context of it being a comedy. Because on other terms, the movie is more of a mystery thriller. And, if that was the filmmaker’s intent, then I might be down with that. But, it’s not. It’s supposed to be a comedy. I know that comedy can deal with dark subjects, and still be funny. We see plenty of great comedies that are about death, crime, and other such subjects. But, here’s the difference: IT IS FUNNY. This film is not. The dourness of the proceedings does the film a disservice in that it cannot be balanced out with humor.
I think the actors do the best they can with the material given. But, then again, I think the character work is one of the biggest most glaring issues with this film. Especially with the character of Alan (played by Zach Galifianakis), who is an incredibly unstable unlikable sociopath who lacks any kind of empathy.
The film is MOSTLY about making his character grow and evolve (filmmakers, you’re about three movies too late). But, Alan as a character should be like Jack Sparrow in the POTC films… He should be a side-character to accompany the protagonists rather than the protagonist. That’s the reason why POTC 4 was so f*cking annoying, because Jack Sparrow isn’t a character that is meant to be front and center. Similarly, Alan takes center stage for a large portion of the film, but his character is HORRIBLY unlikable and annoying. He can be taken in semi-regular doses, and that’s about it.
And, in comparison to Alan, both Bradley Cooper & Ed Helms seem to be legitimately exhausted with the kind of stuff they have to do in these films. There’s a sense of lethargy that just crushes whatever excitement one might even be able to get from the film. None of the crazy energy that fueled the original film (or its sequel) is present. The movie is not entirely without laughs, but it is far too spread out to accurately be called “funny”.
All of this stuff is a shame because Todd Phillips has become an increasingly talented director visually speaking. Remember the days of Old School, or Road Trip? This is an ENTIRELY different director, and it shows with how well he has gotten at staging shots, and shooting set-pieces. Unfortunately, the script lets the movie down. And, the darkness of the film overwhelms what could be enjoyed.
In a few ways, this film reminds me of that Peter Berg film “Very Bad Things”. That film is MUCH darker and meaner than “The Hangover Part III” could ever be, but it shares a similar problem. The darkness doesn’t help the humor, it hurts the humor. In general, there is a lack of balance between the two sides of those films. The edgy darkness & the humor. In fact, “The Hangover Part III”, just like “Very Bad Things”, might’ve been a better film had it not been a comedy at all. But, it is, and therein is the problem.