I remember not so long ago sitting in the theatre and laughing my butt with the insane ridiculousness of The Hangover. That was spot on random comedy. Next came The Hangover II, which was much of the same but this time in Bangkok. It was funny, but felt it never reached the levels of the first one.
Fast forward to 2013 where we now have The Hangover III, the closing of the comedic trilogy, but there was something that was missing from this incarnation…the full on funny. Did it hurt the movie?
Some think it did. Though the funny thing was that The Hangover II got flack because it was too much like the first one, that the filmmakers needed to take the series in a different direction. This time they did and still more people did like it. I have been holding off on this one since opening day but finally broke down and gave it a gander. What I found surprised me.
The story this time is one of a more darker tone. The Wolfpack go on the hunt for Chow, who has gone missing and also ripped off a big time gangster of half of his 42 million in gold bars. This go wrong and Doug gets kidnapped for collateral, just in case the boys don’t find Chow, Doug dies.
This definitely isn’t your typical Hangover movie. It’s a darker, grittier movie with less of the crazy comedy scenarios and more action type set pieces. Does this trade off work? It kind of does in a strange way. I think what pulled me into the movie deeper than I was expecting was the change of tone and pace. Now we have the pack on a mission to apprehend a madman of sorts and get Doug of of a life threatening jam. That’s not to say the movie doesn’t have it’s funny moments. It’s a different type of comedy though, not so much of the HA HA that was hilarious style, but more of the ‘wow that is dark’ style.
The acting is what you expect in this type of movie. I think the show stealer was John Goodman, who plays the terrifying gangster who just wants his gold back. Ken Jeong is crazy as ever as Lesley Chow, Zach Galifinakis plays a more somber Allan this time, an Allan who still has issues but seems a little less crazy. Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms round out the rest of the Wolfpack while Justin Bartha as Doug remains relatively safe off camera for most of the movie. All the actors do well in reprising these roles and seem to pick them up nicely after the break since The Hangover II.
Director Todd Phillips, who also helped writing the screenplay for this, did a solid job bringing a new flair to the trilogy. It was nice to see a change of pace for the film and bring it into a different light so to speak. As bad as it seems to be doing, critic wise, I feel that it’s not getting the respect it deserves. Did Todd Phillips do an amazing bang up job with this one? No, it’s not the be all end all of movies, but what Todd did was bring a very entertaining conclusion to the Wolfpack trilogy. He did what he set out to do and for what it’s worth it was a decent time at the theatre.
I don’t have a hard time recommending this film, especially to fans of the series. Should you pay full price? That would depend on how much you feel you need to see it. It definitely worth the price of a matinee admission and will be a movie that I will be adding to my collection when it comes out on Blu-ray and DVD. Just know what you are getting into when going to see it. It’s not all funny, it’s more of a dark action thriller with comedic elements. It’s definitely different in tone from the other two movies, which I felt was a good thing.
If you are expecting high octane comedy then you may be more than a little let down. This movie I think deserves 3.6 stars out of 5. It’s not the worst of the series and if you are going to see a movie in the theatre you could do worse. ‘Till next time my friends.