I should probably let all of you know this first. I don’t like the HANGOVER movies. I didn’t hate the first one. I thought the first 30 minutes were terrible, but laughed at some things during the rest of it. Overall, I thought it was just “okay”, but I didn’t understand all the hoopla that surrounded it. Definitely an overrated comedy. The second one was much worse, as it tried to duplicate the original, but it came across forced. So I walked into this movie with the lowest expectations. But I didn’t go into this movie hating it already. I just wasn’t looking forward to it. Now, I have talked to some fans of the original that didn’t like the second one. In fact, that movie has a lot of backlash. So I was hoping that the filmmakers learned from the mistakes of that film.
While the second one mirrored the plot of the first, this latest entry has a different plotline. The movie opens with Chow escaping prison, then it cuts to Alan driving with a giraffe in his car. He drives under a bridge cutting off the animal’s head. Ha. Ha. Alan’s father is upset by his son’s incompetence and tells him to move out. Then, suddenly, the dad has a heart attack and dies. After the funeral, Alan’s mother organizes an intervention that has all of her son’s family and friends there, including Phil, Stu, and Doug. The wolf pack head out on the road to bring Alan to a place for him to get “better” But along the way, they are run off the road and abducted by a gangster named Marshall (John Goodman). He’s pissed off because Chow stole a shit ton of gold from him and now wants it back. Problem is, he can’t find him. But he knows that Alan and Chow have been writing letters to each other, so he tells Phil, Stu and Alan that he will kill Doug unless they bring Chow to him. So, the rest of the movie has the 3 friends finding Chow, trying to get the gold from him, Chow escaping, and then finding Chow again. Along the way they have some crazy, and absurd adventures.
Actually, that last sentence isn’t true at all. That’s what this movie should have been like. Crazy and absurd, right? I didn’t like the first 2 films, but at least they had crazy shit happening all the time. That’s not the case here at all. Nothing really outrageous happens. As an example, I will describe a good chunk of the movie to you:
In the middle of the film, the 3 guys find Chow. Chow tells them that the money is hidden in his house, but now someone else is living there. So he has a plan to break in. They break in (with Stu and Chow pretending to be dogs). They find the gold. Chow betrays them and leaves them locked in the cellar. The 3 get arrested for breaking and entering. They get released from jail and find out that it wasn’t Chow’s house.
I would love to tell you that during these moments, there were some ridiculous and hilarious gags. But I would be lying. Nothing funny at all happens. It just plays out these events. The plot feels like it was lifted off of one of those piss poor Tarantino rip-offs from the mid-90’s like 8 HEADS IN A DUFFEL BAG, FEELING MINNESOTA, or DESTINY TURNS ON THE RADIO. And this movie is just as boring and uninspired as those. It’s not a comedy anymore. It’s trying to be an offbeat crime movie. It fails miserably.
The cast is back. But some of them probably weren’t happy about it. Bradley Cooper seems stoned most of the time, always saying “fuck” and smiling a lot. Ed Helms really doesn’t look like he wants to be there, as he just makes faces that looks like he needs to poop all of the time. Poor Justin Bertha. He is either going to be known as that other unfunny guy from the Hangover movies, or the offensive retard character from GIGLI. Either way…. he loses. I guess Zach Galifianakis puts in some effort, but that doesn’t mean he’s funny. He’s not. But, I didn’t find him funny in the first 2, so that could just be me. But I didn’t laugh at ONE thing he did here. Everything that character does feels forced. But nothing can compare you for the massive suck that is Ken Jeong. I have never EVER liked this guy. He was the worst thing in both HANGOVER movies, and he’s absolutely the worst thing here. And you know what’s even worse? He’s not a supporting character anymore. He’s pretty much the main star. The entire plot revolves around him. So we get many scenes of Jeong talking like a 5-year-old and swearing and talking about doing drugs, making gay references…. and yes, we get to see his tiny penis again. Ha. Ha. I’m a huge John Goodman fan, so I was really disappointed to see him completely wasted here. He’s just a generic bad guy and does nothing funny. Mike Epps is back. That dude will never be funny. Heather Graham is back in a scene that tries to recapture the “magic” of the first one, and fails. Oh yeah! And Melissa McCarthy is in this too. Sorry BRIDESMAIDS fans, but I can’t fucking stand her. She has 2 extended sequences and they are just painful to sit through. I’m getting sick of her playing these wildly unfunny, cartoonish oafs.
Todd Phillips started off his career with a couple of good comedies. I liked ROAD TRIP and (especially) OLD SCHOOL. But he has been struggling ever since. He also co-wrote the script with Craig Mazin. If you would like to have an idea of just how uninspired this movie is, you only need to look at Mazin’s previous writing credits: SENSELESS, ROCKETMAN, SCARY MOVIE 3, SCARY MOVIE 4, HANGOVER 2. SUPERHERO MOVIE and IDENTITY THIEF. Do we see a fucking pattern here? The script is just tired and lazy. Nothing about this movie is fresh. The energy is non-existent. There seems to be no reason for this movie to exist other than the fact that the first 2 made lots of dough. THE HANGOVER III “feels” like a third movie. This franchise is completely out of gas. That’s funny. Also opening today is FAST & FURIOUS 6. That movie does NOT feel like a 6th movie. The energy is still high. But this movie doesn’t even feel like it’s trying at all.
Now remember, I wasn’t a fan of the first two, so maybe I’m full of shit. However, I did bring a friend to this that WAS a fan of the first. She wasn’t impressed with this latest installment either. So I don’t think it’s just me. But if you are a huge Galifianakis fan or a Ken Jeong fan, then you will probably laugh more than I did. Those guys just are NOT FUNNY to me. I will say this though. I did laugh ONCE really hard. But that moment doesn’t come until halfway through the end credits. It was wild, crazy and outrageous. Why couldn’t the whole movie have been like that? It was really funny. But it’s hardly worth sitting through 90 minutes of shit for one big belly laugh.
This makes HANGOVER 2 look like HANGOVER 1. ★ (out of ★★★★)
– Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, some violence and drug content, and brief graphic nudity.
– Running time: 1hr 39min.