An Epic Finale To THE HANGOVER Trilogy. Epic?
I think people should learn not to use that word so lightly.
Started in 2009 with The Hangover (That I’m sure was not planned to have sequel, let alone become a trilogy). I liked the first one, it’s a good bromance comedy filled with WTF moments with a well balanced cast. The premise at the time was so original, extreme hangover from self-inflicted (sort of) date rape drugs that made them so out of it they barely can remember any thing. The second film, was following the exact same formula, but it still retain some of its humor and unless you watched both in marathon you wouldn’t be so put off by the formulaic chain of events.
This time, they really try to push the envelope and sort of reverse the formula. Well if you’ve seen the trailer of the film you’ll know at least a few things about this movie: Melissa McCartney, The Funeral, and The Decapitated Giraffe (I didn’t see any trailers in advance, so the decapitation and all the on-screen animal cruelty in general just irks me).
If the first and the second Hangover centers around pre wedding, bachelor party gone mad hungover where one of the cast members is gone sending the rest into a frantic search party, as they recount numerous bizarre things they did while they were on a bender. The third one opens with a funeral, that spiral into a chain of events. This time Doug (Justin Bartha) became the victim once again, only he was not missing per se, he was held hostage by a mob boss (John Goodman). Forcing the wolfpack trio Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) to locate Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong). And the supposed what-the-fuckery ensue. The actual hangover actually happen between the credit roll.
I watched it in Bandung, in a semi full theatre since it was a weekday noon. The thing is people in Bandung are so easily amused therefore the mood inside of the movie theatre was light and uplifts my general sourness. I thank god I did not go for the morning show. But audience buddy factor aside, I found it ironic that once the story breaks out of their formulaic mold It actually lost its charm. And them there’s the shift in portion of the character. Alan who was usually balanced by Stu and Phil was suddenly became a dominant role, only to be rivaled by Chow. These two characters actually best when served in moderation, remember the first movie Chow role only spent like 10 minutes on screen, his existence is more pronounce in the second one but did not overshadow the wolf pack. Just like in Community, too much of Jeong on screen put a damper on everything. Despite my love for Galianafakis in general I feel annoyed by Alan instead of amuse, but I am kind of glad with the direction of the character, to quote Rihanna, sometimes we do find love at a hopeless place. I realized one of the signature piece of comedy in Hangover is Ed Helms classic hissy fit which is always, always hilarious and him singing out his traumatic experiences accompanied by piano or while strumming a guitar. So yes, Chow singing R. Kelly’s I Believe I Can Fly is just not as funny.
Critics and rating aggregation websites (e.g: rottentomatoes, metacritic, imdb) shows generally weak and negative reaction to the movie. However, it still shows a strong viewership, generating $88 million in US domestic and international box office. I do wonder if it will be able to beat or even come close to the previous films ($480 mil. and $580mil.) records.
Loosing most of its oomph, The Hangover Part III was a sad continuation of what should be an absurd yet hilarious franchise. Watch it with a theater full of people on weekends will definitely become a mood boost. But no matter how ridiculously successful the movie is, I plead to the film maker to put a stop here. Please don’t make this movie become a shameless franchise with unnecessary reboots, let the best one become an iconic piece of comedy in cinema instead.
You can catch The Hangover Part III in local theaters in Indonesia from yesterday (Friday May 31st 2013). Visit Blitzmegaplex and Cinema 21 respective websites for details regarding the schedule and advance booking for the movie in your cities.