When the Wolfpack made their mighty debut in 2009, audiences were both shocked but highly amused with the antics that one night in Las Vegas spawned. Their actions were so outlandish and bizarre that even the residents and police force of Las Vegas were like, “Seriously guys, what the fuck?” When the Wolfpack returned for an outing in Bangkok, granted it wasn’t as fun, but, still, it had its moments. From then on, we have seen the men behind the Wolfpack grow into Oscar nominees, comedy stereotypes as the American fat man, and television side characters. But with their third and final adventure, the question on people’s mind is: will The Hangover Part III return to the glory of the first instalment or lapse into poor repetition?
Following a mishap with a giraffe on the interstate and the passing on his beloved father (Jeffrey Tambor), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) is off his medication, which obviously means bad news for everyone around him. To resolve the issue, the rest of the Wolfpack – Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) – decide to take Alan to a rehab centre specialising in fresh starts.
However, fate decides to have the gang kidnapped by a very unhappy mobster by the name of Marshall (John Goodman), who holds onto Doug and lets the rest go in order to find the cancer that has infected all of their lives, Mr Chow (Ken Jeong), recently escaped from a Bangkok maximum security prison. Enduring nothing but chaos, attacks from killer chickens and Alan’s own brand of madness, the hapless trio eventually square off with Chow in the one place they swore never to return to: Las Vegas.
From the offset, things looked good for Part III. Trailers were funny, the Wolfpack were heading back to their roots, and yet you couldn’t escape the feeling that the writer/director Todd Phillips might have been taking some roofies on the side, forgot about the first parts and regurgitated the same story for a third time. As always, Phil is team leader, Stu the cowardly dentist shouts “What the fuck is going on?!” and Alan creates the laughs doing everything he can to make their situation worse.
If anything, this instalment is merely an even cruder retelling of the 2009 classic. While it sees the return of beloved characters such as Black Doug (Mike Epps), Jade (Heather Graham) and her son Tyler (Grant Holmquist), there’s no hangover to speak of, and most of the best jokes are given away in the trailers. But, giving credit where it is due, some of the jokes, though not so fresh, are still mildly entertaining. Additionally, Part III brings the story full circle, linking storylines, character developments and running gags together and tying them up in a nice alcohol and drug-induced bow.
What we can take away from Part III is that while it may not be classed as a ‘hangover’ film, it is primarily a story about Alan and his coming of age across the trilogy. While providing most of the laughter, we see him deal with his first confrontation with death, his first love Cassie (Melissa McCarthy), and his battle with fear when climbing down the side of Caesars’ Palace. He even takes the time to reevaluate his friendship with the deranged Chow. The Hangover trilogy sees Alan grow from a loner into being a member of a group of very forgiving friends and, by the end of it all, becoming a man, standing on his own two feet in his simple -minded world.
The Hangover Part III is nothing in comparison to the first instalment, but it is indeed an improvement from Part II. If you are able to put up with a severe spell of déjà vu, you will be greatly rewarded with a fittingly insane post-credits scene.