Better to black out than suffer this hangover
Frankly, The Hangover Part III is an irritating movie. Although the series brings back what we can expect based on the previous films, this instalment is uninteresting and frustratingly predictable, despite its randomness.
For those unfamiliar with the Hangover franchise, the films feature three characters: Phil (Cooper), Stu (Helms), and Alan (Galifianakis). Phil is the cool bro, Stu the wet blanket and Alan the weird one. Most of the series’ humour comes from Alan’s random oddities. The films have traditionally followed a narrative pattern in which the men wake up with a hangover and have no recollection of the previous night. They then must retrace their steps and find a missing person.
This instalment differs somewhat in that the guys are still involved in a crazy adventure, but it’s a result of the previous two films. They’re also conscious for the entirety of the film (until a pre-credits scene that hints at yet another sequel). The film begins with a series of random events, including the death of Alan’s father. Afterwards, Alan’s family and friends stage an intervention to send him to a mental hospital. On the way, the three are ambushed and brought into another random plot involving characters from the previous films.
There is a concept called ‘flanderisation,’ which describes when an individual trait or action consumes a character. Often the trait or action is exaggerated, and soon the character is defined by it. It usually occurs in television comedy series, but because sequels are becoming ubiquitous, it now seems to be affecting film too.
Unfortunately, that is the main problem with this film: the characters have all been reduced to a simplistic definition. Alan’s perception and consequential treatment of those around him has surpassed oddly charming and entered obnoxious territory. Although the film is meant to show his growth into maturity, he remains fairly annoying for the majority of the film. Because the humour of the series relies on his ridiculous antics, the comedy largely fails overall. Cooper and Helms likewise coast through their roles, who seem to be present only to accentuate Galifianakis.
The Hangover Part III
Dir: Todd Phillips; US comedy, 2012, 100 mins; Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis
Premiered May 30