Thursday, June 6, 2013
Hangover 3: A Good Ride, While It Lasted
I think. *THINK*.
The ending certainly left open all possibilities, which is rather depressing because any attempt at a 4th installment of this series is borderline insane.
Hangover III itself rolls into Vegas one last time on fumes, and delivers hardly any additional chuckles you didn't get already in the various trailers.
My biggest gripe about this finale is that it is entirely devoid of fun. Don't we want "The Wolfpack" to at least enjoy their dances with the devil en route to being utterly f***ed with various predicaments?
Fun? Not here. Not this time.
This is like a mostly un-funny "Ocean's 3."
Hell, they never even get drunk in the movie. Hangover? From what?
It's a plodding, linear slog to "return the bad guy's money" - gee, there's a new movie concept - that delivers very few (if any) "holy sh** I didn't see THAT coming" plot twists. In fact, some of the scenes are so tepid, nice, and devoid of value you wonder why it was even left in the final cut?
The scene with Heather Graham - now happily married and pregnant to a new doctor in a really nice home - is utterly dull and pointless. Yeah, Alan reunites with his baby bjorn buddy from Hangover I, and gets a hug before leaving.
And...... and.... that's it!
Stu and the stripper are happy to see each other again, give each other the obligatory "you look great!" greeting (cringe), and they have a calm cup of coffee in her kitchen.
Seriously, WTF Todd Phillips!?
Also, you can only ask the viewer to stretch his acceptance of "well, that's POSSIBLE" so far. In the first movie, every one of those moments stayed out of range of dismissive scoffing. Steal a cop car? A live tiger? Get tasered to get out of jail? Get mixed up with drug dealers? All highly unlikely, but possible.
In this one, we're talking decapitated giraffe, escape from a Thai prison, climbing down bedsheet ropes from the rooftop at Ceasars, nearly demolished vehicles that make it from Arizona to New Mexico to Vegas without breaking down, and the ability of tiny-ass Leslie Chow being able to carry not one but TWO duffel bags of gold BRICKS at one time.
For the record, I looked it up. A gold brick like that weighs 27 pounds - EACH! Assuming there were just 20 bricks as "loot" (seems about right) then that's a cool 540 pounds to lug around.
The worst bit of "plot logic malpractice" is the fact they never once had to "phone home" and report back to the family what was going on. At least in the first two installments, you knew the timeline was essentially 48 hours. Here, who knows? They did so much and drove so far, the movie loses track realistic time and then basically asks you the viewer to just go with it.
A little bit of Alan and Leslie Chow went a long way in the previous Hangovers, but the two characters are force fed to you from start to finish this time. Chow is no longer a man of mystery, but a guy you are actively rooting for to get killed in the end. (Spoiler alert: maybe he does, maybe he doesn't!)
All in all, it was about what I expected. I still think Hangover I was brilliant for it's unique story telling mechanism, and the breakout performances of Zach Galifianakis and Ken Jeong. The movie hit fans out of the blue with something different, raunchy and funny.
Hangover II was arguably even more funny, thanks to a new venue (Bangkok), better dialogue, and a omg-did-they-just-go-there scene that is almost unparalleled in "mainstream" movies today. "... and then we cried, it was beautiful, Stu..."
Hangover 3 just misses at almost every turn.
But I'm not gonna be mad. I'll just appreciate and re-watch 1&2 for many years, and be glad the first two were as good as they were.