Following my viewing of the revved-up and better-than-ever 6th installment of the Fast and Furious franchise, I strolled down the row at the multiplex into The Hangover Part III, which is advertised as the final chapter of the Wolfpack Trilogy and we can only hope so. It's not that it sucks, it's just that there's nowhere left for this series to go.
Eschewing the blackout-and-try-to-figure-out-WTF-happened formula of the first two films, The Hangover Part III opts for a linear structure. After Alan's (Zach Galifianakanisasnuffleupagus) man-baby antics have driven his father into the grave, the family decides it's time to send him to a clinic in Arizona to get him back on his meds and the Wolfpack consents to drive him out there. On the way, their minivan is forced off the road and Doug (the one who was missing in the first movie whom no one knows the actor's name) is taken hostage by John Goodman. It seems Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) ripped off $21 million in gold bars from a heist they pulled and he thinks the Wolfpack can find him now that Chow has escaped from the Thai prison he was in and is back Stateside. They have three days to find Chow and the gold or Doug is dead.
How much you enjoy this non-hangover-induced Hangover is dependent on how much you love/like/tolerate/hate the Chow character because he gets a lot of screen time. I like Chow, so I was cool with the emphasis. Alan is more of the same and while Galafreyanklebiteris (sp?) remains fully committed to the the character, at this point I really don't know why the Wolfpack didn't skip simply skip the clinic and drive out into the desert and bury him. (Whether he was dead first is irrelevant.) Ed Helms doesn't has much to do this time and Bradley Cooper really emails his performance in. Considering how many weeks it takes to shoot a feature film, you somewhat have to respect the amount of work Cooper put in to make sure he didn't look like he wanted to be there. (Yes, that's an ironic comment.)
The Hangover Part III was a surprise box office disappointment as Furious 6 left it choking on its dust but where the Fast and Furious series was able to reinvent itself, The Hangover series can't because this chapter was the reinvention and there's simply not enough there there to make further trips to the well advisable.
Score: 6/10. Catch it on cable.