Entertainment Entertainment Movies

'The Hangover: Part III' review: One final, funny howl

*** (out of four)

If by chance you own pet dogs, chickens or giraffes, do not bring them to “The Hangover: Part III.” Things don’t go well for animals in the movie.

Things never go well for the Wolf Pack, as they are once again in over their heads in this funny and quick-moving finale to a trilogy that didn’t need to be a trilogy, but made improvements with each film. Actually, “The Hangover” now bests the “Iron Man” franchise by a half-star (8-7.5 total) in my book. So there’s that.

Since no one’s dazedly chasing down clues from the previous night’s intoxicated mayhem, “The Hangover: Part III” diverts enough from the formula to avoid complaints that the movie’s just redundant. (Many incorrectly made that claim about “Part II,” which was a funnier, less misogynistic step up from the overrated original.)

With Doug (Justin Bartha) kidnapped as collateral, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galififanakis) must track down elusive international criminal/gangster and wild card Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) and retrieve the gold he stole from organized crime boss Marshall (John Goodman). The timing couldn’t be worse—as if there’s ever a good time to be stuck between a killer who favors pig masks and another who finds massive destruction hilarious—considering the more stable Wolf Pack members have just tried to intervene on Alan’s reckless lifestyle. When a pal accidentally decapitates the giraffe they bought in order to feed it from his tree house, you don’t shrug and say, “He can surely fix his issues himself.”

I wish director Todd Phillips, who co-wrote parts two and three, would find humor only in Alan as a dumb, giant baby rather than mocking someone who at times shows signs of mental illness or developmental disability. Phillips also still finds anal rape just a stitch. And why don’t these guys even think about how worried their wives are during these situations? Yet rather than leaning on countless over-the-top situations, “Part III” capitalizes on the comic skills of its cast, who have all come a long way as movie stars and onscreen partners.

Galifianakis can get a laugh just by crying as Alan, and I love that Alan wrote to Chow in prison just to say, “OMG, the McRib is back.” Helms cracks me up by shouting, “Are you out of your mind?” Good comedy often comes from character and a funny person digging in, not necessarily doing the absolute craziest thing imaginable.

Don’t worry, “The Hangover Part III” has its bananas moments. I just like that the franchise ends as a more balanced meal.

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com

 

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.

 

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • CPS officials seek pension payment relief, warn of more cuts

    CPS officials seek pension payment relief, warn of more cuts

    Chicago Public Schools officials warned Wednesday that without relief from their next massive pension contribution, they would have to make $500 million in additional cuts in the coming year, on top of looming cuts they say will be caused by this year's pension payment.

  • Chicago's happy campers cross city limits to soak in Great Outdoors

    Chicago's happy campers cross city limits to soak in Great Outdoors

    Source: Jim Boyce/Daily Southtown Summer is the perfect time for Chicagoans to escape the hectic city life filled with appointments, meetings and deadlines and chill out, well, outdoors. Campers don't have to take a long road trip to Wisconsin, Michigan or Indiana to pitch a tent. They don't have...

  • Chicago festivals this weekend: July 3-5

    Chicago festivals this weekend: July 3-5

    Although a short list this Fourth of July weekend, it’s certainly not a quiet one. Get down and dancey at the Chosen Few Old School Reunion Picnic on Saturday, ride a cultural wave of Caribbean, African and Latin American tunes at the three-day International Festival of Life or fill up at a giant...

  • Macy's dumps Trump clothing line in response to comments

    Macy's dumps Trump clothing line in response to comments

    Rapper Flo Rida has pulled out of his guest appearance at the “Miss USA” pageant later this month and Macy's has dumped Donald Trump, part of the continued fallout over the GOP hopeful's remarks about Mexican immigrants during his presidential campaign announcement.

  • Get out! (of your Chicago comfort zone)

    Get out! (of your Chicago comfort zone)

    Chicago isn’t New York—it’s not the kind of place where people leave town for huge chunks of the summer.

  • Why a Chicago guy nicknamed 'Maps' finds it hard getting to know ENTIRE city

    Why a Chicago guy nicknamed 'Maps' finds it hard getting to know ENTIRE city

    Not to toot my own horn, but I’m a genius with directions. Not only am I natural at maps, my spatial memory is on point — if I’ve been someplace once, no matter where or how long ago, I can get there again no problem. My skills are legendary among friends and family. They even call me “Maps.”

Comments
Loading