HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Hangover: Part III
HTS Overall Score:81
Finally “The Hanover” series is coming to a close. The first film was an interesting comedy, different than a lot of modern comedies it was one of those movies where I felt it was a mixed bag. Some of the scenes were just flat as a pancake, while the next moment I would be rolling on the floor laughing myself into hysteria. The second movies was just plain AWEFUL, a cookie cutter formula that retread the same steps of the first movie, but in a different place, filled with humor that wasn’t really humor at all, but people yelling vulgarities on screen. With most sequels they try to push the boundaries that the previous films set and with the way the second one pushed the boundaries I expected an ever worse film than the second. Surprisingly enough, this is actually the tamest of the trilogy. The worst things in the film is just some vulgar language and a split second scene after the credits (which actually is probably the funniest part of the whole movie, so stay through the credits). To top it all off, I thought it was just as funny as the first movie, as with the first movie some scenes fell flat as a pancake due to the style of humor they were shooting for, but others left my buddies and I rolling on the ground trying hard to get oxygen into our systems
The Wolf pack is back for one last grand adventure. After Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) has broken out of prison, we find out that the drug dealer from the first movie (remember Mike Epps) was ripped off by Chow and utilizes the 4 friends to get back at Chow. Of course Doug (Justin Bartha) is kidnapped and absent for the entire center of the movie and Alan (Zack Galifianackis), Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) are left to try and pick up all the pieces. Instead of being in a complete stupor from a ridiculous night of partying the film takes the shape of a giant road race, where the trio of friends chase down Leslie Chow and bring him back to Marshall (John Goodman), the ticked off drug kingpin whom Chow has royally ripped off.
All this is easier said than done, though. Chow is a maniacal force of nature and the best laid plans of mice and men, as the saying goes. Realizing that the trio are trying to bring him down, Chow manages to manipulate the men into stealing Marshall’s fortune from him and leaving them hung out to dry for the crime. With the threat of Doug’s life on the line, the rest of the wolf pack buckles down and digs up some old associates to try and find out where Chow is hiding out. Along the way Alan finally finds a soul mate that’s as messed up as he is and Stu finds the courage he never thought he had.
“The Hangover: Part III” actually surprised me with its different take on the whole adventure thing. Instead of a night of drunkenness and stumbling around finding out WHAT they did the directors turned it into a mix between “Rat Race” and an old fashioned chase movie, complete with car chases and robberies galore. A lot more focused and fine-tuned than the sequel it manages to carry itself under its own steam and still manages to mix in a lot of scenes from the first movie, tying the whole series together. All those incidents that happened in the first movie, set them up for the events in this film, tying them together as well as allowing the characters to come around full circle, to face the demons they created in Vegas originally.
Character wise, it’s pretty much more of the same, Alan, Stu, Phil and Chow are the same loon bags that they were in the previous film, the real nice addition was John Goodman as Marshall, the ticked off drug lord. John Goodman always spices up a film and has never let me down even in his supporting character roles. He’s not a very funny character, but his chemistry and the spark he adds with his role creates the driving force for the whole plot. I had some issues with Ken Jeong, as usual. His humor is funny in small doses, but his over the top zaniness can grow very wearing if done in large quantities. Here he’s funny as all get out for most of the film, but near the end you’re almost wishing that Marshall gets his hands on him.
Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, some violence and drug content
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=12870[/img]As one would expect from a modern, big budget blockbuster, “The Hangover: Part III” looks excellent on home video. The picture has a nice orange push to the color, but the whites are kept well within reason so no blooming or washed out contrasts as a result. Facial tones look very well balanced and the detail is exceptional. Every hair of Zack Galifianackis’ face is there for us all to see and the Las Vegas cityscape shots are incredible. Colors are rich and well saturated with only a few times where I wish the orange color push was a bit more subdued. Blacks are the real shining star here though. Inky and deep as Lake Puget they are black as pitch, but still very well defined, detail is abounding amidst the dark scenes and the dark night shots of Las Vegas are as beautiful as the strip is in real life. I can’t complain about anything in the picture really, the only thing keeping it from total perfection is a soft scene here and there, usually in the most “orange” of the scenes.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=12871[/img]For a comedy, “The Hangover: Part III” had an incredibly dynamic sound track. Right off the bat I noticed that the surrounds were being utilized in just about every scene, whether it be the tinkling of glass in the kitchen, the musical number at Alan’s Father’s funeral or the careening sounds of a car chase on the highway. As with the surrounds the dynamic range was put to the test as well, vocals were clean and locked to the center, but when an action scene came about the thunderous crash of an explosion or the whistling sound of a bullet exploded from the normal front loaded soundstage. LFE was nice and even as well, with a just the right amount of solid umph when needed. Keeping a nice low end whether it be the solid “thump” or a car thudding shut or the sonic explosion of a .45 caliber pistol blasting off beside us. A great sound track that is well worth the price of admission alone.
• Replacing Zach: The Secret Auditions
• The Wolfpack's Wildest Stunts
• Zach Galifianakis in His Own Words
• Pushing the Limits
• Inside Focus: The Real Chow
• Action Mash-Up
• Extended Scenes
Definitely a different movie than the first two films, it is still a fitting ending for the series. It brings the wolf pack full circle to the start of all their problems and wraps up the villains, the friendships and the hijinks in one fell swoop. A lot of people have complained that it’s not really a “hangover” film, because of it straying from the pattern that the first two films followed, but I think that’s where its strength really lies, it veers from the cookie cutter pattern, but at the same time keeps a lot of the feeling and chemistry of the first film. Not a great movie by any means, it’s still good for quite a few laughs, and like the other two, is much better when viewed with a group of likeminded friends rather than watching by oneself. With solid audio and video and run of the mill extras, I’d say it’s definitely worth a watch if you enjoyed the previous installments. I’ve always felt the series was never a “must buy”, but its well worth it for Ken Jeong’s over the top performance as Leslie Chow alone.
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Zack Galifianackis, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, John Goodman
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Written by: Todd Phillips, Craig Mazin
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, Spanish DD 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Blu-Ray Release Date: Oct 1st, 2013
Buy The Hangover: Part III Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Rent It
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