Thoughts: The Wolfpack is dead. Long Live the Wolfpack

If there is but one good thing, thou shall ruin it.

Ever remember that joke which you found so funny the first time you heard it? You repeated it to your friends, and, then the next time when your friends came with their friends you repeated it again.  You also repeated it at every given opportunity to your family and their friends. And then you began to notice that each time you said your joke the laughter levels dropped! In the end, your immediate circle grew sick and tired of listening to the same joke and although they probably still gave that polite chuckle, they now, have a bored and a look of angst on their face. Hangover 3 is that joke!

Before I begin, allow me to clear up the air. I like silly comedies, I love Will Ferrell movies, and I like all versions of Scary Movie. I even find a few of the Ben Stiller and Wayne Brother movies funny[!], but, then I go in with a certain expectation of  those movies and Hangover wasn’t  something  I had planned to place in that list.

Anyway, as is customary, I’ll summarize the story for you. . Alan’s (Zach Galifianakis, who should really never be allowed too much screen time) father passes away (not before Alan kills a giraffe and causes a pile up on the freeway) and he has also stopped taking his medications (probably why he bought a giraffe in the first place). Thus, the Wolfpack decides to put Alan in rehab so he can get treated for his mental issues. And, this is where the movie kicks off. En route to their drop off, the Wolfpack is attacked by a gangster named Marshall (John Goodman, the only one who actually did a decent job in the movie), who, wants Mr. Chow (Ken Jong, who, much like Zach, should have limited screen time) as Mr. Chow has stolen $21 million worth of gold from him. So, why the Wolfpack you might ask? Well, this is because Alan has been in constant touch with Chow since Chow was nabbed in Bangkok and they have been pen –pals ever since!! Yup! Silly is as silly does.

As is the routine, Marshall keeps Doug as collateral and forces the trio of Alan, Stu (Ed Helms) and Phil (Bradley Cooper) to track down Chow and get him back to Marshall. The hunt leads the trio from Tijuana, Mexico and ends in the place where it all began, Las Vegas, Nevada (Yawn).

The thing with trilogies [or for that matter any franchise movie] is that, I feel, they are really difficult to get right, unless, you have diligently thought through all three parts before even attempting to make the very first one. The Dark Knight, Toy Story, The Matrix are all trilogies made with the entire series in mind and they were all brilliant. Individually, one part might do better than the others, but on a whole, the trilogy should make for a good watch if it’s well thought through. The first part of Hangover was the heart and soul of the franchise and the second part, though, did manage a few chuckles here and there, it couldn’t match the expectations. The third sadly is an immense let-down.

The movie franchisee was strongly based on the charisma of the Wolfpack and the male bonding it showed, though, this one appears to be solely made for Zack Galifianakis and Ken Jong.  The two funny men who had more than their fair share of screen space and it is this overdose of the comics on screen which makes the movie looking like a B grade Steven Segal flick.

Alan’s dim-witted comedy and Chow’s drug-related witticisms were, at one time, fun and fresh, but now, they are stale and flavorless. If you have an IQ matching the room temperature, you might find this amusing, but decapitating a giraffe, shooting roosters and strangling dogs isn’t all too funny (unless, you are hopped up on some Lucy). Alan is supposed to be the dumb one causing the trouble and Stu is supposed to be the one  making  fun of Alan – the source of Stu’s comedy and everything around it, But, all Stu does is complain and whine for the whole 100 minutes. Bradley Cooper was flat as well. He gave little to no effort into the character and it shows in his performance. I guess, the two people saving grace for the movie, were John Goodman – who seemed the most professional of the cast and Melissa McCarthy -[A special tip of the hat to the delightfully funny lady] , who played Cassie, Alan’s love interest. She played her part to great perfection and is the beacon in the dark and hollow movie, that is, Hangover III.

Todd Philips does have a sense of humor; after all he has made movies like Hangover I and Borat. But personally, I feel, he has somewhere lost his way in deciding “how much is too much”. When Hangover II was released earlier there were question marks on Todd Phillips’ storytelling capabilities. The second part was a replica of the first – the same intoxicated mystery, the epic escapades, the vulgarity and the graphic scenes, but part II forgot to copy some of the laughs. But in Part III, T. Phillips has honestly forgotten to get a story. His dependency on Galifianakis is the sum of why the film is so unfunny. The only other attempt at humor is a disturbingly exaggerated Asian stereotype with a shrill voice.

Hangover III is not a movie for people who are looking for genuine comedy. There are some very funny moments but the cheap laughs far outnumber the good ones. If you’re going in expecting a repeat of The Hangover then don’t waste your time and money. Also, if you were disappointed by part II, this movie will only rub more salt on your already existing wounds. The good parts of the movie are only a handful and apart from a few scenes here and there, (like the part atop Caesar’s Palace) the movie doesn’t really capture the essence of what Hangover is and, thus, has a lot missing from its core.

Nothing makes this film worth a watch. Instead, go to the park, walk the dog, listen to a story from your grandma about how she went shopping at the grocery store, go to the lake and see ducks waddle. Go do anything else, just don’t waste your time on this flick. If you loved number 2, and have the mental capacity of a goldfish, Hangover III might not dent your enjoyment, but for the rest it definitely won’t be worth the time, effort or money you would have put in it and thus it is rightly titled that this, truly, is “The End”.

Thank God for the reclining chairs and the free tickets I got to watch this in the Director’s Cut (not to forget the complimentary Cola and the popcorn) else, this movie wouldn’t be easy to handle for its 100 minutes. Ideally I wouldn’t recommend you to watch this one, but if you do (as I know some of you will); MAKE SURE you stay during the credits in the end, that is THE ONE PART of the movie you wouldn’t want to miss. 🙂

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