Sorry end to a fizzling film trilogy
MOVIE REVIEWREVIEWED BY NADINE HANCOCK
OPINION: The Hangover III. Starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis; directed by Todd Phillips
Let me be clear. I am a huge fan of the 2009 film The Hangover. The movie that Jon Lucas and Scott Moore created was near perfection. It had an original story, great comedic moments and an awesome cast delivering fantastic dialogue.
It cemented actors better known for their television roles as film stars in their own right. The cancellation of Tru Calling, Joss Whedon's brilliant sci-fi drama, allowed Zach Galifianakis to come on board as the funny sidekick. It made Bradley Cooper - better known for pining after Jennifer Garner in his Alias days - step into a heart throb role and allowed Ed Helms to take sabbatical from The Office. And, of course, for those Community fans, you got to see Ken Jeong leap naked out of the boot of a car.
Sadly though, Todd Phillips, director of the original film, decided to carry on with these beloved characters by joining forces with Craig Mazin to make the hilarious film into a trilogy. Because, let's face it, every movie now seems to be part of a series and it would be wrong not to follow suit. Wouldn't it? No Mazin and Phillips, it would've been a better idea just to leave it alone!
Craig Mazin is the man responsible for the penning of the devastation that was Identity Thief and the drivel that is the Scary Movie franchise. His partner in crime, Todd Phillips, has a similar sense of humour, producing films such as Due Date and Project X; both films that tried too hard and were not clever - at all.
As promised, The Hangover III leaves the formulaic storyline of the first two films behind. After Alan's (Galifianakis) father passes away, the Wolf Pack reunite to take a road trip. However, it is quickly interrupted by Roseanne's John Goodman who takes Doug hostage in exchange for the gang hunting out Mr Chow (Jeong).
Among all the attempts at clever comedy, there were only a few redeeming qualities of this final chapter in the trilogy that should never have happened. The opening homage to the legendary Shawshank Redemption was good and the inclusion of the catchy tune MMMBop by Hanson was amusing. There were the odd comedic moments during the film, but nothing that warranted huge laughs.
The scene during the end credits was by far the best part of the movie, but by then it was too late.
For some reason Mazin and Phillips thought that throwing in animals getting killed in a variety of ways would be funny. It was not.
Galifianakis is no longer entertaining and is instead almost a caricature of what Alan was in the first film. Cooper and Helms even look bored playing their signature roles and Helms did not even get a chance to dedicate a song to his best friend Doug.
Quite frankly, The Hangover II and The Hangover III should never have been made. To me, this sorry excuse for a trilogy was The Matrix all over again. Film-makers should learn when to leave a good movie alone and not make unnecessary follow-ups. They are a waste of time and money.
- © Fairfax NZ News