May 23rd, 2013
04:30 PM ET
[Editor's Note: This post contains mild spoilers below.]
If you're going to see "The Hangover III," chances are you don't particularly care if critics think it's a waste of time. After all, you've hung in there for the first two movies, so you might as well cap it off with the third, right?
But according to many critics, that would be precisely the wrong thing to do.
After changing nothing but the location for "The Hangover II," director Todd Phillips does do something different with "Part III." Instead of a "forgotten night" and MIA friend plot, this installment is centered around the death of Alan's (Zach Galifianakis) father and the character going off his meds.
This triggers an intervention, and the Wolf Pack tries to cart Alan off to a treatment facility. Of course, nothing goes as planned, as they're soon being tracked by a mobster (played by John Goodman) who says Ken Jeong's Mr. Chow stole his gold. Melissa McCarthy, too, makes a cameo in the third film, which theoretically means all of this should add up to something funny. But reviews have said that it decidedly does not.
New York Times: "'The Hangover Part III' is a dull, lazy walkthrough that ... has a claim to be the year's worst star-driven movie."
Variety: Nearly bereft of laughs ... At times it's debatable whether 'The Hangover III' should even be considered a comedy at all. ... By playing things completely chronologically - and worse, soberly - this film's shenanigans feel witlessly arbitrary."
Entertainment Weekly: "For a franchise known for pushing boundaries, 'The Hangover III' isn't nearly outrageous enough."
It wasn't just Phillips' different-yet-still-formulaic approach to the story that set critics' teeth on edge. Within the first few minutes there's also a very graphic giraffe decapitation. Alan's seen driving down the freeway with the giraffe in a trailer, and off goes its head when it encounters an overpass.
Time: "The giraffe is obviously almost entirely computer-generated but still looks smart, soulful, friendly. ... The preview audience I was with seemed stunned into silence. Not by what had happened—the outcome is telegraphed from the beginning of the scene—but by a sort of larger why? Hardly anyone laughed."
The Hollywood Reporter: "This is an early sign of the movie’s desperation. PETA and other animal lovers should be warned, as there are a few other dead animals on the horizon. 'Hangover III' is so determined to defy political correctness that it breaks one of the last cinematic taboos. Any schlockmeister can slaughter hundreds of people on camera, but how many filmmakers dare to kill dogs, other mammals, and even smother a rooster?"
But if you're already planning to see it, criticisms be damned, there are a few reviewers who looked on the bright side:
New York Daily News: "The guys from the 'Hangover' films have hilariously, crazily evolved. ... The pleasant surprise of 'The Hangover Part III' is a belated bout of adulthood has only made the extended-adolescent characters funnier. The result is a more traditional but more hysterical crowd-pleaser."
Detroit News: "'The Hangover Part III' is much better than the second 'Hangover.' ... a more proper follow-up to the original than “Part II,” and Phillips gives his characters a proper send off."
If you've seen the movie, what's your verdict?
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