'Hangover III': What the critics are saying
May 23rd, 2013
04:30 PM ET

'Hangover III': What the critics are saying

[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?

Filed under: movies • Summer movies

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Meh

    /bored now

    May 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. SmarterthanU

    Chang should have never been the main influencer. Should have rolled with Alan's grief / coming of age. Writers lost the comedic edge.

    May 28, 2013 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. weekend updates

    1. accused of having no funds
    2. accused of being married with children
    3. hacked into phone calls
    4. threatened to wreck this machine prior too next vacation

    May 27, 2013 at 4:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. he.

    we can't order a drink through this machine...can we.

    May 25, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Venting Show.

    puh leaze.

    May 24, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |

    Don't waste your money!~

    May 24, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Let's get back to the one on the far right with the sunglasses


    May 24, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. john

    Fcuk off, Brad-troll ??? Nice.

    May 24, 2013 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bare breasts?

    If not, I'm not going to see it.

    May 24, 2013 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. Cami

    Saw the movie last night....LOVED IT!!!! Some people are just to uptight!!!! Sometimes you don't need to be to critical...Just laugh and enjoy life a little bit!!!!

    May 24, 2013 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. M.A.P.


    Never kill a girraffe.

    May 24, 2013 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
  12. carrie

    dont like the movie (sorry)

    May 24, 2013 at 6:06 am | Report abuse |
  13. johnny


    May 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bluedestiny

    Makes one wonder yet again where they're getting their writers, and who's running studios. Whether films, prime time TV, or MMO's, the leadership and writing is most often beyond incompetent and untalented. Seems like the industry is rife with 20 year old writers, incompetent leaders, and buffoon executives. They foist out unbelievable garbage, and when they do have a quality piece, they cancel it.

    Young tools who don't know what they don't know.

    May 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bluedestiny

      Contrast trash like this with great recent examples of quality writing and craft such as Justified, Django, or Last Man Standing (comedy), or going back years to Firefly. Quality and talent need not apply.

      May 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obama

      Djanga was not a great movie, it was just a bunch of N words. My old lady Michelle and I played a drinking game where every time the N word was said you had to drink. We got soo drunk in the first 10 minutes.

      May 24, 2013 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  15. Brad

    This character is very important in this movie...

    May 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

About this blog

Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.