The Wolfpack gets together for one last time in Las Vegas - the city where it all began. With no wedding and no bachelor party, what could possibly go wrong? Yet all hell breaks loose as the city crumbles in mayhem. Hangover Part III is the epic finale to the hilarious Hangover trilogy.
The monster success of the original The Hangover owed much to director Todd Phillips's tendency to push things a little farther than comfortable, almost daring the audience to sympathize with the characters. The third (and reportedly final) film ditches the ingenious flashback structure of the previous installments, in favor of a surprisingly brutal heist/gangster plot hybrid. While fans should be satisfied with the series' ultimate destination, the increasingly dark tone does call into question if it can still really be classified as a comedy. Kicking off with the first of several violent animal-related mishaps, the story finds Alan (Zach Galifianakis) more unhinged than ever, to the point where the rest of the Wolfpack (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Justin Bartha) find it necessary to stage an intervention via therapeutic road trip. Fate barges in, however, in the form of a mobster (John Goodman) with a chip on his shoulder and revenge on the brain. Even though the mood may have changed, many of the other factors have thankfully stayed the same, including the chemistry of the lead actors, the strong assistance of folks like Heather Graham, Jeffrey Tambor, and newbie Melissa McCarthy, as well as the ever-escalating torture of the exceedingly game Helms. (Warning: for the sake of your furniture, do not attempt to eat or drink anything when the closing credits start to roll.) This sequel's prime distinguishing characteristic, though, takes the form of Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong), a character whose brief but vivid appearance helped launch the first film into bad taste nirvana. While the fearlessness of Jeong in the part remains legendary, the decision to place him front and center this time around may be just too much for many viewers to take. If Phillips was aiming to lower the comfortability bar again, he can count this as a win. --Andrew Wright