A return of the wolfpack in “Hangover 3”

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Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

The infamous Wolfpack and Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) go out to find the $20 million that was stolen from a menacing crime boss. The Hangover Part III delivers laughs and unleashes a new, aggressive side of the Wolfpack.

Jack Weinkselbaum, Staff Writer

The Hangover formula: a couple of friends get drugged and don’t remember what happened the night before.  The deviation from the formula in the final installment in The Hangover trilogy is quite welcome, especially since the first two movies were full of clichés.  Unlike in the prior Hangover movies, director Todd Phillips creates a daring, action-packed movie by sacrificing comedy in the final film of the trilogy.

The movie starts out with a continuation of The Hangover Part II in which Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) breaks out of a prison in Thailand.  The Wolfpack is again caught up in a series of unwelcome adventures as crime boss Marshall (John Goodman) kidnaps Doug (Justin Bartha) to lure out Chow, who stole $21 million in gold from him.  A typical road trip gone wrong.  Fortunately, this is where the formulaic setup ends.

Somewhere along the line, The Hangover Part III changes from a comedy to an action film.  In pursuit of Chow, the rest of the Wolfpack, Stu (Ed Helms), Phil (Bradley Cooper), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis), travel from Arizona to Tijuana, Mexico, and finally to Las Vegas, where they chase a parachuting Chow all over the city.  As always, the members of the Wolfpack find themselves in unexpected situations, forced to rob a bank and scale down Caesar’s Palace using bed sheets.  The variety in location is a nice change compared to the static settings of the prior films.

A nice addition to this movie was the bigger role of Mr. Chow, who always evokes laughter with his crazy antics.  Mr. Chow becomes even crazier in the last installment, while remaining the same bizarre Chinese stereotype as in the previous films.

Phillips further expands the character pool, adding the vindictive villain Marshall.  Goodman, who has proven himself to be a very versatile actor, plays a proper villain while also bringing humor to the table.  Melissa McCarthy plays the minor role of Cassie, Alan’s new love interest. While humorous, the relationship has almost no meaning at all in the story until the very end.

The jokes in The Hangover Part III were the expected signature toilet humor, accompanied by a slew of curse words.

However, most jokes allude to the previous movies, specifically to the first.  For example, some jokes involve old characters Black Doug (Mike Epps) and Jade (Heather Graham).  Bringing back Black Doug is somewhat needed whereas Jade had almost no purpose to the story except to give a quick tip.  Both characters were pretty much included just as homage to the loyal fans of The Hangover.

The Hangover Part III completes the trilogy, taking the Wolfpack back to Las Vegas, where it all began.  The film was not the best of the series (the first one wins hands down), but it wraps up each characters’ story and properly ties up the loose ends from the previous two.

To get the best out of the movie, you must see the original Hangover, but the second one is entirely optional.  With a soundtrack that worked perfectly with the movie as well as non-stop laughs, The Hangover Part III is a must see for any  Hangover fan or anyone who wants a good laugh.