"The Hangover III" is out this weekend, and if you're hoping for a raucous return to the series, the third installment isn't receiving rave reviews.
Currently, the sequel is getting poor reception as a heavily darker, less funny end to the series.
After getting a lot of flak for "The Hangover II," director Todd Phillips made a complete departure in the latest followup.
Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, and Zach Galifianakis team up for one more adventure as the Wolfpack.
While there's no wedding this time around — and no hangover — the third film will follow Alan (Galifianakis) and his quirky, odd character that brought the gang together.
Here's what to know before deciding to see the film:
It's very different from the past two films in the series. There isn't even a "hangover"— the entire basis for the film. This is both a good and bad thing.
"It dares to alienate the very audience that made ‘‘The Hangover’’ the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time because, well, it isn’t exactly a comedy."
"That the plot is convoluted and ridiculous isn’t really a problem, but by playing things completely chronologically — and worse, soberly — this film’s shenanigans feel witlessly arbitrary in a way that the previous installments avoided."
The Hollywood Reporter (THR): "Sequels are rarely rewarding, but this sorry retread of a once inspired comedy only confirms the bankruptcy of sequel mania."
"Phillips veers off into some action-movie and thriller tropes that help to keep this Hangover from redundancy ... The film isn't always successful in balancing the various tones it's going for, but it at least feels like it's trying something new."
That said, It's not that funny.
"At times it’s debatable whether “The Hangover Part III” should even be considered a comedy at all, as it more often plays like a loopily plotted, exposition-heavy actioner."
"‘Part III’ has curiously little interest in being even remotely funny. Instead, director Todd Phillips inexplicably aims at making a standard action movie, complete with car chases and break-ins that compound the sense of creative bankruptcy."
"Tonally a complete departure from the rest of the series, which is at once laudably brave and disappointingly unfunny."
After Bradley Cooper's performance in last year's "Silver Linings Playbook," a return to "The Hangover" franchise feels ill-suited.
"Cooper seems the most disengaged among the cast, and several of his disdainfully delivered lines can’t help but feel like meta-commentary on the whole affair — “who gives a f---?” and “what the f--- are we watching?” in particular."
"After his Oscar-nominated turn in Silver Linings Playbook and his even deeper performance in The Place Beyond the Pines, Cooper doesn’t have to do much heavy lifting here."
Actually, much of the talent just seems to be phoning it in.
"Helms is surprisingly lackluster on this outing, and Jeong was more startlingly funny in the earlier installments."
"Helms and Cooper don't have all that much to do this time around. The latter, in particular, seems to be going through the motions, just whipping out his patented eye-rolling and flabbergasted sighs."
Instead, it's funny woman Melissa McCarthy to the rescue in a small role who is the best part of the sequel:
"Newcomer Melissa McCarthy, playing a deliciously vile Vegas pawn-shop owner, steals the one scene here that could be spliced into the original film without a loss in quality."
"Alan meets his soulmate, played by Melissa McCarthy in a cameo that is one of the movie’s only bright spots."
If you're not a fan of Ken Jeong's Mr. Chow character, you probably won't enjoy the film.
"Jeong gets a bit more room to explore the role and finds a bit more shading, but if you hate this character, you might just hate this entire movie, as well."
The best part of the film isn't even in the movie.
"It’s only in an end-credits coda that the envelope-pushing of the series is displayed."
If you're looking for the drunken debauchery exhibited in the first two films, you won't find much of it here. While you want "The Hangover III" to be good because it departs from the setup of the first two films, the third installment appears darker with less comedic chops. Also, there technically isn't much of a "hangover." At this point, it looks like "Fast & Furious 6" may be the weekend film to see.
Check out the trailer below:
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