The Hangover Part III Blu-ray Review
How do you finish up the trilogy for a beloved comedy franchise based entirely on the potential debauchery surrounding a bachelor’s party? When THE HANGOVER came out several years ago, it surprised people by pushing the limits of absurdity, including some original ideas and very funny characters. When THE HANGOVER PART II was released (see our review here) it basically set the bar for the least original sequel in the history of the universe. So, I couldn’t wait (can you hear the sarcasm dripping out), I mean, I could not wait for the third (and hopefully final) film in the series. And I will share a surprising tidbit – I didn’t hate it. I really didn’t. Sadly the most positive thing I can say for it, though, is that it’s hopefully over… the series, I mean.
Catching up with Alan (Zach Galifianakis), Stu (Ed Helms) and Phil (Bradley Cooper) a few years after the events of THE HANGOVER PART II, THE HANGOVER PART III actually (thankfully!) strays from the formula that made the first two films so successful… but sadly the formula was apparently the only thing keeping these characters even moderately interesting. Now they’re just boring, living out their lives in relative obscurity until Alan’s father dies suddenly and his friends are brought in to try to stage an intervention with him. He agrees to get help for his issues but only if Stu, Phil, and Doug (Justin Bartha reprising his small role from the other films) take him. The clinic is somewhere in Mexico and the troupe begins the journey on a bit of a melancholy note.
On the way, though, our ‘heroes’ are run off the road and taken deeper into Mexico. Apparently their antics in the first two movies had some unintended consequences, including upsetting a very powerful drug lord. Now that they’ve set into motion the current situation, Doug will be killed if the trio can’t find and bring in Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong, also reprising his role from the previous films). Chow has just escaped from prison so he’s not the easiest person to find but the trio has almost no trouble (very believable). Unlike the other movies, the guys don’t spend the movie trying to piece together things they did the night before. This time they’re following in the footsteps of the insane Chow, making things worse everywhere they go.
Even though this is very similar to the past two movies, THE HANGOVER PART III is at least more original than THE HANGOVER PART II, though there is precious little here to celebrate. The actors are all very talented but seem to be going through the motions a bit here. Even the writing is a bit lax, leaving believability at the door and continuing to try to reach the absurdist heights of the predecessors. But even these things are all, well, okay… the worst thing about THE HANGOVER PART III is the focus on former side characters – Alan (Galifianakis) and Chow (Jeong). Both of these marginal characters work, to some degree, in the first two movies BECAUSE they are smaller roles – they come in, they say crazy things or DO crazy things, and then we don’t think about them until they reappear, make us laugh, and disappear again. It works like that, which shouldn’t be surprising to any fans of either Jeong or Galifianakis. But when they become central to the plot, even LEADS in the flick, it’s a bit of a disaster.
Even though I didn’t hate it, I’m sorry to say that I cannot recommend THE HANGOVER PART III, and that (lack of) recommendation really speaks to its premise, it’s writing, and the general lackadaisical manner with which it seems the entire thing was put together. It never comes together, even though the actors have incredible chemistry, and that owes directly to the filmmakers. They just aren’t likeable. Even the random humor is this time a bit too intentional, taking away from the enjoyment of even those truly random moments. If you’re a HUGE fan of the series you’ll probably see it anyway, but if you’re not this one absolutely won’t change your mind.
THE HANGOVER PART III BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2.40:1) THE HANGOVER PART III features a nice video transfer that brings out the grit in Mexico and the beauty of the lights in Vegas. The video presentation was given a lot of effort and it shows.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) The audio track for THE HANGOVER PART III is equally good with phenomenal sound mixing and editing that contribute to the story without ever pulling you out… (they leave that to the script)
Behind the Scenes: Replacing Zach: The Secret Auditions (06:09) A short featuring a bunch of actors doing mock auditions for Galifianakis’s role in THE HANGOVER PART III. This is considerably funnier than the movie – highly recommended. Worth it for the few moments with Jeffrey Tambor, let alone the other auditions.
Behind the Scenes: The Wolfpack’s Wildest Stunts (05:10) Cast and crew discuss the stunts from the film, interspersed with footage from the film and behind the scenes footage from THE HANGOVER PART III.
Behind the Scenes: Zach Galifianakis in His Own Words (02:32) A very strange interview with Galifianakis, kind of stream of consciousness. If you like him, you’ll enjoy this addition to THE HANGOVER PART III Blu-ray.
Behind the Scenes: Pushing the Limits (03:36) This one focuses on the physical comedy from THE HANGOVER PART III, specifically working with animals, children, etc.
Featurette: Inside Focus: The Real Chow (05:24) A featurette focusing on Ken Jeong and his personal story, positing that Ken Jeong is fake and Mr. Chow is who he really is. Another really well done special feature on THE HANGOVER PART III… too bad the movie didn’t hold up its end of the deal.
Action Mash-Up (01:09) Exciting moments from THE HANGOVER PART III presented literally as a mash-up. Too much for me without substance.
Extended Scenes (02:03) A couple of scenes from THE HANGOVER PART III are presented here. Not really enough for a full fledged feature…
Outtakes (07:51) I generally enjoy Outtakes, but these just feel self-indulgent… much like THE HANGOVER PART III.
THE HANGOVER PART III also comes with a DVD copy of the film and a DigitalHD digital copy through UltraViolet.