Sunday, 26 May 2013


It runs at only a little over an hour and a half, but The Hangover Part III feels like a much lengthier film, and there is one simple reason for that: it is a film almost perpetually on the edge. It's a purpose-built comedy, one which makes no attempt to achieve anything other than a high rate of successful gags. There are two issues herein. The first is the high rate - whereas The Hangover Part II was overloaded with (bad) comedy, Part III is light on the funny stuff, to the point where one may ask if the writers were even trying, after Part II's poor reception with audiences. The second is the successful gags - they're barely present. In fact, most of the successful ones are the bad ones, the ones which only the bozos at the back find funny. The rest are lazy, semi-warmed-through riffs on and copies of gags from those of the first two Hangover films. And it's not that I just don't get or appreciate this style of humour - I do, which is why I liked the first Hangover film - it's that The Hangover Part III does this style of humour a disservice, and confirms what its critics have always maintained, and its champions have always denied. Crassness and crudeness sit well with me, but not when they're badly done. And thus it perches ever on the edge of reaching its goal: the punchline, lingering in a comic limbo where we know the joke ought to be but somehow hasn't yet turned up, or did we miss it? Stuttering its way over lifeless skits, as if trying out which approach might work before realising that Vegas was all that ever worked for this franchise, The Hangover Part III is mired from the start by lacklustre writing, directing and acting. Indeed, to see capable comedic actors slum it so sleepily through material that was a tad stale even on its first run is actually quite depressing.