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Hangover Part III, The (Blu-ray Review)

4 Oct, 2013 By: John Latchem

Street 10/8/13
Box Office $112.2 million
$28.98 DVD, $35.99
Rated ‘R’ for pervasive language including sexual references,
some violence and drug content, and brief graphic nudity.
Stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, John Goodman, Melissa McCarthy, Jeffrey Tambor, Heather Graham.

The first Hangover was a fun romp with a group of friends in over their heads after a wild night in Las Vegas. The second one, relocated to Bangkok, rammed the same formula into the ground with a mean-spirited tone that made us second-guess what we found appealing about these guys. The third movie tweaks the formula, but coasts on whatever remaining affection we have for the characters to deliver a dark final chapter to the misadventures of the Wolfpack.

Instead of getting drunk and waking up with amnesia and having to retrace their steps from the night before to find a missing friend, The Hangover Part III finds Phil, Stu, Alan and Doug (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha) captured by mob kingpin Marshall (John Goodman), who promises to kill them if they can’t track down international criminal Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong), who escaped from the prison he was sent to in the previous movie. It all has to do with some stolen gold, and the guys drive across the Southwest to find it.

The life-and-death stakes will probably be more off-putting than most viewers are used to in their comedy. But the story is a clever way of going through the motions of a “Hangover”-type adventure without resorting to another rehash of the drug-induced amnesia plot device, which was one of the biggest criticisms of the second movie, and connecting the plot to the original forgotten night was a smart move, if not developed as thoroughly as it could have been.

Anyone who was still a fan of the franchise after the second movie will no doubt enjoy the third one, which does a decent job of finishing a storyline that most viewers in retrospect might not have minded stopping after the first one. And while the film is missing a Mike Tyson cameo, director Todd Phillips still manages to mix in some nostalgia in between a few funny gags and bouts of violent gunplay. Be warned, though, that Phillips is never one to shy away from crossing the lines of good taste, as evidenced by an opening sequence involving a decapitated giraffe causing a multicar pile-up on the freeway.

You know the Blu-ray is light on extras when the longest piece is the blooper reel. The disc includes a few comedic bits about the cast, a couple of behind-the-scenes featurettes and a few extended scenes.

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