Four years ago I sat in a movie theater on a weekday afternoon (don’t ask me why) and watched The Hangover. And I laughed my ass off. I’ve always been a fan of comedies and I’ve always loved to laugh and that movie just hit all the right notes with me and everyone else as well. The film went onto gross nearly a half a billion dollars worldwide and a sequel was a foregone conclusion. It happened and it was essentially the same movie as the first one, though set in Bangkok. As we learned in Scream, it’s all about the trilogies and it being an odd-numbered year, The Hangover Part III was a guarantee. Odds are that you’re either a fan of these films or you’re not. Yes, they’re lewd and gross, they contain sophomoric humor and the like, but they make us laugh. To me that’s what counts. The first two went on the same gag – our trio wakes up missing a member of their klan (Doug, who has had about 15 minutes of collective screen time in all three films), can’t remember the night before and try to piece things back together. This third installment takes a departure from those earlier two and the result is, well, let’s find out.
The Wolfpack, led by Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) has had better days. Their fourth member, Doug (Justin Bartha), has been kidnapped by a drug lord by the name of Marshall (John Goodman). You see, Marshall has had over $20 million (half of his fortune) in gold bars stolen from him by Chow (Dr. Ken Joeng) a few years earlier. Marshall’s making it their problem since the events of that night (The Hangover Part I) led to the theft. The thing is…they have no idea how to find Chow, though it turns out that he and Alan have kept in touch. Once he’s entered the scene, he’s back to his old tricks and the group manage to salvage the other half of the golf bars. And the plan is simple: get the gold back to Marshall, reclaim Doug (again) and get on with their lives. But they’re now back where it all began – in Vegas. Will they be able to squirm out of their predicament now or has Doug’s seemingly endless supply of nine lives finally run out?
Fans of these movies won’t try to piece together all of the facts, rather they’ll just revel in all that’s The Hangover and be thankful for it. Ironically enough, there’s not a lot of drinking in this movie and there’s sure as hell no one hungover. Not a big deal, though. Taking front and center are the comic geniuses that are Zach Galifianakis and Ken Joeng. These two make this movie. Where the first two were lowbrow, that’s now been replaced by just the right amount of homosexual innuendo that makes it both uncomfortable and cringe-worthy at the same time. And yes, it’s all funny. There’s a scene in which Alan is quizzing Phil about where he got his shirt and finally admits that it’s a “cute top” and he’d like to get one for himself. Hilarious! Look for a few familiar faces as well, they’ve brought out nearly everyone for this finale. While maybe not quite as funny as the first, this certainly makes up for the sequel and viewers should be more than happy to watch the Wolfpack self-destruct again.
Video: How’s it look?
Certainly this movie is one of Warner’s bigger titles of the year and as such, anything less than perfect will not be tolerated. The 2.40:1 AVC HD image is just as we’d expect – a pristine example of anything and everything that the Blu-ray format has to offer. I found the earthy tones in the film a bit on the warmer side, then again this movie does take place in the desert (and later in Vegas) so it was to be expected. Detail is amazing, we can see the beads of sweat, the scruff of Bradley Cooper’s perpetual five o’clock shadow and even the remnants of Stu’s tattoo removal. Stunning. Black levels and contrast work well off one another as well. No complaints here in the least.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The included DTS HD Master Audio mix is firing on all cylinders as well, with a pretty active front stage giving way to the surrounds and LFE for some added action. Dialogue is at the forefront of the movie with Ken Joeng’s stereotypical accent leading the way. The vocals from the rest of the characters pale by comparison, though there’s not a bit of distortion that I heard. Surround effects are thrown in for good measure and add some extra energy to the mix, pardon the pun. This soundtrack does have some legs, though – I was surprised at how many times I was surprised to hear the sounds coming out of my speakers. For a comedy, this packs some serious punch. Well done.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Though a more robust edition might be in the works, the features included aren’t a total wash. Here’s what to expect:
Replacing Zach: The Secret Auditions – We’re presented with an obvious gag as some of Hollywood’s talent submits audition tapes to replace Zach in the film.
The Wolfpack’s Wildest Stunts – The cast and crew reflect on some of the stunts in this installment.
Zach Galifianakis in His Own Words – Essentially just that, Zach Galifianakis talks about his role in the film(s).
Pushing the Limits – Never work with animals or children. They, of course, did both.
Inside Focus: The Real Chow – Ken Joeng messes with us and tries to lend confusion as to who is really who
Action Mash-Up – A montage of the film’s action sequences.
Extended Scenes – A trio of longer “uncut” scenes from the film.
Outtakes – I’m sure there were plenty more where these came from, but this should suffice.