The Hangover: Part III (Blu-ray)

Surprisingly dark and depressing, to call The Hangover Part III a comedy seems disingenuous. After the lively debauchery that made up the bulk of the first two films, it seems director Todd Phillips attempted to do something different with the franchise (which he deserves some credit for), unfortunately, the result is a far too serious, not very good, action movie.

As the film begins, Alan (Zach Galifianakis) is in the midst of a serious downward spiral, having bought a giraffe just because he can. After it ends up getting decapitated on the drive home, the stress of the whole incident contributes to Alan’s father Sid (Jeffrey Tambor) suffering a fatal heart attack. At the funeral, it comes out that Alan has been off his medication for a long time, springing the “Wolfpack”—Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha)—into action, staging an intervention; encouraging their friend to go to a rehab center in Arizona. Alan agrees to go, but only if the Wolfpack will make the drive with him.

The drive doesn’t go quite as expected. Their van is forced off the road by a mobster named Marshall (John Goodman), who recounts that Alan’s buddy Mr. Chow’s  (Ken Jeong) stole $21-million from him in a gold heist, and he wants his money back. Chow has recently escaped from prison and Alan, against his better judgment, has stayed in touch with him. Marshall kidnaps Doug for collateral, and sends the Wolfpack to find Chow and deliver him to his doorstep. If they fail to do so, Doug will be killed. Doesn’t sound much like a comedy, does it?

The previous Hangover movies allowed us to wonder what happen to the characters the night before just as much as they did. Discovering what happened to them was fun and often hilarious. With this third film, it doesn’t look or feel like the characters are enjoying themselves, hence neither do we. Maybe the actors were just bored, but I could help thinking that the fun air is out of The Hangover balloon.

Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms just seem to be going through the motions, their character not adding anything new to The Hangover universe. The bigger problem is the fact that characters that were given limited screen time in the first two films, are given too much here. Ken Jeong is a gifted comedic actor, but he’s at his best in small doses (he’s actually downright hilarious). Given too much time onscreen, Chow quickly overstays his welcome, and becomes downright annoying. Galifianakis’ Alan also gets more screen time, and it’s a mistake. As funny as he can be given the right material, his shtick as Alan has gotten stale.

While The Hangover Part III does offer a few laughs, the story is a disappointment. Todd Phillips likely would have made a more successful film had he gone back to the type of story that carried the first two films in the trilogy.

Presented in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio, Warner Bros. 1080p transfer is wonderful, showcasing excellent detail and texture throughout. Colors are purposely exaggerated, but are nicely saturated. Black levels are nice and deep, contrast is solid. There is no evidence of edge enhancement, DNR, or aliasing.

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is solid as well. Aggressive and immersive, the mix handles the many action scenes well. Sound effects are aided by a strong LFE field. Dialogue is clear, and the mix is well balanced.

English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles are available.

The following special features are included:

  • Replacing Zach: The Secret Auditions (HD, 6:09) A spoof about recasting the role of Alan.
  • The Wolfpack’s Wildest Stunts (HD, 5:10) A very brief look at the production.
  • Zach Galifianakis: In His Own Words (HD, 2:32) Galifianakis offers some thoughts on the film. Think it’s supposed to be funny, but isnt.
  • The Real Chow (HD, 5:24) Is Leslie Chow really Ken Joeng? Or is Joeng really Chow? Not funny.
  • Pushing the Limits (HD, 3:36) The difficulties and rewards of shooting with children and animals.
  • Action Mash-up (HD, 1:09) A fast montage of the film’s action beats.
  • Extended Scenes (HD, 2:03) Three short extended scenes.
  • Outtakes (HD, 7:51) Hilarity from the wolfpack.
  • DVD
  • UltraViolet Digital Copy
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