The first "Hangover" movie was a surprise smash hit - and with smash hits come sequels.
"Hangover Part III" promises to be the end of the line for this hugely popular franchise, and that's just fine.
The original Hangover was a very funny movie. It took the premise of a bachelor party gone bad and amped up the energy level enough to make it just this side of outrageous. Mike Tyson and a tiger anyone?
The knock against the second Hangover was that it was too close a carbon copy of the original to be worth much.
Well, the "Hangover Part III" solves THAT problem by not being funny. This is a Hangover suffering from its own hangover.
This time out no one's getting married. Instead the wolfpack - Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis - has to kidnap the goofball Asian gangster Leslie Chow in order to save the life of their buddy Doug.
It's surprising that the movie spends so much of its time on this gangster storyline - it's not that funny, especially since some characters get gunned down. The plot also ends up spotlighting the manic Chow character (Ken Jeong), who I've always considered the weak link in the franchise.
A little Chow goes a long way and there's a lot of Chow.
There are a few scattered chuckles here and there - usually involving Galifianakis, who takes "stupid" to such extremes that he manages to squeeze a laugh out where no laugh deserved to be had. But too much of the time things fall flat.
"We can't be friends anymore," explains Galifianakis. "When we get together bad things happen and friends get hurt."
"Yeah, that's the point," replies Chow. "It's funny!"
Except when it's not.