December 24, 2013

The Hangover Part III: Three Men. A plan. A Roadtrip. Giraffe.

The Hangover Part III
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There it is. The finale to something that should never have been a trilogy in the first place. But hey, oodles of money can’t be wrong. And the original Hangover made oodles of it. But it seems that no one on the production side of this venture really understood, or cares about what made the first one so good looking at the trailer for this, the third installment. Promising from the start, after the first scene it all slowly goes downhill then bursts into flames like the Hindenburg. I guess the one course correction in their mind from all this was, “Well, no one seemed to like Thailand so let’s bring it back to Vegas. That is clearly the only thing that was wrong and we’ll make tons of money and win more awards and it will be like the first one all over again.” Seriously, it looked like making it over the top was the right way to go, and despite the incoherency which I warned about in “How to Judge a Movie by the Trailer,” I was becoming optimistic. Then it happened. The last scene they showed. The stinger that is supposed to leave you laughing hardest so you remember what you just saw.

No. No. Just… no. Call me old fashioned, but that was not funny. It was horrible. Plain rotten. Is this some sort of formula for awful they are running on? Do they not get what made the tiger in the first one so funny or did they just think that since they ran with the animal jokes in the second one (along with the cruelty), that they should just go bigger here. In Django they killed horses. They killed several. But the tone was different. The setting was different. The context was different! It’s kill or be killed in the deep south, so you have to harden yourself to the deeds that need to be done. In this, it seems the entire joke was up front. Zach Galifianakis’ character Alan has a giraffe, it’s killed causing a large traffic accident, and Alan makes a face. Nothing more. No greater substance other than a fool is given a giraffe and he decides to drive under a low bridge.

The reason the tiger worked is because that tiger showed just how crazy their rufilin induced haze of a bachelor party turned out to be. Then on top of that was having to figure out how to return it to its owner. The second one had a smoking monkey. That’s the joke. Oh, and then it gets shot, but they take it to a doctor so it’s alright, kinda. This is just unpleasant. I can see no greater context to this, no bigger picture where some life lesson or theme is touched on with the death of an animal caused by someone’s stupidity. There are films that touch on the death of animals in mature and inspired ways, grim as the situation is. Animals in those stories tend to represent innocence or geniality, as they only tend to run on instinct with no greater reasoning behind their actions besides the fact that they just care. That’s why fictitious or not, there is a problem with the way it was handled here. Context! That’s what’s missing. If in going to see this movie I find out that there is actually something important in Alan having a giraffe I will gladly eat my words on this. But I seriously doubt it.

I like Bradley Cooper. I like Ed Helms. I like Zach, Ken Jeong, Melissa McCarthy and John Goodman. They’ve all been in some great movies and television shows. I assume they’ll be in great ones after this. But this, I can’t get behind. It’s in theaters May 24th. If you don’t think it’s that big of a deal since it’s just a movie, go see it, have some very funny moments. I just can’t get behind this.

By Marc Price

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