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Hangover and out... but with a bang!

Philip Cu-Unjieng (The Philippine Star) - May 30, 2013 - 12:00am

Film review: Hangover 3

MANILA, Philippines - Now officially a franchise series, the Hangover trilogy comes to a rousing close with part three. Warner Bros. has certainly made hay with what started off as a comedy that deftly played on every prospective bride’s nightmare of nightmares, the wild Las Vegas bachelor’s weekend. Thanks to strong characterizations, the Wolfpack of Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) have become poster boys for male bonding brought to ridiculous — and hilarious — extremes.

If part two relied on the exotic locale of Bangkok, and brought Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) into the spotlight, to carry the film to new heights; this part three smartly brings the story of our Wolfpack to a satisfying resolution. And this is largely achieved by playing up the two characters who give true craziness a new standard — Alan and Leslie.

The serviceable plot has to do with Alan being off his meds, suffering the loss of his ever-patient and tolerating father; and Leslie breaking out of a Bangkok penitentiary and coming back to America to wreak havoc, and claim the money he stole from a local crime lord (John Goodman). It’s the twist and turns of the story that keeps us mentally occupied, while our funny bone is put on overdrive as situations are utilized as fodder for giveaway lines and sight gags that keep us in stitches. Hangover was always about verbalizing the politically incorrect and the thoughts we may have but never actually say out of common decency. With Hangover, rules and niceties are thrown out the window, with smashing success. And what always clicked with the movie was how the three main members of the pack — Phil, Stu and Alan were each so different, and so brought to life by Bradley, Ed and Zach.

With part three, there’s no bachelor party, no wedding; but a lot of subversive insanity, and hilarious disasters beckon on every corner. There is a return to the original scene of the crime, Las Vegas; and to the film producers’ credit, a whole lot of Leslie — turning comedian Ken into a major lynchpin of this movie’s equity. Who knows, the Wolfpack may have called it a day, but in true Hollywood fashion, we may have a future movie that will center on Leslie. That would be something for the comedian/actor born to Korean immigrants, and who actually has a medical degree.

Until then, we have part three to keep us company, and remind us of just how well comedy “travels.”

ALAN AND LESLIE BRADLEY COOPER ED AND ZACH ED HELMS JOHN GOODMAN JUSTIN BARTHA KEN JEONG LAS VEGAS LESLIE LESLIE CHOW
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