If you’re someone who decided months ago that you were going to head out to your local multiplex as early as humanly possible to catch The Hangover Part III, I doubt you’re even reading this. No amount of critical conjecture is going to sway you from delighting in the continuing travails of Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and the rest of the gang. And if you’re anyone else in the world who is checking out this review out of a morbid curiosity as to how they were able to milk this already dried up teat of a storyline, I can only imagine that the only piece of information you want is to find out how far into the movie they get before shoving poor Justin Bartha out of the way (he’s played poor pitiful Doug in all three films) so the plot can concentrate on the pretty boy and his two goofball pals. The answer: about 15 minutes.
By that time, the wheels are already in motion with the boys being conscripted by a mean and nasty gangster named Marshall (John Goodman) to find their old buddy Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong). There’s some stolen gold that Marshall wants back from Chow, who is seen at the beginning of the film breaking out of prison. For some cocked up reason, Marshall thinks his only hope in tracking him down are the three stooges of this storyline. The gangster’s insurance for their success: kidnapping Doug, lest we have to deal with Bartha’s unpretty face and unfunny presence for 85 more minutes. Whew. From there on, all viewers can do is marvel at how overwritten, overacted, and overwrought this fitfully unfunny cash grab really is.
If you’re a begrudging fan of the series or the aforementioned curiosity seeker who might actually go see this film, the only advice I can offer you about this otherwise dreadful trudge through the comedy muck is to keep your eyes at all times on Zach Galifianakis. The absolute glee that he exhibits in playing the perpetual man-child Alan and the weird spin he gives most of his dialogue never wears thin. No matter how ridiculous the scenario or exposition, Galifianakis is absolutely present — something you can’t say for his co-stars.