Slow, sentimental and somewhat sedated, the third "Hangover" movie isn't so much exhausted of outrageous "Oh no, they DIDN'T!" ideas, as it is spent of energy. And they knew it, too. The only raunchy moment is stuffed into the closing credits, a "we forgot to do that" afterthought.
They know they're done. They just want to make sure we know.
"The Hangover Part III" becomes a fairly conventional caper comedy with the capers driven by the still-cackling, far-less-manic Mr. Chow, played right to the edge of caricature by the irrepressible Ken Jeong.
It begins with Alan (Zach Galifianakis) buying and accidentally decapitating a (digital) giraffe, driving his doting dad (Jeffrey Tambor) to a heart attack. And that's just the first death.
Ditzy Alan needs an intervention, and that's when the "Wolf Pack" is commissioned to deliver him to a rehab facility in Arizona. On the way, they're car-jacked by a mobster (John Goodman) who takes hapless Doug (Bartha, who's had the "missing" role in all three films, poor fellow) hostage. The Wolf Pack has to track down the thieving Chow, who has escaped from a Thai prison.
"You introduced a virus into my life, Mr. Chow," the mob boss bellows. Go fetch him.
The boys promise to "take him out" to save Doug. That leads us to Tijuana and eventually back to where all this started - Las Vegas.
There's only one funny cameo, and funny lines are rare and random.
People and animals die.
The racist zingers are pulled punches:
"We're looking for an Asian guy. He's short."
"They're ALL short."
As is the movie, though it plays considerably longer than the first two. As "Hangovers" go, "Part III" isn't challenging or unpleasant, just forgettable.
"THE HANGOVER PART III"
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Ken Jeong, John Goodman
Director: Todd Phillips
Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Rated: R for pervasive language including sexual references, some violence and drug content, and brief graphic nudity