MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Hangover III’ has its own charms


I was embarrassed how much I laughed at “The Hangover,” which was good, old-fashioned profane humor from start to finish. My soul was dirtied but I was entertained.

My high hopes for “The Hangover II” weren’t anywhere close to met. The movie was just as profane, but the laughs were hard to find.

I didn’t know what to expect with “The Hangover III.” I went in with an open mind, and ended up having a pretty good time at the movies.

Consequences from the first movie catch up to the guys this time. Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) are taking Alan (Zach Galifianakis) to a rehab facility in Arizona when a moving van runs them off the road.

Before you can say, “Plot device,” Doug’s been kidnapped, and Phil, Stu and Alan must find Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong), or Doug will be killed.

Writer-director Todd Phillips deviates from the formula, because the trio aren’t trying to retrace forgotten steps after a drug-infused night of epic excess.

The group dynamic between Alan’s child-man, Phil’s cool-guy-in-over-his-head and Stu’s nerd-with-a-wildside works as well as it ever has. Throw Mr. Chow into the mix, and the recipe is combustible.

But the characters aren’t always their one-note selves. Both Alan and Mr. Chow have unexpected moments of introspection that fit well with the rest of the movie.

Alan also finds a love interest in Cassie (Melissa McCarthy), who lacks all the same social filters he lacks. Woe to anyone forced to attend a family reunion with that pair.

There’s plenty of bad language and adult situations, but “III” is tame compared to the previous movies – at least, that holds true until the closing credits, which are worth waiting for if you want an embarrassed laugh for the way home.

I’ve seen other reviews that punished “III” for not living up to the original “Hangover.” It’s true. That experience hasn’t been replicated, but “III” has its own charms, and I didn’t feel like I needed a scalding hot shower afterward.

I give “The Hangover III” a B plus.

It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville and Movie Reel 4 in New Albany.

Wizard review

Kelli Karlson with Wizard 106.7 gives “The Hangover III” a D.

“Go see ‘Star Trek.’”

Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.

M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal