‘The Hangover III’ cruel to animals but generous with the gags

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After the first Hangover film featured a baby in tow – adding more chaos to our bad lads’ stack of troubles, and with the second having featured a cheeky monkey, I would have liked to have seen the third (and supposedly final) of the popular franchise incorporating a genuine canine into ‘The Wolfpack’. A cute puppy would have done it. Then they could have called the flick The Hangover III: Hair Of The Dog. Genius!

Indeed, there are no cutesy animal shenanigans in the latest Hangover instalment but instead in-yer-face animal cruelty. The opening scene sees loveable dumb-ass Alan (Zack  Galifianakis) proudly towing a giant, real-life giraffe along a freeway when – whoopsies – the creature’s tall neck whacks into a bridge and its head gets torn off only to land smack-bang on the windscreen of an unsuspecting driver.

Sure, it’s likely that no animal was actually hurt in the making of the movie (thank you CGI) but the lack of sentiment is certainly evident and we’re pretty sure animal activist groups like PETA and the RSPCA would be up in arms about it all. But it has to be said, the scene – although somewhat sickening – is very, very funny.

Once you get past the anti-animalia antics (there’s also a scene where ‘cocaine-addled’ roosters are abruptly handled), audiences should find the endless escapades in The Hangover Part III well worth the laugh – a laugh for every cent of the admission price, practically.

The topsy-turvy plot sees evil criminal Chow (introduced to us in the first movie) escaping from an Asian prison, all Shawshank Redemption-style, only to end up in Mexico with a request sent out to gullible Alan to meet him south of the border to “catch up”.

In reality, what Chow wants to do is con the Wolfpack into committing his dirty crimes for him.

What follows is a cat-and-mouse game that sees the boys ending up in Vegas once more, pathetically trying to get into famed Caesar’s Palace from the roof so as to nab Chow and bring him to justice (it’s either that or death to one of their friends by a hefty Mafioso played perfectly by John Goodman).

Yes, all the usual suspects are here, including blue-eyed, butter-wouldn’t-melt Phil (Bradley Cooper) who pretty much instigates the whole thing by suggesting that Alan be sent to a retreat for rehabilitation (of course they’re detoured), and dodgy dentist Stu (Ed Helms) who gets his hands on enough illegally prescribed drugs that even Chow can sniff them from across a smoky karaoke room.

Familiar and predictable in parts? Sure. But that’s why audiences love comedies like this. We see the gag coming but just don’t think the guys on the big screen will actually do it. In The Hangover Part III the dumb dudes do it again and again. And again.


The Hangover Part III is in cinemas now.

Click on the image top of story to view the trailer.