The Less-Than-Fab Four (Warner Bros.)
The Less-Than-Fab Four
(Warner Bros.)

With each new film, it becomes increasingly clear that Craig Mazin’s concept of humor is a bit off.  Before the stench of his annoyingly out of touch Identity Thief has time to wear off, here comes The Hangover Part III, a waste of time and talent that, like his other 2013 effort, fails to qualify as a comedy.  Paired with the once formidable writer/director Todd Philips, Mazin churns out yet another harsh, unfunny story, wringing the Wolfpack through a predicament that works more as a dark, troubling heist drama than something out for laughs.  Assured that the film will make big money regardless of content, the man-child foursome waltz through one lazy scene after another, uninspired by the material, themselves, or even the city where all the madness began.

 (Warner Bros.)
Makes Buster Bluth look like a MacArthur Genius.
(Warner Bros.)

While friends Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Harris), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) track down nemesis Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) as ransom to free Doug (Justin Bartha) from crime boss Marshall (John Goodman), irritation reigns supreme and mere chuckles are tough to find.  Given free reign with little sense of structure, the film primarily consists of eccentrics Alan and Chow gratingly out of control and not really trying all that hard to entertain. When a stray gesture by either manages to connect, it’s almost by accident and just vaguely reminiscent of happier times long ago when the franchise had a hint of freshness.  The third time around, however, is a painful throwaway, and one where actors who’ve elsewhere proven their respective talents go through the motions as if at gunpoint.

Grade: D

Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, some violence and drug content, and brief graphic nudity.

The Hangover Part III is currently playing at the Carolina Cinemas on Hendersonville Rd.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLAkxSjs8ZY]

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