There may not be a stag night in this “epic finale” to the Hangover trilogy but that doesn’t mean the Wolfpack aren’t up to their usual antics.
The problem is the film is more of a cheesy heist thriller than a comedy. It’s nearest relative is probably Ocean’s Eleven, which was a lot funnier than this.
The movie is never thrilling enough to be an action adventure and it’s never amusing enough to be a humorous romp.
Instead, it’s a strained bromance featuring a series of break-ins, point-blank murder and several unfortunate animals, including a beheaded giraffe, drugged dogs and smothered chickens.
It begins as a road trip – Wolfpack buddies, played by Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Justin Bartha, confront their nutty pal Alan (Zach Galifianakis) about his inability to grow up, then drive him to a desert retreat.
But they’re kidnapped and sent on a wild goose chase to find the crazy Chow (Ken Jeong), who has stolen millions from a mob boss.
It’s obvious that very little thought went into the script, which simply strings together a series of laboured capers that fail miserably to find the humour in each contrived situation. The filmmakers must hope that we fill in our own jokes amid the gross-out silliness and random violence.
And they clearly had money to burn because every scene looks gorgeous, from a lurid Bangkok prison to the mountains of Mexico, to the twinkling lights of Las Vegas. Yes, they bring the trilogy full-circle – right back to where the stupidity began in Part I.
Fortunately, the actors are good enough to hold our interest, adding witty attitude as the jokes fall flat.
Of the leads, Helms turns out to be the most engaging, while Jeong injects some wacky idiocy here and there.
Mob boss John Goodman could play this kind of role in his sleep and that’s essentially what he does.
An extended cameo from Heather Graham is pointless but mildly enjoyable, while Melissa McCarthy offers some spice by flirting shamelessly with Galifianakis.
But it’s all so half-hearted that we really couldn’t care any less about these people.