‘The Hangover Part III’ returns to Vegas, but probably shouldn’t have

Justin Bartha, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms and Bradley Cooper in ‘The Hangover Part III.’ Rated R, 100 min. Warner Bros., 2013.

“The Hangover” really should have been left to stand alone as a raucous and original piece of dirty comedy. The first sequel simply repeated the memory-wiped night in Vegas plot in Bangkok, and the second sequel, “The Hangover Part III,” seems to have been made without any plot at all. Bradley Cooper (as cool guy Phil), Ed Helms (as smart guy Stu) and Zach Galifianakis (as creepy man-child Alan) all return, but many of the so-called jokes hit the screen with a stale thud.

As “The Wolfpack” is reunited to help one of its members get to rehab, they are given a random task to do involving Chinese gangster Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong), who had funny cameos in the first films, but whose overexposure here becomes annoying and downright offensive.

While Melissa McCarthy was an inspired choice as a match for Galifianakis, women barely figure into the story at all – the only female characters are literally either wives or prostitutes. John Goodman can’t do much with a thankless role as the villain, and apparently wild-card Mike Tyson declined to go three-for-three in the series. Let’s hope the posters were right, and this really is “The End.”

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