Peter Suderman Reviews The Hangover Part III

Hangover III via Warner BrosHangover III via Warner BrosSenior Editor Peter Suderman reviews the third installment in the Hangover franchise:

It’s been said that you can’t go wrong underestimating your audience. “The Hangover Part III” plays like an extended attempt to test the limits of that idea. Grating and unfunny, cynical and stupid, it’s a movie that expects exactly nothing of its viewers, and offers them the same in return.

“Part III” is predicated on a fundamental error: that being irritating is also somehow hilarious. Over the course of 100 minutes or so, it throws virtually all of its weight behind this mistaken theory of comedy. The predictable result is a movie that is incredibly irritating and not at all funny.

Granted, it is not simply irritating. It is also cruel, jaded, and deeply juvenile. Like its predecessors, the movie is rated R, which is supposed to indicate that a film is not appropriate for children under the age of 17. The movie’s general foulness probably makes it unsuitable for anyone. But even being generous, the rating’s age floor is backwards. Instead, I would suggest that 17 is actually the upper limit on the age of individuals who might appreciate the movie’s lame shenanigans.

“The Hangover Part III” is the sort of comedy that relies heavily on infantile gags involving things like human rear-end-sniffing and unwanted homosexual come-ons. LOL, right? Or so the filmmakers hope. This is a movie designed for people who spend much of the running time texting, which is exactly what several audience members at the screening I attended did. 

To be clear, the problem is not gross-out humor in and of itself. It’s the movie’s lazy substitution of cheap offense for laughs. The movies that manage to turn outrage into knee slappers — think “Borat” or “Team America” — have a take-no-prisoners zeal that the latest “Hangover” can’t match. It comes across as tired and desperate, a trailer-length gimmick that has now been extended into three feature-length escapades.

Read the whole thing in The Washington Times

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  • A Serious Man||

    I think Roger Ebert said it best:

    "What movies, including Joe Dirt, often do not understand is that the act of being buried in crap is not in and of itself funny."

    You can be offensive and funny (e.g There's Something About Mary), but you still have to create real characters and hire actors funny enough to pull it off.

  • Duke||

    The Hangover sucked incredibly. But I could pretty much tell that from the previews.

    The Farrelly brothers movies like Kingpin (my all time favorite comedy) have what all great comedies require: character depth, a proper story arc and an underlying moral purpose.

    That said, I absolutely hate with a passion the Big Lebowski for those same reasons. My friends who claim that as their favorite comedy, in turn don’t like Kingpin. Go fig.

  • dinkster||

    You both lack taste. Everyone knows caddyshack is the all time greatest comedy.

  • Copernicus||

    Somebody step on a duck?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Suderman, your total lack of examples is really disappointing. I mean, what do you think, you're going to "spoil" it for us?

  • Hugh Akston||

    “Part III” is predicated on a fundamental error: that being irritating is also somehow hilarious.

    Isn't this basically the underlying assumption of all comedy for the last decade and a half or so?

  • Homple||

    You got in just ahead of me.

  • ||

    It also seems to be the underlying assumption of a disappointingly large percentage of porn.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, and Rob Schneider like this on Facebook.

  • ||

    Something, something, Tulpa.

  • Dweebston||

    Shorter Suderman: no surprises here.

  • ||

    Suderman, did you actually pay money to see that movie?

  • Almanian!||

    Oh, come on! He's Cosmo all the way - the Atlantic magazine paid to fly him to their Secret Lair™ for a private screening.

  • Lord Humungus||

    with free cocktailz!

  • Almanian!||

    nomnomnom! Cocktailz!

  • Hugh Akston||

    No wonder he hated it. I would hate any movie I watched while getting a handy from Ezra Klein too.

  • ||

    I remember seeing a trailer for the first Hangover, and it actually offended me with something incredibly obnoxious, although I can't remember why now, such that I immediately said, "Fuck that movie and everyone who likes it." Unfortunately, that left me in the tiny minority among my friends.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    I remember seeing a trailer for the first Hangover, and it actually offended me with something incredibly obnoxious

    Was it a side boob?

  • ||

    I know, I know. I really never get offended. I can't remember if it was just incredibly stupid, or a joke about a dead hooker or something, but it pissed me off.

  • Dylboz||

    I was greatly offended by the gratuitous decapitation of a giraffe in the trailer for Part 3. They since removed that from the previews, I noticed. Still, enough for me not to see it, although I wouldn't see Part 2, either. One was absolutely enough.

  • kinnath||

    I watched the first one and found it fairly amusing. But it was like coming into work on Monday morning and hearing some of my younger, stupider coworkers trying to piece together all the things they did that weekend but were too drunk to remember.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    I watched the first one and found it fairly amusing.

    Yeah, I laughed at some of it too. Reminded me of the same stupid shit I did when I was cool. The dentist waking up missing a tooth and married to a hooker was a pretty good scene, IMO, but what the hell do I know.

  • kinnath||

    It was on satellite TV, and I had nothing better to do. I remember thinking "that wasn't as bad as the trailer indicated it would be".

  • Almanian!||

    I had the displeasure to catch about 5 minutes - literally - of the first movie when my juvenile son was watching with my juvenile son in law. I ascertained at the time that it was vomitous dreck, and never saw another minute.

    The ads for "II" confirmed the wisdom of this course of action.

    The fact that Zack GalifiGREEKNAME is in "III" makes this one truly a no brainer. He's the most annoying piece of shit extant, and anything with him in it - including his comedy special on Comedy Central - is to be avoided like the Plague, or sex with sub-Saharan African homosexual drug users.

    But thanks for taking one for the team, Peter. May your next movie be a modern "Bridge on the River Kwai"....to cleanse the palate.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    including his comedy special on Comedy Central - is to be avoided like the Plague, or sex with sub-Saharan African homosexual drug users.

    It's obnoxious humor all the way down!

  • Almanian!||

    THANKYOUCLEVELANDGOODNIGHT!

  • ||

    Yes! Let the hate flow through you!

  • ||

    I am not a fan of Galifianakis but he was in 3 episodes of RENO 911! so I can't condemn all of his work.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I am not quite sure, but I seem to be getting the impression that Mr. Suderman did not care for this film...?

  • Jesus H. Christ||

    Question for Suderman: Did you like the first installment of the series, or have you disliked them all?

  • Peter Suderman||

    I didn't like the first one much, but it felt like a real effort. I could understand, to some extent, why someone might enjoy it. It didn't feel like an insult to moviegoers. It felt like comedy that I don't care for.

  • Jesus H. Christ||

    Thanks for the response. It seemed by your review that the Hangover series in general was just not your cup of tea.

  • ||

    So is The Hangover Part III: Ow My Balls! the full title of this movie?

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