There was the age of the wolf-pack, with its own lone wolf with a beard. They have extended that age so much that the first movie had to suffer the consequences of getting the bad name of not inspiring worthy enough sequels. No, the sequels are not that horrible, but they are just faded visions of what the original was, and considering what Dude, Where’s My Car? happened to be, and the memory loss being shown in an even better way before the series, these two sequels struggle to keep up with them. Well, stupidity might save one or two movies, and the same theme which doesn’t have that much chance of repetition can’t be that much of a saviour, but as long as this part is concerned, it has just managed to make it interesting enough. It surely trails in comparison to the other Hollywood movies in the theatres right now, but it has surely made it into the good movies list, and the moments when it was going to go down can be forgiven. It has fought hard, and it has made sure that it won’t lose. As most of the shows are now already nearly booked and full around here, I guess it will have a good run here.
Welcome the wolf-pack again, for this should be their final battle in the big screen together in a Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2, “it ends” style unless they decide to expand the triology many years later or create a spin-off or a reboot; Bradley Cooper as Phil Wenneck (the unproclaimed, but still the seeming leader of the lost wolf gang), Ed Helms as Dr. Stuart Price (the dentist-doctor with a gorgeous Thai connection) a.k.a Stu, Zach Galifianakis as Alan Garner (former member of a lone wolf-pack) and Justin Bartha as Doug Billings (the man lost and found in Las Vegas and to be lost again). Well, they surely must have had a death wish, not only in the movie, but also outside, as they were on a battle against Fast & Furious 6 which had already accumulated enough people to watch the movie with its first trailer itself. There were people who forgot everything else just for that one racing-action-adventure movie, and unfortunately, this movie doesn’t create that high an impression, and it also fails to invoke curiosity, thanks to the second installment of the series which preceded this. But the gang is still up for a fight, and they will surely win territories especially because the Vin Diesel starrer was released one week earlier at this part of the world.
After being arrested in Bangkok, Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) escapes from prison through a tunnel he made in the The Shawshank Redemption style using a prison riot as cover. Meanwhile, Alan Garner (Zach Galifianakis) has gotten mentally worse and tries buying a giraffe as a friend but it gets beheaded under a bridge causing a Final Destination 2 situation on the highway minus the horrible deaths. His father is shocked and angry at him and dies of a heart attack. After the funeral, Alan’s old friends Phil Wenneck (Bradley Cooper), Doug Billings (Justin Bartha) and Stuart Price (Ed Helms) make a return to find out that he is kind of out of control and decides to get him to rehabilitation centre. But they are captured by Marshall (John Goodman) and asks them to return the gold Chow had stolen from them, along with the robber himself, as Alan was the only one in contact with him through letters to and from the Thai prison. He also keeps Doug as a prisoner so that they won’t stray away from their path. Now they have three days to find the person or their friend dies, an equation which is simple enough.
Alan has an e-mail from Chow talking about them meeting in the city of Tijuana in Mexico. Stu and Phil attempt to drug Chow and capture him, but when he finds it out, they reveal to him about the deal with Marshall and the need to save Doug. Chow agrees to take the gold back to the man, but it is stored in the walls of the basement of a Mexican villa that he used to own before he was captured by the police. Stu, Alan and Phil goes on the robbery mission with Chow and successfully find and take out the gold from inside the walls. But Chow cheats them, as he locks them down in the basement, alerts the security, and escapes with Phil’s own vehicle. They are arrested, but are surprised when they are taken back to the house from where the stole the money. There they meet Marshall again who tells them that Chow had lied to them amd the villa never belonged to him, and the gold which they were stealing belonged to Marshall. But he gives them another chance, as they already found Chow and they might be the only ones who might know where to look for him. So the wolf-pack is out there again, this time with less clues.
One thing that might be clearer than most of the things out there must be the fact that there is no real hangover in this one and therefore the title is of lesser significance and this one belonging to the series is more of a less suitable thing. But still, arguing that this movie is the result of two hangovers that happened earlier, and mostly the first one, this is that part of the series which is an extension. It has both the first and the second parts in it, and it tries to build on those two, and without them, this movie is absolute nothingness. The movie successfully deviates from the original formula, but that has done not much good, except for bringing a little dark shade associated with what was otherwise good fun. This dark side is rather an eclipse and with it should this movie series end, as it is known. But they have given themselves a scope for another movie with that end, and it is not a good sign. It should have ended with the scene before the closing credits, but it chose to bring a hangover element to this movie after it had successfully finished. That was one of the worst things ever, as a happy ending which is really an end, would have done this series a lot of good. Now someone might think about building on it and make it miserable without knowing that all good things must end well.
There is lot of fun, but it should still be considered as a lazy effort, with nothing special to offer, and what it has done is that it has alienated the common viewers who loved it even further more. The essence of losing one person has been kept in there though, as one person is destined to be lost in every movie of the series, and this time, it is again Doug which gets his “I am lost, please find me” score to two out of three, which is very good as he has much less to do even as an important member of the wolf-pack. There is too much of Chow instead, which is surely funny, but at times it does get irritating. The most laughter-deriving character is still that of Alan, and there is nothing changing that this time too. For the Malayalam movie watchers, there is a little bit of Jagadish from In Harihar Nagar in Alan this time, and it can be identified by the way in which he cries with no reason. 2 Harihar Nagar and In Ghost House Inn had made better sequels in Malayalam, but this one doesn’t do that much good to the original. The lack of innovation haunts this movie in its soul and the jokes might not be enough for all.
Behold the negative reviews though, for how much can something go on with a group of alcoholic drug addicts who mess up things because of their own fault only. The repetition always have its limitations, and the lack of repetition leads to a diversion from what made this series a grand success; such is the confusion and thus the complication. There is a limit to what drugs and alcohol can achieve, even in the movies. With the signs, “Alcohol is injurious to Health”, “Smoking is Injurious to Health” and “Drugs Kill”, the movie might have been against the use of the drugs which started all the trouble in the first place, but in many ways, it also glorifies the same, just as the Malayalam movie Spirit glorifies alcohol consumption throughout the first half. The comparison is surely far-fetched, but when you deconstruct them, there is a seventy five percent chance that you come up with the same conclusion once in a while. As this is an R-rated comedy, one has to wonder how much the censor board has cut just to make it adjustable to this world. One has to wait for the DVD to know exactly how much of the movie has gone to the grave, never seen by the people of this part of the world. Still, this time it looks less cut and that is a surprise!
Release date: 31st May 2013 (India), 23rd May 2013 (USA)
Running time: 100 minutes
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, Heather Graham, Jeffrey Tambor, Justin Bartha, John Goodman, Jamie Chung, Lela Loren
@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.