EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


May 23, 2013


Director and stars say this is the last

Throughout humankind’s long experience with debauchery, indulgence and self-destruction, there has never been a problem with hangover withdrawal. “Hangover” withdrawal? That may be another issue.

But we simply have to face it: With tonight’s opening of “The Hangover Part III,” the comedy series about (almost) ordinary guys in remarkably screwed-up situations, ends a lucrative run that began in 2009 in Las Vegas, continued in 2011 in Bangkok and now takes a swing into Tijuana before landing back in Vegas. It’s the end of the road trip. There will be no Part IV. No prequels, no sequels. No “Hangover” Christmas Special.

“Although that’s a great idea,” said writer-director Todd Phillips. “I like that.”

“It is, in fact, over,” said actor Bradley Cooper. “And I think it’s kind of really wonderful to go out on a high note. But this is the end. Todd dedicated six years of his life to this, and the fact that he was able to create three movies in that time period, we’re all very lucky for that. But he’s got to move on and do other stuff.”

As do they all. The Oscar-nominated Cooper, who has played high school teacher Phil Wenneck for all three “Hangover” films, will be appearing soon alongside his “Silver Linings Playbook” co-star Jennifer Lawrence in “Serena.” Zach Galifianakis — “The Hangover’s” bizarre child-man Alan Garner — has the comedy “You Are Here” coming up; Justin Bartha, who plays Doug Billings, stars as punk rocker Stiv Bators in the upcoming “CBGB” movie, and Ed Helms — who plays Stu, the nervous Dockers-wearing nerd with the face tattoo (erased for “Part III”) — has, among other things, the pot comedy “We’re the Millers” with Jennifer Aniston.

First, they have to survive Tijuana, and John Goodman. Having staged an intervention to get the insufferable Alan the help he so desperately needs, Phil, Stu and Doug are en route with their friend to a treatment facility when they’re ambushed by the thuggish Marshall (Goodman), who takes Doug hostage until the boys can deliver Mr. Chow — the felonious, drug-dealing gay gangster played by the outrageous Ken Jeong. Bartha promptly disappears for most of the movie (“He’s the unsung hero for sure,” Cooper joked), while the others attempt a gold robbery in Mexico, chase Chow around Tijuana and rappel down the face of Caesar’s Palace.

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