* HE hANGOVER III
FIRST rule of comedy? Be funny. And here's a great example of a franchise that has long-overstayed its welcome. The original was amusing in parts, but would have been passable as a stand-alone. The sequel, set in Thailand, went for gross over funny. Now the boys are going back to Vegas – with a dwindling laugh count.
It's two years after Bangkok, and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) is off his medication; things get worse when his dad (Jeffrey Tambor) dies of a heart attack. After the funeral, buddies Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) take Alan to rehab in Arizona.
In the first two movies Alan supplied the nutty humour, but here he's just nuts – and pathetic.
En route, their van is forced off the road by mob boss Marshall (John Good-man) who wants them to find crooked Mr Chow (MD Jeong, from Hangover II) who pinched $21m of gold bars from him.
Only Alan is in contact with Chow, and Marshall taking pal Doug hostage puts the pressure on to find him. The road leads to Mexico, then back to Vegas, in a desperate bid to hand Chow over.
Along the way there's an oddly sentimental meeting with ex-stripper Jade (Heather Graham) and her son, while Melissa McCarthy does her career no good at all with an extended cameo in a lousy movie.
The makers could have done us a favour by having Chow shot early on. I counted half-a-dozen laughs, which is about two more than Part II.
DVD extras: Poor – spoof casting, stunts featurette and unfunny bits about Galifianakis and Chow. Extended scenes (please, the movie was long enough).
> Mark Evans