Five minutes into The Hangover Part III
, Zach Galifianakis decapitates a giraffe with a freeway overpass, then basically kills his father. That these moments are played for guffaws (“He killed a giraffe. Who gives a fuck?” snickers Bradley Cooper) shows how blackened and mean the frat-comedy franchise got between the surprise megahit original and the lazy, cynical first sequel. But at least with those gags, writer-director Todd Phillips appears to be trying. Otherwise, the third and, we’re assured, final movie in what’s been retroactively christened the "Wolfpack Trilogy” is somehow lazier and more cynical than the last. Tossing out the formula he recycled in Part II
, Phillips drops a tepid crime-comedy in its place, the apparent intent being to bore audiences into never demanding another installment. An all-out parade of degradation would’ve given the series the conclusion it deserved, but the only one willing to truly wallow in shit is Ken Jeong, whose Asian minstrel show—used sparingly in the first film—overpowers the core trio, who can’t even bother. There’s no hangover in this Hangover
, but the effort is that of employees forced into work the morning after the office party, who only want to survive the day and get back into bed. “We’re going to die, finally,” mutters Jeong’s Mr. Chow at one point. Let’s hope so.