I Sat Through ‘Hangover III’ Stone-Faced, Except for Melissa McCarthy

Guest blog: This franchise cannot endure a “Hangover 4”

When I heard Bradley Cooper on Jay Leno say, “I live with my mother,” I was impressed. Here we have a hot, box-office star, and he chooses to live with his mother. How refreshing in Hollywood’s glitz and glamor ever so fleeting.

Cooper is choosing to stay real and close to his roots, not to be caught up in the press of a publicist’s fantasies. He even takes his mother to the Oscars, unafraid to face ridicule of those whose values are bubblegum. Bravo for Cooper and Leno for pointing up this rarified living situation honoring family values. Unfortunately, I do not have the same kind words for Cooper’s latest film.

“The Hangover Part III” is predictable and mildly chuckle-worthy except for scenes between Melissa McCarthy and Zach Galifianakis. McCarthy has a small but memorable part as Zack's love interest. In fact, one of the best parts is the tag ending, so don't run out of the theater when the credits begin.

“Hangover 3” is about the Wolfpack — Cooper (Alan), Ed Helms (Stu), Zach Galifianakis (Alan), Justin Bartha (Doug) — trying to create an intervention for Alan's mental issues. Alan's father (Jeffrey Tambor) dies and the Wolfpack agrees to drive Alan to the facility.

This begins the trip that continues to the end of this wacky and weird road show. Along the way, John Goodman (Marshall), who has been funnier, holds up the Wolfpack for money that Ken Jeong (Mr. Chow) allegedly has stolen from him.

While the audience was so eager to laugh it was laughing before punch lines in expectation of the humor of the original “Hangover,” I sat through most of it stone-faced. A joke would be set up, but the payoff wasn't there.

The production values are top notch, unlike the home-movie look of “Hangover I” goes to show you that a polished-looking film does not relate to the laugh factor.

As to the acting, Cooper is smooth and his usual handsome self. Helms is his deft, dry witted self, capable of a throwaway delivery like no comedian I know. Justin Bartha has little to do except be number four in the Wolfpack.And director Phillips gets the maximum amount of laughs out of Jeong's frequently too broad performance.

Galifianakis is smooth and quirky and steals most of the scenes he is in — except those with McCarthy, who is triumphant as a horny store manager.

This franchise cannot endure a “Hangover 4.” A mild summer amusement, if you lower your expectations, it is. “Iron Man,” it isn't.