The Hangover Part III: How does it stand up against other comedy trilogies?
It hardly seems like five minutes since the The Hangover first burst onto the big screen in 2009. A mere four years later and after one sequel released already in 2011, The Hangover III sees its UK release on DVD and Blu-ray on December 2nd.
After the death of Alan’s father, the other members of ‘The Wolfpack’ decide that it’s time to get Alan some help for his obvious mental health problems. As usual though, things don’t go to plan and before they even get to the clinic in Arizona, Doug is kidnapped by gangsters. The only way for the rest of the gang to get their friend back is to turn Mr. Chow over to them. All they need to do is find him…
History is littered with great cinematic trilogies - Star Wars, The Godfather, Lord of the Rings – we could go on. But when it comes to comedy trilogies, there aren’t nearly so many to choose from. As always, we do the digging so you don’t have to. Here are 5 of the very best examples:
Starring O’Shea ‘Ice Cube’ Jackson and Chris Tucker, 1995’s Friday was a cult hit and the first of three films set across one single day, subsequently followed by Next Friday and Friday After Next. The first is still the best and Tucker’s character, Smokey, provides the lion’s share of the laughs, but there are also great performances from the late, great Bernie Mac and also John Witherspoon, whose turn as Chris’ father is one of the highlights of the series. Tucker bailed after the first film to be replaced by Mike Epps, who stars as cousin Day-Day. The later films don’t quite reach the heights of the original, but there are still plenty of laughs to be had.
Mike Myers’ spy film send-up has spawned two sequels since 1997’s International Man of Mystery, all of which have done well at the box office. Even a wooden performance from Elizabeth Hurley as the uptight Miss Kensington in the first instalment doesn’t spoil a series that never comes close to taking itself seriously. By the time Goldmember was released in 2002 the gags were beginning to wear a little thin, but there are still some great lines, such as this classic from Michael Caine: “There’s two things in this world that I can’t stand – people who are intolerant of other people’s cultures, and the Dutch.”
The Naked Gun
The feature-length incarnation of the classic cop spoof series Police Squad, The Naked Gun trilogy stars Leslie Nielsen as the hapless Frank Drebin, a detective whose ineptitude would give Inspector Clouseau a run for his money. One of the few trilogies that remains as funny throughout, The Naked Gun is packed with slapstick comedy and the kind of juvenile gags that have become a trademark for Mel Brooks. The plotlines are flimsy but with performances and jokes as good as these, who cares?
Written by Luc Besson, Taxi stars Samy Naceri as Daniel, a scooter-riding pizza delivery boy who lands his dream job when he gets a taxi licence. However, his joy is short-lived. Daniel is a true speed freak and he soon picks up a colossal speeding ticket that threatens to ruin his new opportunity. Fortunately he is offered a lifeline by Emilien (Frédéric Diefenthal), a detective who doesn’t drive and who needs Daniel’s help to track down a gang of bank robbers. Packed with action and featuring some brilliant comedy performances, the Taxi films are frenetic, funny and well worth a look.
Providing the launchpad for Jim Carey’s Hollywood career, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective follows the exploits of the animal-loving misfit as he tries to find out who kidnapped the mascot of American football team the Miami Dolphins. Both of the first two films serve as the ideal vehicle for Carey’s over-the-top acting style and, silly as the plotlines may be, they are packed with slapstick humour and laugh-out-loud moments. The third instalment takes a different tack, starring Josh Flitter as Ace Ventura Jr., who steps into his father’s shoes when his mother is wrongfully arrested for stealing baby Panda. They are big shoes to fill though, and Part 3 is best reserved for younger audiences.
The Hangover III is out on DVD & Blu-Ray on December 2nd.