Todd Phillips’deliberately offensivefilms have always courted controversy, but The Hangover Part III marks a tonal shift for his successful franchise. The movie is so aggressively nasty and barely funny that it feels as though Phillips is trying to cull his own Wolfpack down to only the most hardcore fans. The tagline on The Hangover Part IIIs posters is “The end,” and there may be some wish fulfillment implied. The Hangover Part III gives off such a stench of creative decay that it hardly seems possible that even Phillips or his co-writers have any use for the movie themselves. If a movie can be self-loathing and self-destructive, it’s this one.

Even the impetus behind the journey, which does include a trip back to Las Vegas, the scene of the wickedly fun original, is bleak. Instead of a rollicking bachelor party enhanced by drugs, there’s a funeral…

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