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This 'Hangover' much easier to sleep off

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‘The Hangover Part III'

★★ (out of 4)

R

Wide release

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Roger Moore
Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 8:54 p.m.
 

Slow, sentimental and somewhat sedated, the third “Hangover” movie isn't so much exhausted of outrageous “Oh no, they DIDN'T!” ideas as it is spent of energy. And they knew it, too. The only raunchy moment is stuffed into the closing credits, a “we forgot to do that” afterthought.

They know they're done. They just want to make sure we know.

“The Hangover Part III” becomes a fairly conventional caper comedy with the capers driven by the still-cackling, far-less-manic Mr. Chow, played right to the edge of caricature by the irrepressible Ken Jeong.

It begins with Alan (Zach Galifianakis) buying and accidentally decapitating a (digital) giraffe, driving his doting dad (Jeffrey Tambor) to a heart attack. And that's just the first death.

Ditzy Alan needs an intervention, and that's when the “Wolf Pack” (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Justin Bartha) are commissioned to deliver him to a rehab facility in Arizona. On the way, they're car-jacked by a mobster (John Goodman) who takes hapless Doug (Bartha, who's had the “missing” role in all three films, poor fellow) hostage. The Wolf Pack has to track down the thieving Chow, who has escaped from a Thai prison.

“You introduced a virus into my life, Mr. Chow,” the mob boss bellows. Go fetch him.

The boys promise to “take him out” to save Doug. That leads us to Tijuana and eventually back to where all this started — Las Vegas.

There's only one funny cameo, and funny lines are rare and random this time — references to past escapades (“Did you get tested?”) and Mr. Chow's peccadilloes (“Gimme some sugar.”).

People and animals die.

Even the racist zingers feel like pulled punches:

“We're looking for an Asian guy. He's short.”

“They're ALL short.”

As is the movie, though it plays considerably longer than the first two. As “Hangovers” go, “Part III” isn't challenging or unpleasant, just instantly forgettable. It won't take much to sleep this one off.

Roger Moore is a staff writer for McClatchy-Tribune News Service.

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