I thought you and I had a deal, The Hangover, but guess I was wrong. Or maybe we never had a deal, who knows? Maybe I invented that deal in my head. Maybe you weren't even thinking about me or my desires. Maybe you've always been a selfish lover.
Here, for the sake of salvaging the tatters of our relationship, is my understanding of that deal: You created thoughtless and chaotic comedy antics and I, in turn, laughed at those antics and then forgot almost everything I saw after leaving the theater. Because I know you wanted me to think (well, okay, not-think) that you were always about nothing when, in fact, you were a stubbornly problematic pile of male sexual anxiety the entire time, a charged site of neurosis that never abated and never learned anything new. You were a political film series with reprehensible politics, smearing comedy-puke all over yourself so nobody had time or energy left over to bring up the issues you raised before you ran off screaming as loudly as possible. I know these things. But our deal was that I would never bring it up unless you stopped being funny.
You stopped being funny.
Crime dudes in pig masks show up in the opening moments of this sequel and kidnap the Wolfpack (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha and Zach Galifianakis). It's violent and feels sort of like Funny Games and that is exciting. For a moment I felt a flash of hope that guiding force Todd Phillips was going to take this finale and turn it into something informed by his early G.G. Allin documentary Hated, something dark and dangerous and full of torture. I thought maybe these characters were finally going to justly suffer for the mayhem and destruction they caused in the first two films, but, you know, in a hilarious and repulsive way. Turns out I'm too wishful. I should have known, after the neat resolutions of the first two movies, that once you've pulled one over on your trusting lady-friends and then been drunkenly and voluntarily violated by a transgender Thai prostitute, effectively winning the war for dominance in all matters related to testing your straight white male privilege, that nothing could frighten you anymore. ("Have you been tested?" Cooper randomly asks Helms once in this go-round, to which Helms replies, "I'm fine." Of course you are, man. Keep having unprotected sex with your wife. Everything will be great.)
Comedy chaos only cuts you guys Band-Aid deep. And that's cool. Like I said, I was going to just enjoy myself and let this all skate. But then you forgot to bring more comedy chaos. Your pushy sex-freakout has been replaced by the kind of plot that's more like something from 1986 starring Billy Crystal and the late Gregory Hines (sorry, Billy Crystal and the late Gregory Hines). You chase Ken Jeong around and you crash into stuff with your cars and Zach Galifianakis falls off things. All jokes recycled, lifelessly. Radical.
And then what do you do to wrap it all up, The Hangover? [note to readers, here comes a spoiler or three, sort of, so stop here if they matter to you] You give me a montage of Wolfpack Slow-Motion Walking, pulling from all the most iconic walking-in-slow-motion moments from all three films. Hey guys, remember that time they all walked in slow-motion? Wasn't that cool? It sure has come full circle, all those walking parts. The End. And Ed Helms gets breast implants. The End again. Look, here's Ken Jeong's tiny penis. More The End.
So now we're in a big fight, The Hangover. Please pay more attention to it than you did to our former deal.