Screening Room: “The Hangover Part III,” “Fast and Furious 6”

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The Wolfpack's is back for another round of debauchery in “The Hangover, Part III.” This episode plays a bit more like a violent crime flick than a raunchy comedy, but manages to wring a few more laughs out of a tired premise.

Three is the magic number unless you are a movie franchise. The list of flops is long. The Godfather Part 3, The Revenge of the Jedi, Back to the Future 3, Jaws 3-D, The Matrix Revolution. Now add you can add "The Hangover Part II" to that list. It's awful.

While it can’t match the crude insanity of the original, part 3 is an improvement over the derivative part 2 and Melissa McCarthy’s appearance in a brief supporting role is a welcome addition.

The biggest problem is it's not funny. Nothing happens. Heck they aren't even in Las Vegas until the very end. And you would think it would all end in a spectacular WTF fashion. Naw, it doesn't. It actually concludes rather flatly. No bang. No big sight gag. Not even a funny joke. Plays more like a spin-off for the Ken Jeong character Mr. Chow and that's just irritating.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags


The five previous movies in the “Fast & Furious” franchise have pulled in over $1.6 billion at the worldwide box office. With its concentration on goofy over-the-top action, “Fast & Furious 6” should add quite a few more dollars to that tally.

I'm a sucka for fast cars. I love over the top action. And compelling -- hey I wanna hang with them  -- characters always make any movie better. So maybe that's why "Fast & Furious 6" is such a rewarding experience. I know it's hard to believe but this franchise just keeps getting better, more exciting and more compelling.

This franchise has evolved from a story about street racers into a comic book variation of a James Bond flick. It’s appropriate that The Rock is one of the “Furious” stars, because, like WWF wrestling, there isn’t a believable moment in it…but it’s still mindless fun

The car tricks are crazier, characters are back from the dead and that dynamic between The Rock and Vin Diesel is cooler than a polar bears toe nail. Implausible, yes. Implausibly hard to resist.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

ALSO OPENING THIS WEEK: "Epic" is a computer animated fantasy about good vs. evil in an alternate universe. Beyonce Knowles and Colin Farrell are among the voice stars. "From Up on Poppy Hill" is an anime offering directed by Goro Miyazaki, brother of famed filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki.

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