Two years after the events in Bangkok, Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) escapes from a maximum security prison, using a riot as cover. Meanwhile, in the United States, Alan Garner (Zach Galifianakis) causes a 20-car freeway pileup after he purchases a giraffe and accidentally decapitates it on a low overpass. Alan's father Sid (Jeffrey Tambor), angry with Alan for his immature antics and never owning up to his mistakes, dies of a heart attack in the middle of a lecture. After the funeral, Alan's brother-in-law Doug Billings (Justin Bartha) informs friends Phil Wenneck (Bradley Cooper) and Stu Price (Ed Helms) that Alan has been off his ADHD medication and is out of control. The group attends an intervention in which Alan agrees to visit a rehabilitation facility in Arizona where he can seek treatment, as long as "the Wolfpack" takes him there. On the way to Arizona, Phil's minivan is rammed off the road by a rental truck and the group is taken hostage. They are later confronted by mob boss Marshall (John Goodman) and "Black Doug" (Mike Epps), his head enforcer.
He tells them that a few weeks after their shenanigans Chow hijacked half of a $42 million gold heist and, seeing how Alan has been the only one to communicate with Chow during his imprisonment, deduced that the Wolfpack could locate him and retrieve the gold. Marshall kidnaps Doug and gives the others three days to find Chow, or else Doug will be killed. Alan sets up a meeting with Chow in Tijuana, Mexico, where Stu and Phil will hide and attempt to drug him. However, Alan seemingly, accidentally (but really on purpose) reveals their location and Chow forces them to confess that they are working for Marshall. Chow explains his plan to retrieve the stolen gold from the basement of a Mexican villa he previously owned. Stu, Alan and Phil break into the house and successfully retrieve the gold, but Chow double-crosses them by locking them in the basement, rearming the security system and escaping in Phil's minivan. They are arrested but mysteriously released from the police station. They are picked up by a limousine and taken back to the villa, where they meet up with Marshall.
They learn that Chow had lied to them; the villa was never his. In fact, it was Marshall's own villa and the gold they stole was the other half Chow didn't get from Marshall. Marshall forgives them for their mistake but kills "Black Doug" for his incompetence and reminds them of their now two-day deadline. The group tracks Phil's phone, which was left in the minivan, outside a pawn shop in Las Vegas. The pawnshop owner, Cassie (Melissa McCarthy), tells them that Chow traded a gold brick for $18,000, far less than its usual sell rate of $400,000. Using Stu's former lover Jade (Heather Graham) as their contact, they learn that Chow is barricaded in the penthouse suite of Caesars Palace. Phil and Alan sneak into his suite from the roof, but Chow escapes, jumping from the balcony and parachuting down to the strip. Stu catches up to Chow and locks him in the trunk of the limo that Marshall lent to them. They take the gold and meet with Marshall, who releases Doug back to the group. Although Marshall initially promised not to harm Chow, he shoots through the trunk of the car, presumably killing him. However, Alan had given Chow the means to escape from the trunk through a backseat compartment just moments earlier.
Chow emerges from the limo and kills Marshall, allowing the Wolfpack to live because Alan saved his life. He offers Alan a bar of gold as a gift, but Alan turns him down and trolls Chow by pretending to end their friendship because of Chow's unhealthy influence on the group (but pulls a fast one on Chow when he takes his hand back from a handshake) and Chow tells Alan he is "...cold as ice". As Chow sadly watches them leave, they go to retrieve Phil's minivan from the pawnshop and Alan makes a date with Cassie. Six months later, the two marry. Vowing to stop with his antics, Alan regretfully resigns from the Wolfpack but would still like for the gang to hang out on occasion. As the four walk to the ceremony, a montage of clips from the previous films play.
In a mid-credits scene after the wedding, Alan, Cassie, Stu, and Phil appear to have staged another wild party that they cannot remember. Stu emerges from the bathroom wearing panties with breast implants and Alan remembers that the wedding cake was a gift from Chow; who emerges from the next room naked, laughing, holding a bottle of whiskey and wielding a katana. Crystal the capuchin monkey then jumps on Stu before the scene cuts to black.
In May 2011, days before the release of The Hangover Part II, director Todd Phillips said that "there already are plans for a third film but no script or start date". About the possibility of The Hangover Part III, Phillips stated, "If we were to do a third one, if the audience, if the desire was there, I think we have a very clear idea where that would head. It's certainly not in the same template that you've seen these movies. The third would be very much a finale and an ending. The most I could say about it, what's in my head, and I haven't discussed it with these actors, is that it is not following that template but very much a new idea. As far as where it takes place, I said I'm very open." Also during May, Craig Mazin, who co-wrote The Hangover Part II, entered early talks to write the script for the third installment.
In December 2011, Bradley Cooper appeared on The Graham Norton Show to promote The Hangover Part II DVD and Blu-ray release, where he stated he "hopes" that The Hangover Part III will start shooting in September 2012, and also stated that Todd Phillips is working on the script. In January 2012, it was reported that stars Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms were nearing deals to reprise their roles in third installment with each receiving $15 million (against the backend) for their participation. In February 2012, Mike Tyson stated that he would return in the third film, although he later told TMZ that "I have no idea what's going on. I'm not in this one."
In March 2012, Warner Bros. announced that it was moving forward with the sequel and scheduled a release date of May 24, 2013, again aiming for a Memorial Day opening weekend. In June 2012, it was reported that the third installment would return to Las Vegas and would shoot on the Las Vegas Strip and at Caesars Palace. The report stated that much of the film would also be shot in Los Angeles and Tijuana and include a storyline that involves the boys rescuing Alan from a mental hospital.
In July 2012, Ken Jeong signed on to return in a significantly expanded role. The following week, Mike Epps entered negotiations to reprise his role of Black Doug. In August 2012, it was reported that Heather Graham would be back to play Jade the stripper. A few days later, Sasha Barrese was signed to reprise her role as Doug's wife, Tracy. In August, John Goodman began talks to join the cast in a small role, then described as an antagonist in the same vein as Paul Giamatti's character in The Hangover: Part II. In September 2012, Justin Bartha said he had signed on to return in the sequel.
Principal photography began on Monday, September 10, 2012 in Los Angeles. The following week, Melissa McCarthy entered negotiations to join the cast in a small role and Lela Loren was cast as a police officer. On October 8, 2012, production moved to Nogales, Arizona, which doubled as Tijuana in the film. On October 20 and 21, a stretch of California State Route 73, a toll road in Orange County was closed for filming. At the end of the month, production moved to Las Vegas for several weeks of filming. Principal photography concluded in Las Vegas on Friday, November 16, 2012.
The Hangover Part III: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack of the film. It was released on May 21, 2013.Track listing
Other songs featured in the film but not on the soundtrack include "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails, "The Stranger" by Billy Joel, "N.I.B." by Black Sabbath, "Dark Fantasy" by Kanye West, "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins, and "Careless Whisper" by George Michael.
In early May 2013, Warner Bros. moved the release date for The Hangover Part III to Thursday, May 23, a day before Universal Pictures released Fast & Furious 6, in an attempt to beat the Memorial Day weekend rush. The Hangover Part III premiered on Monday, May 20, 2013 at the Westwood Village Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
The Hangover Part III was released on DVD and Blu-ray, on October 8, 2013, in the US and December 2, 2013, in the UK.
The Hangover Part III grossed $112.2 million in North America and $249.8 million in other territories for a total of $362 million, against a budget of $103 million.
The film grossed $3.1 million in late Wednesday night screenings, ahead of its wide-release on Friday, May 24, 2013. It was projected to earn $80 million in its first four days. The film ended up grossing $53.5 million over its first four days, including $41.7 million in its opening weekend, far below the $135 million earned by The Hangover Part II in its opening days.
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 20% based on 193 reviews with an average rating of 4.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Less a comedy than an angrily dark action thriller, The Hangover Part III diverges from the series' rote formula but offers nothing compelling in its place." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 30 out of 100 based on 37 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audience polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
Describing the film's negative reception, Variety speculated that the series had become critic-proof.
Andrew Barker of Variety gave the film a negative review, writing, "Ditching the hangovers, the backward structure, the fleshed-out characters and any sense of debauchery or fun, this installment instead just thrusts its long-suffering protagonists into a rote chase narrative..." Stephen Farber of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Young viewers looking for unbridled raunch will be sadly disappointed, and so will other moviegoers expecting more than a few wan chuckles." Steven Holden of The New York Times called The Hangover Part III "a dull, lazy walkthrough that along with The Big Wedding has a claim to be the year's worst star-driven movie." Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times said, "I'm not sure who let the dogs out this time, but they should be made to pay." Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "Director Todd Phillips delivers a film so different from the first two, I'm not even sure it's supposed to be a comedy."
Christy Lemire of the Associated Press gave the film a positive review, writing, "The Hangover Part III... runs a different sort of risk by going to darker and more dangerous places than its predecessors, both artistically and emotionally. It dares to alienate the very audience that made The Hangover the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time."