Freelance Journalist


The Hangover III or Wiser Ways to Spend $100 Million.

h2 It's a misguided, misappropriated and miserable film. A pointless script slapped with a successful title only exacerbated by the obvious disinterest on all of the actors' faces. It doesn't seem plausible to me that anyone actually went into the latest instalment in the Hangover series and expected anything more than this. I don't really know why they decided to go (yes, but I was talked into a free screening) in the  first place. I also can't fathom, in any personable sense (and tentatively assuming actors do films for more than monetary gain), why anyone agreed to do it. Bradley Cooper was garnering critical acclaim for his work on The Silver Linings Playbook and John Goodman is coming off the back of the much lauded Argo. Hell, Ken Jeong was once a doctor. Puzzlingly, Mike Tyson was the only player neglecting to make an appearance though he definitely doesn't have anything else in his life.

This is a farcical argument when it comes to the debate on the cashflow in Hollywood: but I always feel guilty spending my $20 on a blockbuster. At best I'm sporadically impressed by the SFX and soundtrack and at worst I leave the cinema haunted for days by the space in my wallet where the $20 note used to be. The intermittent periods between enjoyable big-budget films grow longer each time I convince myself to go. Laying credence to the argument, the last time a blockbuster really buzzed me was the 3D-ification of Jurassic Park a few months back. Whether my being a miserable, cynical bastard has more to do with my malaise than the quality of the films themselves is an eternal conundrum. But I can't say Star Trek: Into Darkness was an incredible experience, nor do I condone The Avengers' 8 star rating on IMDB.

To further complicate this quandary, you could argue that Hollywood's - or the general public's - obsession with franchises is an underlying catalyst. The perfect example is the constant turnaround of superhero films; whether they be as startlingly good as The Dark Knight or as mind-numbingly infuriating as Thor, they only fuel the industry's reliance on replay and the profitability of expectation. You walk into the cinema to watch The Amazing Spiderman because it feels familiar, you know what you're going to get and it's not going to push you in anyway to introspect. It's the basic equivalent of masturbating. Except you have to pay for it. Surely that isn't the point of going to the movies though, is it? I'd like to believe that audiences are more savvy than studios give us credit for, we crave ingenuity and creativity over being blasted by waves of images and sounds we've already experienced at least a dozen times before. However it's simply not the case and here are the facts, sourced from Short Of The Week, detailing this dynamic circa 2011:


Seeing as Hollywood's sole purpose is to make money, they funnel a majority of it into the films that project the greatest turnaround at the box office. If we stop paying to see fucking bollocks like The Hangover: Part III, as if in some V For Vendetta-esque cultural revolution, will it coerce the big studios into investing money into original projects? Or is the inverse true? That we all spend so much money on adaptations and sequels, we'll eventually suck the life out of every original idea to date and have to create new ones? I'd like to think that we can force the money-grubbing, suit-wearing investors into submission.

For those of you who thought $100 million is justified for The Hangover (and also because I'm drunk with the power of blogging): a $500 donation to Oxfam "can provide a water harvesting system to supply clean water for 200 families in drought-stricken southern Africa." If my maths is correct, the entire budget - if donated to Oxfam - could provide clean water for 40 million families across Southern Africa. However, I'm pretty sure that isn't how a charity functions or if there are even that many families there.

Sean Sebastian