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Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Sequels are the curse of modern-day moviegoing. Occasionally you find a good one, but more often the second or third installment dissipates all the fun and sense of discovery that made the original a hit in the first place. The Hangover is one of the funniest movies in recent memory. I tried to remind myself of that as I watched The Hangover Part III, a pointless and mostly unfunny film that can only be seen in a positive light because it’s infinitesimally better than The Hangover Part II.

I won’t waste much time describing the storyline. Suffice it to say that Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms get in trouble again because of their dimwitted friend Zach Galifianakis, whom they try to deliver to a rehabilitation facility in Arizona. Instead, they’re waylaid by bad guy John Goodman, who holds their friend Justin Bartha for ransom until they can produce the slippery bad guy known as Chow (Ken Jeong).

Among the movie’s built-in problems are the fact that Galifianakis’ character is more pathetic than amusing, and Jeong has far too much screen time for a character who is only funny in tiny spurts.

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Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon - Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

This dreary, lamebrain comedy takes everything that was fresh and original in 2009 and beats it into the ground. Director Todd Phillips and his co-writer Craig Mazin are probably laughing all the way to the bank, but I had little reason to laugh as I suffered through this time-waster. Let’s hope they mean it when they say this is the final film featuring these characters.