The trailer: The Wolfpack is back — but is anyone excited to see them again? After The Hangover turned out to be an unexpected hit with critics and audiences in 2009, a sequel was rushed into theaters less than two years later. But while The Hangover: Part II managed to overtake the first film in its worldwide box-office gross, it failed to match its predecessor's domestic gross, and earned mostly scathing notices from critics — many of whom attacked the second film as virtual carbon copy of the first. ("One of the most uninspired and unoriginal sequels you'll ever see. Or not see, if you're lucky," said Richard Roeper in a review typical for Part II.) The Hangover Part III will at least attempt to recapture some of the first Hangover's appeal by returning to Las Vegas, for an installment that director Todd Phillips promises will bring the series' story to a fitting and definitive close. Does The Hangover Part III stand a chance of redeeming the franchise?
The reaction: It's clear from the trailer that "The Hangover Part III finally goes away from the structure of the first two films," says Germain Lussier at Slashfilm — and that's "a very good thing." Ok, this isn't just another rehash — but "will mixing things up inadvertently alienate those who preferred the original approach?" asks Sandy Schaefer at ScreenRant. The previous movies have a "cumulative $1 billion gross around the world," and even if switching things up appeases critics, it may disappoint fans. But don't worry, Hangover buffs, says Jordan DeSaulnier at I Am Rogue: In the end, this essentially looks like "a direct sequel to The Hangover, emphasizing the centrality of Las Vegas and implicitly promising to do away with the 'We've got to find this person before the wedding, but don't remember what happened' premise." Most of the characters from the previous two films are here, and fans will surely line up to see how The Hangover trilogy ends when the film hits theaters in May.