By Mikhail Chernyavsky

There and back again: It’s time for another hangover in Las Vegas, except this time it’s not about figuring out what happened last night, but about what’s going on.

“The Hangover” was a surprise hit, becoming the highest-grossing rated-R comedy of all-time. So naturally a sequel was made, which was pretty much just the first film set in Bangkok instead of Las Vegas.

Shockingly, that let’s-do-it-again sequel didn’t sit well with audiences, but it still made enough money to spawn a third film.

Sadly, “The Hangover Part III” throws out the blackout-bachelor party formula of the first two films and sends the Wolfpack on a wild goose chase — one that feels more like a chore than an adventure.

Like many franchises with too many sequels, Part III falls into the trap of intensifying the insanity of characters while the other characters seem to be phoned in by bored actors looking to cash a paycheck.

Alan (Zach Galifianakis) went from being a strange man-child who never moved out of his parents’ home to becoming an over-the-top deranged lunatic. Stu (Ed Helms) was reduced to nothing more than just a high-pitched screamer in just about any scene that involved something going wrong. Phil (Bradley Cooper) was there, too.

Even the humor was toned down. Sure it was goofy, but it didn’t have that Hangover feel. The only exception was the mid-credits scene. That was hands down the hardest I laughed throughout the entire film.

I can’t say that I’m shocked with my disappointment in this late-night comedy. I still can’t believe it spawned a trilogy and not just campy, watered-down, straight-to-video sequels like the “American Pie Presents” series.

But, as Hollywood has proven time and time again, you milk a cash cow until the day it dies then dig it up and try to revive it after a few years. So chances are, as long as it brings in money, this isn’t going to be the last we see of “the three best friends that anyone could have.”


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