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'The Hangover Part III': What should be in the three-quel?

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The Hangover Part II just hit theaters this weekend, but in Hollywood, it’s never to early to talk sequels. Director Todd Phillips already floated the idea at a press conference last week, telling reporters that the three-quel would be “very much a new idea,” and joking that he’s open to accepting bribes from cities who would like to be the next Vegas or Bangkok. But if a third Hangover does happen, what should be in it? Here are a few of our suggestions:

1. Ditch the “hangover” premise

The franchise’s main conceit — dudes looking for a missing buddy after a night of black-out debauchery — was brilliant in the first movie and works fine in the second, but watching it a third time might actually leave us with a real hangover. A threequel should definitely explore a new plot structure to keep this series from becoming the Final Destination of comedies. Maybe next time it’s Alan’s wedding, and he desperately tries to cook up some nasty hijinks to relive the wolfpack’s glory days, but nobody’s game — until one of his plans goes terrifically wrong and lands them in a new disaster. Just spitballing here. Leave your own ideas in the comments!

2. Pick an unexpected location

Let’s face it: No city in the world can compete with the magnificent sleaze of Vegas and Bangkok. So don’t even try. Why not put the guys in a spot that sounds as boring as possible — Omaha! Sacramento! Peoria! — and then let it surprise us. And, for God’s sake, please don’t go to Abu Dhabi.

3. Keep the wolfpack bond strong

The weirdly perfect friendship between Stu, Alan, and Phil is the backbone of the franchise — something Part II was smart to remember. Nobody’s saying we need to go into Brotherhood of the Traveling Pants, here. But the filmmakers shouldn’t let expectations for insane adventures and gross-out gags overshadow the emotional core of the movies.

Okay, Popwatchers: What are your suggestions for The Hangover Part III? Should the filmmakers just re-do the same basic movie in a new location? Change up the formula entirely? Let us know your ideas in the comments below.

Read more:

Owen Gleiberman’s review of ‘The Hangover Part II’

Warner Bros. to release ‘The Hangover Part II’ on Thursday as scheduled, tattoo case continues

‘The Hangover Part II’ Gallery: 6 exclusive portraits

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