The Hangover Part III is planning a Memorial Day weekend release, with the trilogy returning to Las Vegas for its third and final installment. Fans hope the series recaptures some of the Vegas magic of the original, as its overseas sequel fell somewhat flat. It's a formula that's been tried before - see the "Oceans" movies, for example - but if history is an indicator, the lackluster overseas sequel will be followed by a mediocre, second Vegas movie.
Here, we apply the Vegas-Overseas-Vegas formula to some other beloved Las Vegas movies.
Leaving Las Vegas
Lackluster Overseas Sequel - In Leaving Amsterdam, Sera, still grieving over the death of Ben, leaves Las Vegas to set up shop in Amsterdam's Red Light District. There she meets Curly Bear, an expatriate former Ultimate Frisbee champion who has come to Amsterdam "to smoke himself to death". The movie stalls when Curly Bear develops a wet, hacking cough, but fails to die.
Mediocre Third Installment - In Returning to Las Vegas, Sera again plies her trade in Sin City, from her home base at a swanky casino mixology bar. There she meets Todd, an annuity salesman who has come to Las Vegas "to drink himself to death on Walnut-Infused Gran Marnier, Housemade Peach Bitters, Bruised Basil, and Ginger Beer". Unable to take anymore of this cruel world, Sera commits suicide with a mortar and pestle.
Lackluster Overseas Sequel - In Parlor, Sam "Ace" Rothstein flees Las Vegas, settling in Japan to run a Pachinko Parlor. His exacting standards soon put him at odds with his Yakuza bosses, as shown in a pivotal scene where Ace instructs a sushi chef that he expects an equal number of grains of rice in each spicy tuna roll. Rothstein narrowly escapes death when his micro car is blown apart by a slightly agitated soft drink.
Mediocre Third Installment - In Casino 3, Ace returns to Vegas to find that the Tangiers has been replaced by a family friendly hotel resort. Hired to run the resort's massive water park, the crafty operator arranges to have a whale's plane delayed until he uses all of his log flume tickets.
Lackluster Overseas Sequel - In Cooler Runnings, newlyweds Bernie and Natalie are lucky in love as they honeymoon on a Caribbean cruise. Bernie shows that his jinx is no more as he goes on an epic craps roll in the ship's casino. But old habits reemerge like Maria Bello's occasional Brooklyn accent, and Bernie catches Natalie and a cabin boy in an intimate embrace. Bernie's cooler powers return, and the ship is stranded at sea for days. Bernie takes an epic crap in the ship's casino.
Mediocre Third Installment - In The Cooler: Return of Bernie, Las Vegas's loveable loser is back, this time as a bean counter with a major Strip casino company. Charged with making sure all of the company's patrons lose, Bernie invents "Resort Fees". He is promoted to CEO, and plunges the company into billions dollars of debt.
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