If all of the nighttime action had been set during the day, I'd be prepared to toss the word "classic" out into the world. Instead, it's merely the best of the franchise, jam packed with action, one-liners, quick pacing, macho posturing, and barely intelligible muttering about family. Awesome.
The ratio of laughs to attempts to make the audience laugh is much higher here than in Part II, largely because (1) this film is far less dark, racist, and obnoxious than its predecessor, and (2) because there are so few actual jokes. It's still a film I sat through silently, but I wasn't repulsed like last time out. Instead, I was bored as the actors are given zero character to play (has any character in any comedy franchise been given LESS to do than Cooper?), save for Galifianakis, whose character is at this point so broad that any attempt to give him a heart rings false.
There's actually a pretty great action sequence towards the end, a break-in to Caesars Palace that creates actual tension, not because we care, but because it's remarkably capable execution on a good idea for a set piece. Feels like it comes from a different movie, but at this point in the trilogy, that's welcome. Might be the high mark of the whole series, actually.
The funniest of the three, the most hurtful of the three. It has a lovely slow build and an incredible 14-minute long take. The final half hour... I've been there. Anyone in a long relationship has been there. Not convinced, after the first viewing, that the tone of the film's ending feels earned, but so many lovely and sad moments throughout.
Jesse: Do you believe in, like... ghosts or spirits?
Celine: Uhm, no.
Jesse: Ok, what about reincarnation?
Celine: Not at all.
Sunrise used to be my favorite. Now this is. Their body language is endlessly compelling, and the hour before they address Jesse's ring holds incredible suspense. The ending might be my favorite ending of any film of the last decade.