Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Godfather Part III (1990)

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
The Corleone family attempts to go legitimate.

With Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) advancing in years, he begins to see the value of his close family, including his daughter Mary (Sofia Coppola), son (Franc D'Ambrosio) and long divorced wife, Kay (Diane Keaton). As a result, he has put the family on the straight and narrow, leaving behind his life of crime.

Meanwhile, his nephew Vincent Mancini (Andy Garcia) argues with the man who has taken over the illegitimate activities, Joey Zasa (Joe Mantegna), proving that going straight will be more difficult than Michael originally thought.

I said on The Godfather Part II that I couldn't hack two three hour films in two days - I lied. After that, I couldn't wait to watch Coppola's final part to complete The Godfather trilogy.

Part III is very different from its predecessors. The core of the story is the same with a patriarch leading his family through money making ventures, but Part III differs in that there is generally less violence. Also, it has a far less believable storyline.

The outline is perfectly acceptable - Michael wanting the family to go good for the sake of his children is a perfectly plausible story and actually on the face of it could enhance the series. To then change this midway through to have a story about the family getting re-involved in a huge crime that involves high members of the Vatican is just completely unreal.

Al Pacino is helped by newcomer Andy Garcia to drag the film through the otherwise terrible acting on show. Sofia Coppola went on to rightly win worst supporting actress at the Golden Raspberry Awards, and I wonder whether her father should have kept her as a minor character like in the original and Part II rather than as the daughter of the protagonist.

Because the first two films are so well respected it feels heartbreaking to tear into a brilliant series. The fact is though that it edges on painful to watch Al Pacino admirably going down with the sinking ship. This film should only be watched by those who are huge fans seeking closure on the series. Newcomers needn't feel too compelled to watch it.

2 comments:

  1. I think Part III is what the first film would have been like if we'd been inside Vito's head the way we get inside Michael's. It's like the Corleone Raging Bull.

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  2. I am not sure I ever watched part III all the way through. After the first two it seemed a train wreck. Couldn't tell you a single thing I remember of it. Maybe I dreamed watching it?

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