The Godfather: Part III

"Good"

The Godfather: Part III Review


Why make another Godfather? While he gives it the old college try, Francis Ford Coppola fails to answer the question in The Godfather Part III, which picks up the saga of the Corleones decades later -- which finds Michael (Al Pacino) still unable to go legit. By 1990, he's near death (having heart attacks and whatnot), and he figures the Catholic Church is his best route to legitimacy. And wouldn't you know it, they're corrupt too. Well, you know, just when he thought he was out, they pull him back in...

While the film is well-acted (with the surprising exception of Diane Keaton reprising a role that wasn't all that interesting to begin with), masterfully lighted, and gorgeously photographed -- most notably the various shootout scenes -- it ultimately treads over old ground: material from the first two movies as well as repeating itself. This is most telling in the aforementioned shootouts -- the Atlantic City shoot-'em-up (courtesy of a helicopter outside) is horrifyingly grotesque (in a good way), but it seems more fitting for the histrionics of Scarface than the subtle and jaw-dropping one-two punch of Michael Corleone's assassination work at Louis' Italian-American Restaurant in The Godfather. Ultimately, the movie is simply one assassination after another -- and in Coppola's commentary track, he acknowledges this, placing much of the blame at the foot of the studio. It's also a testament to the amount of power that Coppola lost in the intervening decades -- again, something he acknowledges in the commentary.

Anyway, it's hard to put your finger on it, but the series seems to have lost something else between 1972 and 1990, when this final act was produced, as if Part III is designed to appeal to a younger audience more interested in blood, guts, and filthy language. Case in point: Coppola's use of "the family" in lieu of "the Mafia" has vanished in Part III, it's Mafia-this and Mafia-that. But worst of all is the problem of excessive gore. The Godfather showed us the real style in which a gangland hit could be done ("Leave the gun. Take the connoli." Or, "It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.") Here, the best Coppola can do is dress of a bunch of gangsters in disguises as priests and arming them with pistols. Interesting once seriously dull by the fourth time. Oddly, the film is also abruptly edited and, unlike its predecessors, it feels overly long (running nearly three hours, presumably to convince us of its importance).

And I won't go into it at length, but daughter Sofia Copolla's acting talents here are as bad as you've heard. Her scenes are laughable to the point of making any sequence in which she appears seem absurd. (On the commentary track, Francis's comments about his daughter are nothing short of disturbing -- in fact, the entire character lineup, says Coppola, is based on members of his own extended family.) And I don't know how else to put this except to say: Andy Garcia is not Italian.

Ultimately, the film is fine for ending the trilogy, but Part III is more of an appendix than an epilogue. Like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings fans, Godfather obsessives tend to overlook the numerous flaws in this chapter, but that doesn't mean it's anything more than material for a decent Movie of the Week.

Additional coverage of the Epic DVD set found in the review of The Godfather.



The Godfather: Part III

Facts and Figures

Run time: 162 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 25th December 1990

Box Office Worldwide: $136.8M

Budget: $54M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Fresh: 38 Rotten: 19

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Don Michael Corleone, as Kay Adams Michelson, as Don Vincent 'Vinnie' Mancini-Corleone, as Connie Corleone-Rizzi, as Mary Corleone, as Don Altobello, as Joey Zasa, as B.J. Harrison, as Grace Hamilton, as Cardinal Lamberto, Franc D'Ambrosio as Anthony Vito Corleone/Turiddu (auch 'Cavalleria Rusticana'), Donal Donnelly as Archbishop Gilday, as Al Neri, as Frederick Keinszig, as Dominic Abbandando, as Father Andrew Hagen, as Calo, Mario Donatone as Mosca, Vittorio Duse as Don Tommasino, Enzo Robutti as Don Licio Lucchesi, Michele Russo as Spara, as Johnny Fontane, as Lou Pennino, Rogerio Miranda as Twin Bodyguard Armand, Carlos Miranda as Twin Bodyguard Francesco, Vito Antuofermo as Anthony 'The Ant' Squigliaro, Robert Vento as Father John, Willie Brown as Party Politician, Jeannie Linero as Lucy Mancini, Jeanne Savarino Pesch as Francesca Corleone, Janet Savarino Smith as Kathryn Corleone, Tere Livrano as Teresa Hagen (as Tere L. Baker), as Albert Volpe, Don Costello as Frank Romano, Al Ruscio as Leo Cuneo, Mickey Knox as Marty Parisi, as Mask #2, as Douglas Michelson

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Advertisement
Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.