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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » The Godfather: Part III » User review

An unnecessary conclusion to the GODFATHER saga, but not a bad film

  • Aug 9, 2006
  • by
Rating:
+3
At the end of the 1980s, Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope Studios was nearly bankrupt. Zoetrope needed money, and it didn't take a genius to figure out how to get it. They would make another GODFATHER movie. And that is how, sixteen years after THE GODFATHER: PART II, we were given THE GODFATHER: PART III.

The film begins in 1979. Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) has finally given up his life of crime and is building a reputation as a respectable philanthropist. When Victor Mancini (Andy Garcia), the illegitimate son of Michael's deceased brother Sonny, asks Michael for work, Michael finds himself drawn in once more to a life of crime. Cocky gangster Joey Zasa (Joe Mantegna) starts a gang war while Victor falls in love with Michael's daughter Mary (Sofia Coppola), deepening Michael's troubles. As an enraged Michael says, "Just when I thought that I was out, they PULL me back in!"

That was the mood of many audiences as well.

In defense of the film, THE GODFATHER: PART III is far from a bad movie. In fact, it's a very good movie. However, when compared to the first two GODFATHER films - arguably the greatest movies ever made - PART III looks very, very weak. For the most part, the acting is excellent. Pacino is very moving. His performance as Michael in this film closer resembles the younger Michael from THE GODFATHER than the ruthless fiend from THE GODFATHER: PART II. Andy Garcia as Victor, Michael's young protege, is excellent. Returning cast members Diane Keaton and Talia Shire are great. George Hamilton's character is a substitute for Robert Duvall, who couldn't agree to the low paycheck for the film. Bridget Fonda has a brief, but enjoyable, appearance. The big flaw in the cast is Sofia Coppola. Sofia, Francis Ford Coppola's daughter, is now best-known for directing films such as THE VIRGIN SUICIDES and LOST IN TRANSLATION. As a director, she is very talented; as an actor, she is not so talented. Sofia is woefully miscast as Michael Corleone's daughter, though Winona Ryder - the original choice for Mary Corleone, who had to pull out at the last minute to perform in EDWARD SCISSORHANDS - would have been miscast as well.

Coppola's directing and his script, co-written by GODFATHER author Mario Puzo, is great, but it lacks the power and feeling that it had in the original GODFATHER movies. Gordon Willis' cinematography, which was magnificent in the original films, isn't half as impressive here, though it has its moments. The real problem with THE GODFATHER: PART III is that it shouldn't exist. Though it is an interesting addition to the saga, it was made for money, not because it needed to be made, and to say it pales in comparison to parts I and II is an understatement. Still, I would recommend seeing it, if only to quell your curiousity, and for the film's ending, which is truly stellar.

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More The Godfather: Part III reviews
review by . June 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     It's been a long three nights. In this time, I watched a "Godfather" film per night. I was blown away by "The Godfather" and astounded by "The Godfather: Part II", which as I mentioned in my review, is inferior to the first, but still, in my opinion, a very good piece of film. Perhaps I should say the same for the concluding chapter of this epic trilogy. It is often considered the worst film of the three. Some even think it's a bad movie all-together. But …
review by . April 15, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
I have seen this film several times, all the way through or in parts. Frankly, I have mixed emotions about it because, when discussing it, I want to be fair and focus on it as a discrete film, judging it on its own terms; however, for me at least, that is impossible because it is the third of three Godfather films and its two predecessors are masterpieces. I cannot exclude vivid memories of scenes and even comments from films I first saw 18 and then 14 years before seeing this one for the first …
review by . July 25, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
I have seen this film several times, all the way through or in parts. Frankly, I have mixed emotions about it because, when discussing it, I want to be fair and focus on it as a discrete film, judging it on its own terms; however, that is so difficult for me because it is the third of three Godfather films and its two predecessors are masterpieces. I cannot exclude vivid memories of scenes and even comments from films I first saw 18 and then 14 years before seeing this one in 1990. OK, that's my …
review by . August 24, 2001
posted in Movie Hype
. . .feeling that it was a significant "comedown" after the first two. I differ in that opinion. I much preferred "Part III" to "Part II", feeling that the theme of attempted redemption and reconciliation was extremely powerful. Michael is again trying to keep his family intact, while coming under increasing fire from other organized crime figures (literally). He is consumed with guilt over the "hit" he had ordered on his brother. He is trying to remain connected with his children, and to make amends …
About the reviewer
Tom Benton ()
Ranked #353
Aspiring high school English teacher with dreams of filmmaking and a strong taste for music.
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Wiki

Sixteen years after Francis Ford Coppola won his second Oscar forThe Godfather II (his first was for the 1972 Godfather), the director and star Al Pacino attempted to revive the concept one more time. Despite an elaborate plot that involves Michael Corleone seeking redemption through the Vatican while simultaneously preparing his nephew (Andy Garcia) to take over the Corleone family, the film fails to take shape as a truly meaningful experience in the way the preceding movies do. Still, Pacino is very moving as an elder Michael, filled with regret and trying hard to make amends with his wife (Diane Keaton) and grown children (one of whom is played, and not all that well, by the director's daughter, Sofia Coppola).--Tom Keogh
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Details

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Release Date: December 25, 1990
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Francis Ford Coppola
Runtime: 170 minutes
Studio: Paramount Pictures
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