It's time to defend The Godfather Part III by looking at THE GOOD...THE BAD...and THE FULL RETARD (NEVER GO FULL RETARD).
Cinematography Still lensed by famed DP Gordon Willis, this film is every bit as dark, moody and creative as the first two films. Often soaked in warmer colors and crushed in the blacks, the film looks like the same world he crafted in the early 70's...just set in the late 70's/early 80's as the other two were in their periods. In fact, want the BEST reason not to do a Godfather Part IV? Willis is no longer here...
Call-Backs & Returns Like the second film, it picks the right areas to re-create or do call-backs to (the beginning and ending, which I'll go into later). Also, most characters you'd want to return would return, either in small doses (Johnny Fontane; Enzo the Baker; Lucy Sonny's big boobed slut) or in constant background like Al Neri. Okay, so we didn't get Robert Duvall but you know we at least did get...
|Corleone's Before the Dark Times...Before the Roman Catholic Empire|
Michael Opens up to His Kids
Michael's Descent into Loneliness & Hiding of Pain So much of the film deals with Michael's struggles to bring his family close together again and his guilt with those who are no longer there and his effect on those situations. Notice how he puts on sunglasses every time he feels he's being too openly vulnerable, like when reminiscing about his first wife...or all his female loves before he dies.
Catherine Scorsese Cameo's in both this and her sons GoodFellas in the same year. Top that.
Andy Garcia calls upon the Corleone Holy Trinity Fun Fact: De Niro wanted to play Vincent! Aside from how awesome or terrible that could have been, we have to give Andy big credit, this dude had to romantically play off Sofia Coppola, that ain't easy. But more than that, he somehow finds ways to play off Sonny's temper, Fredo's naive innocence and Michael's almost unspoken smarts with this character. He also sucked up to the right family member early on...
Connie's Descent into being a ruthless old Hag She's a wimp in the first film who lets her husband beat her yet cries after his death...by GFII she's little more than a whore throwing the goods around to any man who will take them, though by the end she's finding herself siding with Michael. Here? She's basically gotten pure evil, getting Vincent in with Michael so business won't get too straight or Michael too weak, ordering hits without his permission, chastising him for giving confession. Her descent is no better explained when, after she tells Michael he'll be feared again, he replies "Maybe they should fear you."
Passing the Don Torch Great moment that's important in one way or another to every GF Film, and equally important here. Vincent immediately bows in respect realizing his days of tutilage are over, and Neri and his goons pledge to the new Don and this time...Michael gets the door shut in his face.
|Andy Garcia tries to protect Pacino from the vile hatred of Godfather III and most films he's been in this century...|
The Final Montage Just as this film opened up similarly to the first two (a celebration/party/event of some sort) it ends similarly too, Michael and co enjoying some kind of alibi as the dirty deeds go down. In this case Michael's son sings in a dark play about betrayal and murder in Sicily...brilliant.
This Moment & Editor Walter Murch
I want Kay Adams to be brutally murdered I really don't think that's the point of her character, you know, to make us hate her and come to be as angered by her presence as she is in Michael's, but man she annoyed the piss out of me. She's a walking contradiction that likes to forget she'd still be teaching preschoolers for minimum wage had Michael not shown up and taken her into his limousine.
Michael's Death Fun Fact #2: Coppola wanted this to be called The Death of Michael Corleone. Anyhow Michael dies a lonely, old man in Sicily...in some ways that's perfect for his character arc, especially with how he's going in this film. However I know many fans wanted to see a Michael go out with a bullet, a live by fire die by fire end to a ruthless Don.
George Hamilton I know these films are basked in warm colors but did he really need to add to it? Speaking of things that shouldn't be added to a film...
|"Just imagine it, cuz, a real life child right out of the Hills Have Eyes..."|
THE FULL RETARD (NEVER GO FULL RETARD
No Robert Duvall So many minor and major characters came back it's a shame that Michael's right hand man, the one who put up with all his "whack all my enemies!" lifestyle, is nowhere to be found aside from his son. Even worse is Coppola planned to build the film, much like he had I and II, around the way Michael's actions lead to or are effected by the death of a Corleone brother...Santino in GFI, Fredo in GFII and then Tom Hagen the adopted brother here. SCREW YOU...
|Pacino smirks thinking Francis is joking as he tells him Paramounts demands|
This film has problems...yes. The biggest being it's a solidly put together film that not only followed two absolute cinematic masterpieces, but it did so nearly 20 years later. All that time and hype will kill a movie (just as George Lucas). Had this even been a legit 10/10 masterpiece it would have probably taken until, well, give or take now for it to be fully appreciated. No, it's not the first two films, but it's better than an exit wound. I'd rather have the Godfather saga with it than without...