Thank God She Dies – A review of The Godfather Part III (1990)

by Cesidia on September 28, 2011

thumbnailFourteen years is an extremely long period of time between movies that are in a trilogy. Maybe that was the real problem with The Godfather Part III. I mean to be completely honest, this film was not one of Francis Ford Coppola’s best. The first two parts were really good: They made sense and the performances were great. This last part, however, lacked in both of these. To me, maybe the reason it wasn’t as coherent as the other ones was because, unlike the other two, which I had watched countless times, I hadn’t seen this one in maybe 10 years. But it seemed like there were too many things in this movie going on. First there was Joey Zasa (Joe Mantenga), then Don Altobello (Eli Wallach), who was really working with Joey Zasa, then the whole Vatican ordeal, where Don Altobello was working with the Vatican against Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), unbeknownst to him, and then all the family problems. Vinny (Andy Garcia), Sonny’s illegitimate son and Mary (Sophia Coppola), Michael’s daughter being a couple (eww! their first cousins) and then the problem with Kay (Diane Keaton), Michael’s ex-wife and Tony (Franc D’Ambrosio), Michael’s son not wanting anything to do with the family business, and instead being an operatic star. I understand that good movies have a complicated, multi-plot, plot but this one just seems too much for me to follow. It also seems to me that everything they do is just shoot everyone. I know this is a mobster movie, but the other two movies seemed to not have as much bloodshed. I mean within the first hour of the movie there is a mass murder of all the important heads of the families. It does not stop there. Vinny kills Joey Zasa and his bodyguards. And by the end of the movie, it seems half of the movie’s characters are dead.

There is only one reason why the movie is like this, to symbolize Vinny’s character. Like his father Sonny, Vinny is also a hot head. He wants to get revenge immediately and that means lots of people will be dead. Unlike Michael, who is much more calm, and will only use violence if talking does not work, Vinny refuses to talk anything out. Michael clearly sees this in the beginning, which is why he takes Vinny under his wing hoping Vinny will learn a few things from him. Vinny also shows Godfather potential, starting with his strong loyalty to Michael. We know this is important to Michael because he killed his own brother due to disloyalty. Since Michael’s son Tony has refused to be part of the business Vinny is really the only other option to keep it in the family. However, we see at the end, Vinny still uses violence as his main way of running the family.

It really bothered me that Vinny was in love with his cousin. I just don’t get it. Maybe it’s just something I’ll never understand but it’s just weird. I could never imagine having my cousin walk up to me and start flirting with me. Now Mary, Mary is another story. I hated her character. No offense to Sophia Coppola, she’s a great director, but acting is not her strong suit. Her performance was pretty bad. Her voice was annoying, whinny and at some points just monotone and emotionless. Her acting was not any better. Her movements and emotions seemed so fake, as if she was going through the motions. The fact that she was in love with her cousin probably only creeped me out even more. Honestly, the best part of the movie is when she died. She was just complaining and whinning about her father forbidding her and Vinny to be together. Then she got shot. I will admit, it was sad to see them all crying around her, but I was glad she died. I strongly disliked her character. She didn’t understand the severity of the situation she was in. I just really didn’t like her.

Overall, I think this movie was a major dud in this trilogy. The first two Godfathers were amazing, and innovative. The third one is like the “first three” episodes of the Star Wars series – unnecessary. They were all made so much later than the originals that they will never be able to reach the same level of greatness as the originals. They lack the elements that good, old movies have: good characters and a strong, coherent storyline.

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