The Godfather: Part III (1990)
Reviewed on 2011 February 10
The final entry in the Godfather Saga, and I don’t see how they could continue the story any further. That didn’t stop the studios from dragging out the corpse of the Alien franchise, but I think we’re done here, and I think it’s a good thing to quit while ahead.
This starts with a tired, reflective Michael Corleone (Pacino, in some disconcertingly convincing aging makeup) musing that children are life’s only true treasure as the camera pans over the abandoned Corleone fortress of the ’50s at Lake Tahoe, then segues into a celebration in 1979 New York. The Vito Andolini Corleone Foundation is having a bash to celebrate their gift to the Catholic church, and it’s a huge check; but if you look at the jewels the women in this crowd are wearing you realize if each woman just coughed up a ring they could double the amount. The Corleones are still riding high financially; the other aspects of their lives are another matter. Son Anthony (Franc D’Ambrosio) would rather pull his nails than work for dad, Kay (Diane Keaton) thinks Michael is more dangerous than ever with his new “respectable” persona, and while Michael long abandoned that five year plan from the first movie, he’s still striving to run a square house (superficially anyway). The trouble is that a younger wannabe (Andy Garcia) isn’t on the same page as Michael.
This is the weakest of the Godfather movies, but saying that is kind of like deciding something is the ugliest piece of jewelry in Tiffany’s or the ugliest Corvette on the lot. Sofia Coppola is a better director than actor, and the pacing is a bit slow at times, but these are minor squawks. I think this got unfairly slagged because for one thing, it had to compete against the first two Godfather movies, and this does pale in comparison. For another, it’s almost always more interesting watching a dynasty being created than seeing it changing or lurching into its twilight years. It’s still worth three morsels, flaws and all.
Three chocolate morsels.