Starring: Al Pacino, Andy Garcia, Diane Keaton
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Running Time: 162 mins
The Godfather Part III is an American film and the final instalment in The Godfather trilogy. In 1979, following the success of his crime empire, Michael Corleone sets about turning the family into a legitimate organisation and repenting his sins, however the ambitions of up and coming mobsters below him become obstacles to his efforts.
Right, most importantly, this is not a bad film. It’s still got some good tension, interesting characters and continues the Corleone saga pretty well. However, it in no way embodies the brilliance of the first two films, whose tension and gritty violence made them simply stunning pictures to watch.
Firstly, let’s look at this as a stand-alone film. The performances are excellent all round, particularly by Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Sofia Coppola and Andy Garcia, whilst the story is very dramatic and heavy-going, and at some of the crunch points, can be extremely exciting to watch.
The best part of this film as a whole is the final half hour-long climax, which is exhilaratingly fast-paced, hugely dramatic and massively tense to watch, and is by far one of the most exciting climaxes to a film you will ever see, helped even more so by the fact that it concludes such an important saga in a fitting way.
However, it’s sadly only the final half an hour that really concludes the saga in a fitting way. The first two hours of this film, however, cannot live up to the previous two at all.
That’s mainly down to the fact that the story is simply not as gritty as the first two. With the ambition of genuinely going legitimate, coupled with looking after his now grown-up kids, Michael Corleone is no longer the petrifying crime syndicate that he was in Part II, and he is, in effect, actually quite nice.
In fact, too much of this film is ‘nice’. Sure, there’s still a lot of underhand deals going on, and betrayals and rivalries continue on from before, however it’s just not a violent enough film. It takes over an hour for the first proper violence to happen, and even then, it’s not done in the elegant way that the previous films handled it, nor is it ever done again further on into this film.
What’s more is that there’s far too much emphasis on the personal lives of the characters. This is by far the most character-interested of the Godfather films, and whilst the first two had some amazing anti-heroes and villains, here, we see lengthy conversations about the real feelings of characters.
Firstly, for some characters, that’s not particularly interesting to see, and the only excitement that you really get is when there is some violence or proper gangster action. Secondly, it makes some of the previously scarier characters, like Michael Corleone, a lot less so. Of course, they’re further humanised, but they’re just not the outstanding characters that we were once so thrilled by, and are instead boring, normal, emotional people.
Overall, this gets a 7.7, because it’s got a lot of positives that make it an interesting film that you can watch and be entertained by. However, in comparison to the cinematic classics before it, this doesn’t stand a chance.