Why is Godfather III held in such contempt?

What’s really so bad about it? Granted, it’s the worst of the trilogy, and has faults, but on its own merits, is it really that bad a movie? Compared to other films in and out of its genre, is it worse than say, Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster? Freddy Got Fingered? Nicolas Cage’s version of The Wicker Man? Dude, Where’s My Car? Star Wars Episode I?

Is it style, direction, story, acting (I know Sofia Coppola doesn’t exactly deliver the greatest performance of all time, but c’mon, there have to have been worse, and Pacino pretty much chews the scenery, but it’s got Joe Mantegna who’s one of my favorites), or something else?

I think it’s actually not a bad film, and while it’s been awhile since I’ve seen it, I think it completes Michael’s story rather well. In I, we see Michael the Innocent enter into the family business. In II, we see Michael at his peak. And to complete the cycle, we see his downfall, and the end of his life.

So please help me understand the hatred.

I honestly just think it’s Sofia Coppola. Yes, her acting is beyond terrible, but if you’re able to put that aside, it’s a very solid movie and fits well with the other two.

Because it’s an answer to the question nobody was asking. By the end of II, Michael’s fate is sealed. There really isn’t any point in following an arc that is already completed.

But if you’re going to answer it any way, don’t screw up the execution. Don’t miscast it (not just Sofia, but practically everyone–Hamilton, Fonda, Wallach, et al), don’t overcomplicate it (the Vatican? :sigh: ), and don’t go out of your way to remind us how much better the first two were (Shire & Keaton are shadows of their former selves, and Duvall is severely missed).

FFC did all those things. There is very little that is good (Andy Garcia being about it) and a whole lot that is either Bad-bad or Sad-bad.

Plus it was slow as hell. I remember glancing at my watch and realizing they’d been at that damn opera for 25 minutes, already! Somebody start shooting!

Well, I liked Godfather III. In fact, I liked it better than Godfather II, which I thought was choppy, tedious, and incoherent. G-2 had the feel of exactly what it was: leftover pieces from the novel that had been left out of the first movie. G-3 was a nice fresh story, and I found it interesting to see where all those characters ended up years later. Sofia wasn’t the greatest actress, but she was the only weak spot IMHO.

As for the OP’s “why,” I can only guess that it is due to unfulfilled expectations…TRM

Isn’t this bannable?

I’ll agree with the miscasting for the most part, and the Vatican storyline could’ve been simplified, but I just see it as Act III of a 3-act story. Obviously YMMV.

But to you the others, I appreciate the insight. As I said, it’s hardly the Greatest Film of All Time! but IMO, it serves to round out the story. Still, I see your first point – it’s like the scene in Stand By Me when the kid is telling the story about Lard Ass and the pie eating contest, and the other kid says, “What happened after that?” The story teller says, “Nothing. That’s the end of the story.” I just disagree in this particular instance. :slight_smile:

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More like “bonobo”.

Between Godfather II and III, Al Pacino went from being an earnest, likable and talented actor to being completely infatuated with himself and to confusing yelling with depth of character. He hasn’t improved on that failing that I can ascertain. Sofia Coppola is an embarassment and her father should be ashamed of himself for casting her.

What’s the point of comparing it to those films though? Wouldn’t the more logical comparison be to “The Godfather” and “The Godfather Part 2”, Academy-award-winning films that are virtual shoo-ins on any top-100 American film list?

Again, what’s the point of comparing Sofia Coppola’s performance to, say, Paris Hilton’s in “House of Wax”? In the context of a lavishly produced sequel to two of the most esteemed films in Hollywood history, it was a terrible performance. It’s not really her fault, either. From everything that has been said subsequently, she was thrust into the role by her father as a last-minute replacement – a horrendously foolish decision on his part. Even though her role is not the largest in the film, she can be considered the pivotal character. With an untalented, uncharismatic actress in the role, the whole story falls flat.

Except we actually see the beginning of his downfall in II. Michael, who wanted no part of the family business, has become enmeshed in the business at the expense of his family. There’s no need for an extended epilogue.

No one* seriously claims that “Godfather III” is the worst movie ever. The point is that it is an unnecessary and inferior sequel.

  • For reasonable definitions of “no one.”

Actually no, I’m not sure there are worse performances. It’s embarassingly bad. So bad that I actually cheered at the end, and I don’t think that was the reaction the director was looking for.

As for Michael Corleone himself, he just seems old and tired. He’s lost all the charisma and mystery that made him so alluring in the first two movies. Perhaps that’s a natural consequence of his life as a mafia boss, but it isn’t appealing to watch.

The entire movie, especially the overblown ending with the Italian opera and all that melodrama, is just Too Much. It’s made out of recycled bits from the first two movies and not in a good way.

It was just tiresome, and the Vatican connection plot was batshit stupid and insane. By itself it was “meh” but it’s natural, and I believe fair, to judge a set piece in a trilogy by how it relates quality wise to the others in the set, not how it relates to movies in general.

It’s not that bad, but it is not close to as good as the first two movies, which is a very large dropoff. To me, it doesn’t feel like it belonged with the others. There wasn’t enough continuity with the characters and there wasn’t enough thematic continuity. Sofia Coppola is bad, but given the reputation the movie has, I thought she’d be worse. I felt bad for her.

The disappearance of his native, nasally New York accent confuses me. Did he wake up one morning sounding like Mitch Hedberg. Or was is a slow evolution?

Look at the realism in the scene where Michael kills the mobster and the policeman in the restaurant, or the one where Vito performs his first hit and cleverly disposes of the evidence.

Compare that to where Joe Mantegna flies down in a helicopter and unloads a submachine gun on a room full of people. This isn’t Die Hard.

I enjoy GIII, but it is not a masterpiece that I and II were. II was arguable better than I. There were problems. Sofia Coppola was not actually bad in my opinion, she just wasn’t any good. And her character was the central character linking it all together. Michael was a different character entirely. This was the fault of writing, directing and acting. That said, his character was not uninteresting, but is as though it was someone else entirely. Kay should have been left out entirely, her role was unnecessary. Duvall should have been brought in as Tom whatever the cost. Hamilton was good in his role, and he could have been an additional character as Tom’s right hand man.

All in all, a good movie. But if you had only the three Godfather movies on a desert island, there is ample reason to conclude that III is a pale imitation of I and II. It suffers greatly by comparison.

No such movie exists. Move along now, nothing to see here…

The next thing you will try to tell me is that there was a Star Trek V, or something.

You are exactly correct. Couldn’t have said it better myself.


Because they killed Mary in the last five minutes instead of the first.

And because it was set outside of America. The first two movies had long segments set in Sicily and Cuba but they had an American backdrop. This is a Godfather movie, not GREED: P2 and the Vatican banking scandal may make an interesting movie but not for the Godfather. It would be like writing a sequel to TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD in which Scout becomes a lawyer and moves to Delaware where she specializes in corporate mergers or a James Bond movie in which he gives up spying to become an inner city math teacher.