Sakamoto Reviews’s review published on Letterboxd:
Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.
- Don Corleone
So I’m just gonna say it, The Godfather: Part lll isn’t nearly as bad as everyone says it is. The plot is interesting, it’s simple enough to digest, the side characters are recognizable, Michaels storyline is engaging and the progression of events is very natural.
Al Pacino is once again great in this movie, you can tell this role is/was something he cared about and related with dearly. He’s a character looking for redemption after decades and it’s interesting to see all of his misgivings weigh on him as heavily as they do. I like his relationship with Kay, it’s very sweet and after everything that’s happened you can tell there’s a sort of mutual respect for each other even if it is showered in dread. Andy Garcia also does a great job as the son of Sonny and Michaels nephew Vincent Mancini. He’s someone opposite of Michael yet learns from him even if he has his fathers eagerness and rambunctiousness. The big elephant in the room is Sofia Coppola playing Mary, Michaels daughter. She isn’t terrible, she doesn’t have that much to work with to be fair but she gets a bad rep due to her plot line being that she’s in love with her cousin.
The incest plot line I don’t think is that ridiculous, it obviously would gross some out however let’s not pretend plot lines like this haven’t existed for centuries and don’t make for compelling drama. My only issue with it is I feel like I know Michael well enough to believe that he’d be furious about the whole thing rather than cautiously assertive. I like the transition from Don with Michael and Vincent, it’s a consistent transition of power as Michael is about to get everything he could have wanted and is eager to step down so why not give it to the one man who may be inexperienced but eager for the position. It genuinely feels like he couldn’t care less about the lifestyle anymore. I can understand the argument that this film has a hard time justifying its own existence when its predecessor concluded the story just fine but I kind of considered this more as an epilogue rather than another chapter if that makes sense.
Once again-some scenes that stood out to me are Michael consoling the priest and confessing his sins, Vincent killing the guys in his apartment, Michael after the shooting when he’s about to have his stroke and of course the ending which is both tragic and consistent in narrative and theme.
I personally feel this is a very dramatic and interesting conclusion to The Godfather Trilogy. It does a lot right but also subverted my expectations in the right way. I’m satisfied by the end of it and I never had a hard time keeping interest with all that was happening.