Teen Volunteer Discussion: The Godfather Part III

This summer, Boston Public Library's teen volunteer program has gone remote! As part of this program, local high schoolers will be sharing their thoughts on books, movies, and more on our blog. Earlier this summer, Boston Latin School student Elizabeth Choi watched and discussed The Godfather Part II with her friends and family. Today, she's following up that discussion with a discussion about The Godfather Part III

Kevin, Taylor, Josie, Simon, and Charles discuss The Godfather Part III directed by Francis Ford Coppola while Elizabeth moderates. The overall consensus is that it is inferior to the first two movies.

TAYLOR: In the second movie, Robert de Niro and Al Pacino were really handsome. It was fun to watch them! And even though Vito was old in the first movie, he looked warm and generous. But Michael looked like a corrupted criminal in The Godfather Part III. That might've been intentional, but he wasn’t pleasant to look at. Also, the plot was too ambitious. The first and second movies were tight and intense, but they tried to make the third one too impressive. The actors couldn't hold it together and it didn't go deep into human emotions. But it's much better now than the first time I saw it. I was very disappointed then.

KEVIN: I agree. In the second movie, I was rooting for Robert de Niro and Al Pacino. Even though they were evil, scheming, and sinister, they were strong characters and great leaders. In the third movie, they tried to use Andy Garcia for this type of role, but he didn’t have the charisma to carry it.   

JOSIE: I went in with low expectations and I enjoyed it. I found it more entertaining than The Godfather Part II. I liked seeing Michael suffer because of his regret and how a lot of the movie was about Fredo. I also liked the scenes in Italy. Sofia Coppola wasn’t a good actor, but she was portrayed as a naive girl who was fitting for Michael's daughter. I also didn’t like Andy Garcia. He doesn’t come off as a likable guy, but maybe it just shows that the Corleone line is degenerating. And it was cool to see how they brought in the Vatican, but Lucchesi was introduced from nowhere, which wasn’t well done.   

CHARLES: As a standalone movie, it was fine. I really didn’t like Mary, but I liked the part when Michael’s in Italy with Kay and they’re talking about the life that he had.  

KEVIN: For me, the best parts are whenever they do flashbacks of the first and second movies. The construction of the plot wasn’t well-developed. I agree with what Taylor said; they tried to make it grander by putting in Immobiliare and these mega-corporations. But The Godfather Part III didn’t have some of the previous movies' chemistry, with Tom Hagen gone. There were so many powerful scenes in the second movie, but I didn’t see anything like that in this one. The first two movies were much better.

SIMON: I think that they should’ve let the audience figure out what was happening instead of starting with the letter in the beginning. But, I liked Don Altobello.

KEVIN: I agree! He might have been the best part of the movie. The way he died was interesting too. I liked how Connie turned into an aggressor and killed him. Fredo was a good focus, but I don't think that Michael’s guilt was done well. The intrigue, the memorable parts, the credible characters -- none of that was there. Having said that, I’m comparing this movie to what some would argue to be the top ten movies ever. On its own, it’s a better-than-average reasonable thriller.