I got my son the Godfather trilogy for Christmas. He’s caught my bug for the Corleone saga, even though we differ greatly as to the third installment of the series. My son believes it was a ‘decent’ rendering, while I believe Godfather III is the Fredo Corleone of the trilogy; weak and stupid.
In honor of the five families, here are five good reasons this flick should sleep with the fishes
1) Tom Hagen– The most grievous omission, because it changed the ENTIRE movie. A salary dispute nixed Duvall. So the genius idea became to kill him off instead. With the money they paid George Hamilton to show off his tan, Bridget Fonda to prance around for five minutes and John Savage to pop in from to time as the son of Tom, they could have had Tom. And their story.
2) The curse of Mary-The role of Mary Corleone should have been the one they redacted. Julia Roberts opted out, Winona Ryder canceled herself out and Rebecca Schaeffer tragically never had the chance to show what she might have been able to give to the role.
Enter Sofia Copolla as the summer stock fallback. I’m sorry, but it was like putting a high school phenom into the Yankees starting lineup. Over matched does not even begin to describe her sleepwalk performance. And just for the record, a relative unknown by the name of Angelina Jolie would have been available to fill the bill.
3) Andy Garcia– The role wasn’t transformational for him the way it was for Caan, Pacino, Cazale and Shire. The reason is simple. Vincent Mancini as the carbon copy of his old man Sonny ain’t nearly good enough. Sonny was the hothead heir, Fredo the looked over weakling, Connie the playgirl without a home and Michael the reluctant successor. They had definition. Vincent Mancini was given a leather jacket.
4) Answering for Fredo– The older brother who couldn’t is referred to incessantly throughout the movie. Michael is tortured by his decision to order the hit. We get that. But again, it was weak writing. What we really needed here was a legitimate rival- in the form of Fredo’s son. Don’t present us with this blabbering Michael who cries himself to sleep over big brother. Have him running on his heels as Fredo’s son plots his revenge. And John Cusack, he would’ve fit the role just fine.
5)Arrogance- Copolla was forced into this quick change. But he should have told the money to stick it and walked away rather than hustle some five and dimed re-write into production. Copolla believed he could reconfigure the original sin of this mob family portrait in six months time. He was arrogant for thinking it. The deep pockets funding his way weren’t the artists. He was. And as such, he should’ve known you don’t rush a good thing.
They should’ve ordered a hit on this flick. And forgotten the cannolis.