A trilogy, of any franchise, is a good place to start branching out. The characters are familiar, the central idea of the franchise is established and it means that audiences should be more appreciative of a change or twist which will keep the series fresh. Aside from a change in location, there is unfortunately very little different about what Child Play’s third offering gives us.
The change in location is an army base, with Andy now beginning his army training. It is a clever twist on location and offers some fresh opportunities for the killer doll. It also means that Chucky now has heavy-duty weaponry and a host of non-believing army brats to be dispatched. As you’d expect, this is the “movie army” so there is clear a divide between the “normal” heroic cadets and the far too serious, bullying cadets that shout a lot, use unusual punishment and get their inevitable comeuppance.
As with the previous two movies, Brad Dourif’s Chucky is the star and is now comfortable in his foul-mouthed, violent role. He is much more of a wise-cracking serial killer than an actual believable toy come-to-life which means that the series is beginning to lack some of the direction and unique elements which made it so good in the early iterations.
This continues with the lack of regular cast. Justin Whalin plays Andy and does so with little or no familiar traits from original Andy, Alex Vincent. Everyone else is just teenage or irritating adult killer-fodder, with little depth or personality to make any of the deaths matter enough for you to care.
To its credit, Child’s Play 3 doesn’t forget the core if its story and the voodoo, which was always the weakest aspect of the franchise, makes a return. There are rules which were established early for Chucky and these are also adhered to, meaning that the third in this series doesn’t quite feel like a rushed cash-in.
This is a series getting sillier though and offering very little that is new. It all builds to a predictable climax, a random finale and the fairly secure knowledge that although dispatched, Chucky will surely return.
Overall, Child’s Play 3 is an exercise in rinse and repeat sequels. The location is different and the hero has changed faces (and personalities) but the film treads familiar ground. Hugely watchable but a clear missed opportunity.
Rating – 3
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