Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quadrilogy: Wishmaster 3- Beyond the Gates of Hell

After the bit of repetition that was Wishmaster 2, my expectations were not high for the third film.  Of course, then I learned the whole story.  Evidently, every person involved in the original (including the man that played the titular villain) had abandoned ship.  This is certainly not an encouraging turn of events.  I guess I should look up: they got Sean Connery's son to be in it.  Then again, I did not care all that much for the first two films, so maybe this could work out for the best.  Find out in my review of...
The film begins with a young woman having an horrific flashback.  It all has something to do with a car wreck and explosion that killed her family.  I'm already getting that 'familiar feeling' thanks to this.  You see, one of the pointless sub-plots of the original Wishmaster involves our heroine feeling guilt for not being able to save her parents from a fire.  Did it add anything?  No and neither does this.  Our heroine is a college student who seems to have everything going his way.  Of course, she stumbles across a puzzle box (way to steal from Hellraiser, guys) that houses a big, red gem.  You all know what's going to happen, right?  The Djinn is released and kills the Professor (Jason Connery), taking on his form.  His plan is, you guessed it, to make the woman make three wishes, allowing him to take over the world.  The only people more predictable than this Djinn are Pinky & the Brain!  Of course, the movie has to reach 90 minutes, so we have to have a bunch of stuff with her classmates.  Do I care?  No.
One of the few things that really changes this time around is how the creature plans on forcing her to make the wishes.  Basically, he puts people around her in peril & only her wishes can put a stop to their anguish.  In the big face-off in the college's chapel (obviously, this isn't a state college) he puts a curse on a woman with anorexia.  While she vomits up her organs, the woman wishes for her pain to be ended...so he kills her.  For her second wish, she recalls a tome she read earlier about how the only thing that can defeat a Djinn is an Angel.  By the way, recall that opening monologue from Wishmaster about how men, angels, demons and Djinn were separate?  Well, that's not true anymore.  Also, Djinn change colors when they die between second and third appearances.  That last part is not canon, but I defy you to find another reason for the change.  So yeah, our heroine uses her second wish to summon the spirit of the Archangel Michael to battle the Djinn.  It takes over her boyfriend's body and battles the evil creature with a sword it can just make appear.  A fairly-good fight occurs as the movie proves that the Wishmaster suit can actually move.  Score one for practical effects!
The rest of this movie just sort of meanders about, not sure where it wants to go.  Despite doing well, our heroes flee.  Our heroine's friends get killed in dramatic ways (one is thrown into a horned helmet on the wall, another is eaten by guinea pigs...kind of), while she wanders around with the angel.  To save on the budget, the Djinn spends nearly half of the movie in Jason Connery form, but will also randomly transform at times.  Is there a point?  No.  Michael/boyfriend does really well at times, but also sucks at others.  The Djinn is supposed to only have powers related to giving wishes, but I guess he can just also kick-ass without a pretense too.  Sure- why not?  One decent scene involves the Djinn riding on the hood of our heroes' car before getting himself scraped off.  You couldn't just turn the wheels into chocolate or something?  On the rooftop, it finally decides to use his powers and freeze the Angel in place.  Our heroine tries to commit suicide (I guess she didn't see Part 2), but is saved by the Djinn...in his own sort of way.  Using the Deus Ex Machina sword, however, she stabs Connery/Djinn and falls to her death...but gets resurrected by the angel.  Thank you, false drama.
So yeah, this movie is not good.  It has some interesting ideas with all of the Angel nonsense, but it doesn't really make sense.  A note to filmmakers: you can't rewrite the rules in the third film!  Of course, this stuff would still be pretty dumb even if it was logically part of the canon, since there is no third option besides Heaven and Hell (I'm not counting purgatory, since it's more of a lobby).  A lot of the wishes in this movie are sort of cheats to, as our villain tries to make everything literal.  A woman mentions not wanting to have her heart broken, so he makes it explode.  Incidentally, let's stop and consider something for a moment.  If every wish is to be misconstrued or turned against you, why would he summon the spirit of Michael?  It's like 'I'm going to cheat every time, but not this time...for some reason I'll never explain.'  This movie is stupid and can't make the most of it's premise.  There are decent effects here, but that's not enough.

Next up, March comes to an end with a bang.  Oh wait, it's just another Wishmaster film- now with Djinn rape.  Stay tuned...

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