D3: The Mighty Ducks (1996)
Directed By: Robert Lieberman
Written By: Steven Brill, Kenneth Johnson, Jim Burnstein
Starring: Emilio Estevez, Joshua Jackson, Shaun Weiss, Jeffrey Nordling, Elden Ryan Ratliff (Henson), Kenan Thompson
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
I'm a little behind on this one. I watched this nearly three weeks ago (same weekend as Cool Runnings, The Benchwarmers, and The Avengers) with my brother Joshie.
I won't make this too long, because there really isn't a whole lot to say, so I'll start with this: I love me some Mighty Ducks....and it's KNUCKLEPUCK TIME!!!
The Mighty Ducks (or Team USA) all get scholarships to Eden Hall Academy, a local private school, to become their freshman hockey team. Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez; Young Guns) then tells team captain Charlie Conway (Joshua Jackson; TV's Dawson's Creek) that he will no longer be their coach, and that the school's regular freshman coach, Ted Orion (Jeffrey Nordling; TRON: Legacy). Charlie and the rest of the ducks aren't too receptive to this idea at first. They want to play "like they always have" and Orion wants to improve their game. He shakes things up by not naming a captain (at first), putting Adam Banks (Vincent Larusso; The Mighty Ducks) on the Varsity squad (they're a bunch of jerks, btw) and removing Greg Goldberg (Shaun Weiss; Heavyweights) as goalie. The Ducks (now "Warriors") are also down 1 "bash brother" as Fulton Reed (Elden Henson; Cast Away) has been left behind by Dean Portman (Aaron Lohr; Newsies). The Ducks fall further and further from grace, until their long-time supporter and friend, Hans (Joss Ackland; Lethal Weapon 2) passes away, which brings them together for the funeral (including Bombay). Of course, when Bombay returns, things start to look up for all of them.
This is a great, heartfelt way to round out the trilogy. So many of the comments online say "they should've stopped at two", which would've been fine, but this movie is a good one, too. All of your favorite Ducks are back, like Charlie, Connie, Guy Germaine (who is Fulton's real life brother, btw), Russ, Dwayne, Goldberg, Averman, Banks, and the like are back for one last go round. Bombay isn't around as much as the cover makes him seem, as this movie is mostly about the coming of age and maturing of the Ducks, primarily Charlie. This is a heart-warming, predictable, fun story about the Mighty Ducks that we have all grown to know and love. The acting is predictably Disney, but honestly not the worst I've seen from a Disney film. Estevez and Jackson are really pretty good, and the rest take to their roles as they should. Nordling was a standout in this one, as well.
The moral of this one is simple. We must learn to grow up. We cannot always keep things the same. We must evolve, we must continue to build on the skills and strengths we have. If we want to stay Captain, or Goalie...we must fight for it. We may not always simply continue to receive it.
Yeah...Final thought sounds a little "Jerry Springer" for me. Any whoooo. Watch this movie. If you haven't seen the others, watch them first (I'm sure I'll get to reviewing them eventually, but faster if you request it :)) and this is a trilogy worth having copies to show your kids one day. I'm confident that you'll enjoy it just as much watching it now, or with your children, as you did when you saw it for the first time when you were a child. I was 7. I'm now 23. 'Nuff said!
Thanks to you all for reading. I have more on the way still and I appreciate all your feedback. Also, I'm looking for someone to get me a Mighty Ducks jersey with one of the players names on it for Christmas, so if you want to be my new best friend....you know what to do :)
Anyway, thanks for reading. I hope this was long enough to satisfy but short enough not to bore!
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Thanks and God Bless!