After Chucky comes back to life, he follows Andy
to military school and targets another young boy.
Child's Play 3 (1991)
Directed by Jack Bender
Written by Don Mancini
Starring Brad Dourif, Justin Whalin, Perrey Reeves,
Jeremy Sylvers, Travis Fine
Sequel to 1990's Child's Play 2
You know, I don’t hate this movie as much as most fans do. While I do agree the formula gets stale and the military school setting isn’t ideal, Chucky is as badass as ever and the kills are pretty awesome. The filmmakers made a huge mistake in how soon they released this one from the second film. After striking unexpected success with the original film, Universal quickly went to work in getting not one, but two sequels made. Cue to nine months after the fan favorite sequel comes out and you have Child’s Play 3. Needless to say, the effects of repetition quickly affected this film. But, at least it’s not as bad as Seed of Chucky. So, there’s that.
Even though the film was released a mere nine months after the second one, the story itself takes place years later with Andy now a teenager and in military school. With this jump in time comes the first big gripe fans have. The recasting of Andy. Obviously, they couldn’t bring back Alex Vincent due to his age in real life. Now, while I do think the new actor does a decent job as an older, more experienced Andy, it’s still not the same. And then there is the next biggest gripe, the setting. Even I got to admit, I’m not a huge fan of the military school setting myself. Not as scary as someone’s house. Take into account a storyline which is pretty much the same as the other two, and you also got a pretty standard sequel. But, all is not lost. Brad Dourif continues to shine as Chucky and delivers some of the franchise’s most memorable lines in this installment. And, the kills are absolutely insane. Chucky goes to quite the lengths to get what he wants.
For the most part, I agree that Child’s Play 3 is not the franchise at its best. But I also don’t think it’s the worst. Despite the staleness, okay setting, and recasting, this still features a fully committed Brad Dourif and some excellent kills. In the words of Chucky himself: “You don’t fuck with the Chuck.”
Released less than a year after Child’s Play 2, this entry is a bit of a stumble for me. This time around, Mancini has set this entry eight years into the future. The Play Land company CEO decides to reopen the factory (the opening of the film shows a deserted, cob web infested factory floor) to clear their reputation. His greed is repaid as he unknowingly brings Chucky back to life. Yes, Chucky is stalking Andy to try and take his body. Again.
The repetition was okay for the second film, but it doesn’t quite stick the landing this time around. Even with Andy being older and more ready to fight off Chucky, it feels forced somehow. One thing Mancini has done is not play in to the Chucky versus Andy theme as this time around he has found a new unwilling donor that Andy has to protect. As always, Brad Dourif shines as Chucky. This time around Chucky is meaner and more determined than ever and I am thankful for it. Bullying and hazing are explored a little with the setting of the military academy and Andy being the target of his platoon leader. Whether it is a doll stalking him to steal his body, adults not believing him, or a peer who wants to embarrass and humiliate him, Andy has proven to be a durable and strong-willed character.
As mentioned earlier, Andy has shifted roles to that of protector (something he didn’t really have in the first two films until it was too late) and tries to save Chucky’s newest friend/victim from the same fate he has survived twice now. There are some great kills (yo-yo fu, garbage truck fu) and, as always, the adults in these films never quite last as playmates for Chucky. A carnival showdown sees Andy put his tormentor down once again (fan blade fu) in a spectacular bloody mess. While this is not my personal favorite of the series, Don Mancini continues to steer this franchise with his writing and continuing the saga of Charles Lee Ray and his friend to the end, Andy Barclay.