Smokey and the Bandit, Part 3 (1983) from Brainscan

With the most notable exception of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, third episodes in a series suck.

Scoop's note: I might also mention some other exceptions to this generally accurate rule. The Return of the King, Goldfinger, and (on an obviously lower level) Dream Warriors are all third episodes which may be considered the best in a series (Goldfinger), or the equal to the earlier ones (Return of the King), or at least substantially better than #2 in the series (Dream Warriors).

All things being relative, however, it matters greatly which series you are talking about. In the Godfather series, I and II were a couple of the best movies to come out of Hollywood ... ever. So when part III wasn't even considered in the top ten of movies made in 1990, you can sorta say it sucked ... relatively.

To come down a peg and look at the Star Wars trilogy, Return of the Jedi sucked on both relative and absolute scales. Compared with the first two just about anything would have been a let-down but let's face it, Return was the first unmistakable sign that George Lucas had sprung a leak the size of the one which sank the Titanic.

So what happens when you start at not so stratospheric levels with parts 1 and 2? Major League 1 was enjoyable because of the cast, 2 blew donkey balls because many of the major figures retired and those who stayed just mailed in their performances ... and 3 is so bad it's the Manos, Hands of Fate of sports movies.

Cut to Smokey and the Bandit. My wife's friends would be appalled to learn I liked the original movie and have watched it three or four times. Burt Reynolds was at his charming best and Sally Field was Sally Field. Even Jackie Gleason made the most of a silly role. A good ol' movie.

Smokey and the Bandit, part II still had Burt and a bit of Sally but the magic was gone and the motions were all the folks went through.

Part III leaves us with Paul Williams and Jerry Reed and poor old Jackie Gleason to carry the mail, and it is all so very tired and unamusing. The plot is something about a restaurant and a plastic shark that inspires car and boat chases all over God's Southern creation. Yikes, this one sucks no matter whose scale you are using. Such is the problem starting out with something other than a timeless epic... by the time ya get to Part 3 there is not a drop of water left in the well.

For a PG movie, though, it has better than decent exposure.

  • Veronica Gamba, Hefmate for Nov 1983, plays a nudist at a picnic site... and that means she shows us her hooters and her bum, although most of the exposure is shot from afar or is presented in very quick cuts.
  • And then there are other babes giving up top goodies in two scenes - a hotel full of kinky folk enjoying a host of kinking activities, and the rest of the nudist picnic babes.


see the main commentary to the left

DVD info from Amazon

  • all three films are on this modestly priced  DVD

Well, that's it, then. For about 11 seconds...maybe 12...Smokey and the Bandit, Part 3 doesn't suck because there are nekkid babes on the screen. But you pay a steep and heavy price of dreadful movie watching just for those brief moments.

Wouldn't do it again unless it were Jessica Alba at the picnic.

The Critics Vote ...

  • no significant reviews found online

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics, possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

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