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When this film showed up on the cable listing, I had a sudden urge to
see it even though I knew it was probably going to be terrible. The
original was such a staple of my childhood, yet had such an incomplete
ending, that I was intensely curious to see what they would do with
another sequel. Besides, I knew that it could not possibly be worse
than "The NeverEnding Story II."
Boy, was I wrong.
"The NeverEnding Story III" has rightly earned its place among IMDb voters as the 79th worst movie of all time. It is so bad that, in writing this review, I risk making it sound like it's worth watching, sort of like "Plan Nine from Outer Space." I assure you, this film is in no way in the Ed Wood category of being so incompetently done that it becomes enjoyable to watch. Those moviegoers who take pleasure in seeing cinematic disasters should be forewarned about this one, lest they never again be able to erase from their memory Rockbiter's gravelly-voiced version of "Born to be Wild," played in a video sequence early in the film and again during the end credits.
No, I am not joking.
The second film does have its admirers, and as much as I hated it, I sort of understand where they're coming from. At least that film had a legitimate purpose, to tell the second half of the novel which the first film had neglected to do. But now the story is finished, so the third film has to make up its own reason for being, with an even shabbier budget than that of the second film. So it concocts a story that allows us to see as little of Fantasia as possible. Here, a series of magical mishaps causes a bunch of creatures from Fantasia to be transported into the real world. These include Falkor the luck dragon, a baby rockbiter about the size of a fountain statue, and a talking tree. (Falkor, who must have gotten a lobotomy sometime between the second and third film, will chase after a "dragon" at a Chinese festival.) What we do see of Fantasia makes the place seem a lot smaller than I had ever imagined. Almost all of the scenes there take place in the empress's chamber in the Ivory Tower, though there is also one sequence where we get to see Rockbiter's home (just what I've always wanted to do!) with Mama Rockbiter and of course the previously mentioned Baby Rockbiter sitting in front of a large stone TV set. Needless to say, the inhabitants of Fantasia seem to possess quite a bit more knowledge of Earth than they did in the first film. When the gnome describes Bastian as "not exactly Arnold Schwarzenegger in the muscle department," we're reminded how much more enjoyable the film would probably be if Schwarzenegger were actually in it.
The cause of these events is that a gang of school bullies steals the book and discovers that it gives them the power to wreak havoc on the inhabitants of Fantasia. Strangely, these modern kids never seem surprised that magic exists. Think how long it took in the first film for even imaginative, ten-year-old Bastian to become convinced of the book's supernatural qualities. These bullies, much older and more concrete, never go through such a skeptical period. And later, when the Auryn falls into the hands of a teenage girl, she treats it with about the same level of awe as if she got hold of her parents' credit card.
There are actually some familiar actors in this mess. Mr. Koreander is played by the British character actor Freddie Jones, Bastian is played by the kid from "Free Willy," and the main bully is played by a relatively young Jack Black, who now probably would like to do with this film what George Lucas wants to do with the "Star Wars Holiday Special."
The first movie was great. The second wasn't so great, though it's not quite
as bad as you've heard. Especially with there now being an even WORSE entry
to this series - this being it!
Someone questioned why Warner Bros. didn't have the distribution rights to this entry. Well, at first they did. I remember reading a (very negative) review of this movie in "Variety" magazine, and Warner Bros. was set to distribute. It's quite obvious now that Warner Bros. threw away its distribution option (probably after seeing how horrible this movie is), and Miramax picked it up for a tiny release that lasted 5 minutes. (In my city, it only played for a few weekend matinees).
Oh yeah, what did I think of this movie? Quite frankly, it sucked. What were they thinking when they decided to jazz up the movie with contemporary rock 'n roll???? And most of the movie actually takes place not in the fantasy world, but in this world. The characters are especially obnoxious (especially the rock baby), and suffer from stereotypes. Plus, the movie seems to have forgotten a lot of what happened previously - the hero's dad knew about Fantasia, so the hero didn't have to hide anything from him - but for some reason, the hero keeps the incidents he was involved in a secret. The low point comes where the climax is not solved with magic or intelligence - but with karate. Yes, karate.
In the beginning, there was The Neverending Story. It is the best film
Then, there was The Neverending Story II. I'll vent my spleen over that mess later.
And then, there came this waste of film and effort. Hold on a minute while I go throw up.
While it is a clean, safe film in terms of subject matter, the third NES should never have been made. And I mean NEVER. The first two movies covered all the wondrous things within the original book, so I don't understand why this film was made at all. It is just cheesy, stupid, abysmal, and an absolute disgrace to the idea of The Neverending Story.
First of all, what's going on with this stepsister of Bastian's that has somehow appeared? Wrong, wrong. . . Then, what happened to good old Falkor? And most of all, where is Atreyu? If you are bold enough to see this film, that is the one thing you will distinctly notice if you've seen the other two- no Atreyu.The boy who played Bastian was not nearly as obnoxious as the actor from the second film, but he just doesn't hold a candle to the original actor, Barret Oliver.
I have only seen this movie once, because I was informed of how awful it was, and just had to see for myself. It was a waste of my precious time. I hardly remember the plot line or anything important like that because it just didn't stick with me. One gets the impression that this was made as a sort of kid/family-friendly approach to The Neverending Story, because it is just so simplistic, and sacrifices the charm of the original characters and settings for the sake of being funny and entertaining. But trust me, it is NOT funny and it is NOT entertaining. Any NES fan worth their salt would be appalled by this film. If however you are not familiar with the Neverending Story, see the original 1984 movie and read the book and be contented with that.
Do not subject yourself to the torturous nightmare that is the Neverending Story 3, I implore you.
As for a star rating out of ten, I give this film nothing. Nil. Zip. Nichts.
I don't understand why they bothered to make this one. The first Neverending Story really put you in the feeling of a fantasy world. The second was not quite as good. This one? Good Lord! Super trendy, with people in Fantasia watching MTV type television. Falcor wasn't the same voice or personality. It always ruins a good children's movie that is attempting to take you to "another world" when they try to make it hip. The beauty of these films was that they weren't "hip"; they were a true departure from the everyday. Isn't that what going into the book in the first place was supposed to represent? When will film makers learn to leave well enough alone?
This movie does belong in a class by itself: Even worse than utterly
terrible. I have been an aficionado of 'bad' movies for quite a long
time, adoring those movies which only a group of friends and many
drinks makes enjoyable. This movie was in fact so amazingly bad that I
could not watch it past the first half hour or so. I only watched the
rest via fast-forward the next morning. I've seen many films worse
considered classically bad, this one beat them all hands down. I even
had to start referring to possibly similar bad movies by saying "They
may be in the NS3 category". There are those bad movies that are MST3K
fun and then there are those that make you wish you had a sharp object
to commit suicide with, this one is the latter.
This franchise went from excellent original fantasy, special effects for the genre, and well written characters to bad acting and writing in part 2, to movie of the week actors and rubber puppets in part 3. It's amazing how a film franchise that had such good promise sank faster than Lips Manless after taking "the bath". Especially if you're considering getting this for the kids, at least treat them to the original movie or something like the Peter Barnes inspired fantasy miniseries' from the late 90s.
Sadly, the running joke of Engywook and Urgl having to go to the bathroom,
but being unable to do so, is one of the entertaining things about this
film. But it does get tiresome. And the baby rock-biter is cute, if
incredibly stupid. But if you have ever seen the first movie, or read the
book, you will most likely not care for this movie at all. The plot is poor,
Falcore looks extremely cartoonish as do the Rockbiters, and the
Nasties...well, they just aren't that scary. Give me Gmork any day,
This is a tolerable children's movie ONLY if you have no other knowledge of The Neverending Story.
I thought Bastian's real mom died? Now his real mom is alive and his dad
(except his new stepdad) is gone. Did I miss a step between NES 2 and 3?
Then, all the fantasy characters (Falcor, Rock Biter, etc.) change looks
(and in some cases, even names)!
If I could rate this negative #'s, I'd rate this a -10. However, Jack Black showed how he could actually act (in a rather early appearance before he became the likable guy he is/plays now), so I think I'll give it a -5.
I cannot begin to describe how awful this movie is. I watched the first Neverending Story when I was 7 or 8 or so, it came out in 1984, the year I was born, and I was absolutely fascinated with it. A few years later I had the pleasure of watching the second one, and although not as good as the first one, I have to say it is one of the better movie sequels I have seen (the people who comment on it give it too harsh criticism) It was still as imaginative and beautiful as the first one, and kept all the main characters. I saw the third one in the movie rental part of our grocery store when I was 14, and I got exited. I immediately rented it and brought it home and popped it in our VCR (you remember VCR's don't you?). It was not much longer after that that I was popping it out again. NES3, for lack of a better term,... sucks. The storyline was as unimaginative and vapid as you could hope for, it takes place in the real world, and not(as the title would have you believe)in Fantasia, and I get the feeling that it is because creating a fantasy world was a little out of their budget. This movie has "low budget" written all over it. The childlike empress isn't even blond! they get some brunette chick who looks nothing like her to play the role. After the fart jokes and potty humor commenced, I just couldn't take it any longer. My advice is don't wast your time and ruin your childhood memories with this piece of refuse.
We have seen all the NES movies. The 1st was the absolute best!!!!! The
second was sub-par. The third was the worst of them all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Good News: Jack Black Played his character very well. Bad News: Where
do we begin? First of all No atreau- Why, we don't know. second, the
empress had BLOND hair. Defenatly not the beautiful girl in the first
NES.She also looked very stoned. Bastion was an innocent kid with a big
imagination. This one looked clueless. Changing his dead mother to his
dead father is the worse, most noticeably fault with the story. YOU DO
NOT CHANGE THE THE ORIGINAL POINTS OF THE FRANCHISE!!!! Now the
fantasia characters. Falcor looked like an anorexic, crack head who
must of lost all his knowledge with the pipe. We loved the rock-biter
in the first film. But in this he shrunk and had a family (yes we know
his son was in the second). If everyone grew up, why didn't didn't the
baby? The elves looked horrible. It was good they brought them back,
but they ruined the concept of them both. The oracle looked nothing
like the first film and neither did the ivory tower.(stone?) They
shouldn't started from scratch. The idea of using the real world as a
premise was good, but the storyline sucked bad. Only Falcor new what
the real world looked like. To try to make us believe that the other
fantasia characters knew was laughable to say the least.
Over all they should burn all copies of this movie and use a memory wipe to make us forget this movie ever existed. If we rated this on a scale of 1-10 we would give this a -1000.
I first saw the first movie a few years ago. I loved it and still love
it. I saw the second movie a while later. It was okay then. After two
or three viewings I saw Michael Ende's name in the opening credits, and
decided to find the book and read it. I can't remember whether I saw
NES III before or after I read the book.
The book was AMAZING. Probably the best stand-alone novel I have ever read. But the problem is: After you read the book, the movies always look worse because it's not like the book. The first movie is basically based on the first half of the book. A few things were changed and/or left out, but it's still a great movie overall.
The second movie is basically based on the second half of the book. A lot of things were changed and a lot of things were left out. This decreased NES II's score a lot, but it's still barely an okay movie.
Now NES III is based only on the characters of the book. There's Bastian, of course, but in the book and the previous two movies, he doesn't have the attitude anyhow close to getting wild hair. No Atreyu, of course, which was probably one of the worst decisions made in the making of the movie. According to the first movie, Mr. Koreander doesn't like kids. But now he's school librarian, which doesn't make sense. Engywook and Urgl returning was probably a good decision, but their characterization was ruined when they were reduced to complaining about having to go to the bathroom the whole second half of the movie. The Bark Troll (there were bark trolls in the book) is not supposed to know enough about the human world to mention Vegas and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bastian should not have been allowed to keep Junior at his house. Either Bastian would have said, "No way! I'm not taking him to my house!" or Junior would have wrecked his house down. Even the Childlike Empress was reduced to an idiot towards the end of the movie. NES III just doesn't have the feel that The Neverending Story was originally designed to have.
Positive notes on NES III: Well, the story was actually okay in my opinion. Jack Black is a likable actor. Mr. Koreander's line: "The story's not over yet, young man" is the only time in any of the three movies where it talks about the NeverEnding Story's "unendingness." I like seeing the Old Man of Wandering Mountain, but it's not the same part as the book. And the biggest positive note: I liked it a lot better a few years ago, when I wasn't as much of a movie critic as I am now.
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