Some readers are offended when they see me use the word “dumb” to describe some movies. I guess no self-respecting movie critic would ever use words like “dumb”; I guess I’m supposed to come up with more flowery ways to say that a movie is dumb. Well, I’m sorry, but sometimes a movie is just dumb, and calling it dumb by any other name is still calling it dumb.
“Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell” is dumb. Yes, I said it. And here are the reasons why it’s dumb:
It’s dumb in that the Djinn (played by Jason Connery in human form and John Novak in heavy makeup form) can move at superspeed and do other groovy things like set people on fire just by thinking it, and yet it takes him 50 minutes of screentime to locate one college student living on campus.
It’s dumb in that the Djinn, still searching for college student A.J. Cook (“Final Destination 2”) so he can grant her 3 wishes and thus open the gates of hell (or something or rather), actually finds the time between the whole “making the Earth into a demon graveyard” thing to teach a class.
It’s dumb in that when the heroine wishes for one of God’s archangels to come and help her defeat the Djinn, the archangel ends up in the body of a kid in jeans and a T-shirt with a big ol sword, but apparently has forgotten how to swing the sword, although he did show some skills with a judo throw.
It’s dumb in that the archangel, wounded by the Djinn, doesn’t seem to be able to mend his host body’s wound, and yet can blow on a burn victim’s hand and instantly heal the hand! Gee, archangel, why didn’t you just blow on yourself?
It’s dumb in that the movie’s climactic battle consists of a car chase, a car crash, and then a car blowing up in a giant ball of flame, all in the middle of a college campus, and yet not a single campus police car, fire truck, or student wanders over to see what the ruckus.
In fact, the smartest thing about “Wishmaster 3” is that Andrew Divoff, who was in the first and second “Wishmaster”, has declined to re-appear in this third (and the fourth) installment in the series. Smart boy, that Divoff.
Despite the brainless plotting by screenwriter Alex Wright, “Wishmaster 3” has enough blood, gore, and gratuitous nudity to satisfy those of us with very little expectations for Teen Slasher movies. The Djinn also (for the most part) continues his granting of wishes and adding a deadly twist to it. Even though not all of the Djinn’s killings made sense (for example: a student wishes to go some place where she won’t be found, so the Djinn puts her head in a rat cage. Huh?) there are still enough good wish-kills to keep one entertained.
Ah, to have low expectations of a movie…
Chris Angel (director) / Alex Wright (screenplay)
CAST: John Novak …. The Djinn
A.J. Cook …. Diana Collins
Jason Connery …. Professor Joel Barash
Tobias Mehler …. Greg Janson
Louisette Geiss …. Katie York