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Movie Review

Beethoven’s 3rd

Reviewed by: Brett Willis

Better Than Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
8 to Adult
1 hr. 39 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
Relevant Issues
Box Art for “Beethovens 3rd”
click for Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.
Featuring: Judge Reinhold, Julia Sweeney, Michaela Gallo, Joe Pichler, Michael Ciccolini, Jamie Marsh
Director: David Mickey Evans
Producer: David Bixler, Kelli Konop
Distributor: Universal Family and Home Entertainment Production

Here’s another sequel which tries to keep the tone of the original and doesn’t quite succeed.

All of the original Newton family is written out of this episode (the kids, if played by the same actors, would be too old by now). Instead, Judge Reinhold stars as Richard Newton, whose brother has asked him to take temporary care of Beethoven. While the Newtons (mom, dad, brother, sister and a 185-pound dog) travel cross-country in a motor home to attend a family reunion, some really hopeless bad guys are tailing them because Richard has inadvertently bought a DVD containing secret, stolen computer code.

The writing struck me as lame. Really lame. Apparently the idea was to go for a G rating by not making the bad guys too scary (it worked). The biggest disappointment is that Beethoven, the title role, should have been given more to do. There are references to or parodies of a gamut of films including “Star Wars: A New Hope,” “Jurassic Park,” and even “Bill Cosby, Himself.”

Content Warnings

The MPAA rating system standards seem to have deteriorated the last few years. Although this episode is rated G, don’t assume that it’s less offensive than the others in the series, or let young children watch it without pre-viewing. There are several uses of “God” as an expletive; some crude and insulting language and bad attitudes in the family; an implied obscene gesture; crotch violence; visual and audio gags about bodily functions. In trying to create the perfect vacation trip, Richard takes his family to attractions like a combination of a Western gunfight reenactment and simulated Sumo wrestling, and exhibits like the world’s largest ball of earwax (which Beethoven samples).

The acting was OK all around; not realistic, but correctly tongue-in-cheek. But the whole storyline, and its execution, were missing something. Aside from the crudeness, it just wasn’t that funny. I found it a letdown.

I don’t recommend this film. It’s normal to go for sequels of something you enjoyed; but sometimes that’s a mistake.

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