Reviewed by: Larry Massey
Quack… quack and a third quack. This third film (second sequel) in the Mighty Ducks “series” is much like the first two, but with some interesting and exciting twists.
In “D3” Coach Bombay appears at the beginning, but after situating the “Ducks” at his old alma mater, Easton School, he heads off for bigger and better coaching opportunities. He appears later in the movie to save the team, so he is still the team’s hero.
The team, for the most part, is kept intact, but this time they are the new kids on the block. All are high school freshmen and a bitter yet comedic rivalry develops between these new kids (Ducks) and the championship Varsity team. Almost all of the action and interaction is between these two rival factions …and the on screen antics are fun to watch.
With the introduction of the “Ducks” new coach (who is, quite predictably, very tough and very much like Coach Bombay in his approach to building a championship team) the plot makes this one the best in terms of content compared to the first tow. Perhaps others will disagree. Nevertheless, the moral lessons are much stronger in “D3” and, therefore, make it a movie that I, as a parent, appreciated and enjoyed. It gave me real issues I could discuss with my children afterwards.
The entire movie, along with many minutes of super spectacular hockey action, revolves around the star (Charlie) and the new coach. The theme can best be stated as: the choices that Charlie must make to be a winner. In his leadership of the team, he must learn what it means to be the captain of a winning team. As a friend, he must learn to put himself second and others first. As a son, he must learn to listen to and consider what his parents (in this case, his mom) suggests. All this growth is neatly intertwined with his sometimes rocky relationship with the new coach.
Overall, this movie had a stronger moralistic theme and lines up more closely with what the Word of God teaches than the other two. Charlie came out a winner, not only as a team member, but in life because he made the right choices. Even when he made wrong choices, he saw the error of his ways and corrected them, sometimes quickly and sometimes reluctantly, reminiscent of most of our own lives.
In addition, there are some very poignant and heartfelt moments in this movie that, again, emphasized relationships and what they mean in our life.
This otherwise commendable movie earned its PG-rating with help from hockey-type violence, a couple instances of profanity, and the prevailing theme of “Do unto others before they do it to you” (obviously contrary to what the Bible teaches).
Year of Release—1996