Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981)

After the really awful sequel, the third installment of the trilogy manages, to everyone’s surprise, be a genuinely semi-decent movie. It does not reach the level of the first movie, but it does offer some half decent, hammy fun. This time Damien is all grown up and he’s still up to no good, scheming to stop the second coming of Christ, but don’t worry, seven brave Catholic monks,armed with those pesky iconic daggers from the previous two movies, are on the case! It’s just too bad they all more or less prove to be completely useless and die off very comically. Don’t send a priest to do a killer’s work, my old mum always used to say. The first priest’s botched attempt is my favorite, as he tries to assassinate Damien during a live interview but accidentally immolates himself instead in live TV.

Anyway, the movie is already off to a better start than last time because, you know, there’s a clear and decent enough plot to move the story this time around. It’s not much, but what it lacks in dramatic tension, it makes up in cheesy atmosphere. Sam Neill does a very good version of evil, but very charismatic adult Damien. It’s a refreshing change of pace, because I’ve grown accustomed to seeing him in more reserved roles, and here he can really ham it up and chew up the scenery. And he really does, he looks like he’s having the time of his life. I quite loved it how he at one point gives this cartoonish big bad guy speech in front of an entire army of his minions, who age from elderly to young boy scouts (yes, actual kids!), and then sends them out to kill all male babies that were born under a specific day.  I actually cracked up when a scene or two later we see these same boy scouts ring the door bell and then go inside to kill one infant. Now that’s what I call sinister and evil.

One thing does a bug me a little. Now, perhaps I wasn’t paying enough attention, but I for the life of me can’t understand what was the point in the beginning to kill the current ambassador in London, so that Damien could take his post.  I mean, sure it establishes that supernatural powers are at work, but it never seems to be really explained why Damien needed it to happen in the first place,  or why he then has to further manipulate the President to agree to give the job to him. After all, Damien’s suppose to be a powerful CEO, what gain was there in being appointed the ambassador in London he couldn’t already get in some other way? Nostalgia for his father who had the post in the first movie? Political immunity? Does he really need immunity, though? He has minions to do his bidding. He has money to keep himself protected. It seems like it was just done in a lazy way to introduce us to the female journalist who plays a central role in movie. Oh well, it’s a minor thing that you can ignore.

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