Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Scanners 3: The Takeover (1991)


Aka "Scanners III: The Takeover", "Scanner Force"

"Scanners II" was better than it had any right to be. First of all original director/writer David Cronenberg had nothing to do with it in any any shape or form. To top that off there were no returning actors, a novice director at the helm and the regulation to direct-to-video hell. However the filmmakers rose to the occasion and the result was still a stylish, louder, faster paced film and that, in my humble opinion, was a worthy follow-up. Logic should follow that with the same crew a third film should follow suit... right? RIGHT? Oh hell no as lightning definitely did not strike twice for director Christian Duguay in the "Scanners" series.
Again the plot has no carry over actors or characters. It’s a different group of scanners with the same type of problems. Steve Parrish plays a scanner that accidently kills his best friend at a Christmas party so he decides to go all “Rambo III” and joins a monk monastery (seriously?!?!). His down-to-earth sister (played by Liliana Komorowska) tries an experimental drug her adoptive father created and it drives her mad, so naturally she decides to try to take over the world when by accident she learns she can scan people through television broadcasts. Can our Coronel Troutman stand-in convince our Rambo scanner to leave his simple way of life to save the world?
The plot is workable and Christian Duguay still has style, but the problem I have is the tone of the film. Here our director decides to go in a more cartoony direction and the result is FAR less serious than its predecessors with many of the franchises’ iconic scenes, like the obligatory head explosion sequence, resulting more in unintentional laughter than shock. Was he trying something different for the franchise or was this new tone the result of everyone involved not giving two shits as they were drunk off the surprise success of part 2? The whole product has an aura of a cheap action flick as opposed to a cerebral piece of science fiction. In other words it’s just lame.
As a sequel goes this is the “RoboCop 3” of the franchise. One watches it hoping for even a light glimpse of the fire that burned so brightly in the entries before but are disappointed to see the flame snuffed out. “Scanners 3” just lacks balls and the cartoony approach kills anything this sequel had going for it, which is a damn shame as the filmmakers were successful with the last entry. Surprisingly this C-grade sequel didn’t kill the franchise with “Scanner Cop” released a few years later, with much better results.
Written By Eric Reifschneider

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