Child’s Play 3 (1991)

“Don’t fuck with the Chuck!”

You can tell the studios basically ran out of ideas with this third installment of the “Chucky” series, so they pretty much just ripped off “Friday the 13th” part five this time around. This series was begging to be rebooted by the time we reached this new installment, as “Child’s Play 3” is filled with such a bland set piece, and pretty weak character motivations overall. For no real explanation there’s a very young boy in a military academy filled with people in their twenties, and Chucky seems to be running thin on reasons to kill. In the past he killed people that complicated his larger goals, now he kills because people decide to annoy him. Even for a psychopath that gets kind of boring.

After going in and out of foster homes all of his life, teenage Andy Barclay is now handed over to a military academy where he hopes to straighten his life. Andy is still being considered insane for his experiences with Chucky and now hopes to get his life in order. Sadly with Play Pals insistent on reviving the Good Guy Doll brand after Andy ruined their profits, the old factory from part two is re-opened and Chucky is remade once again in a new mold. Rather than, you know, cutting the middle man and just finding a new child to transfer his soul in to, Chucky sends himself to Andy at his academy after finding him, and plans to complete the transfer once and for all.

Chucky gains the attention of recruit Tyler, a young boy who hopes to make Chucky his pal, and Chucky plans to use Tyler as his new vessel. The premise for “Child’s Play 3” reaches even  more than the second film, with a lot of Chucky running around, all the while Andy surprisingly under reacts when he realizes Chucky is on the base. Chucky’s motivations are pretty muddy this time out with no actual clarification if he wants Tyler or Andy. The screenplay also works hard to build antagonists for Andy, propping up fodder for Chucky to murder. It feels very old hat and listless, with Chucky either scaring people to death or murdering annoying characters for no great reason.

Justin Whalin fills the role of Andy this time around and doesn’t do much with the character save for looking confused and or frightened most of the time on-screen. Despite a lot of exposition in the opening, Andy hasn’t evolved very much, nor is he a very engaging protagonist or nemesis for Chucky. There was nowhere to go but down for the “Child’s Play” series after the first film, especially after Chucky arguably became the main character. It’s just too bad the studios never knew when to call it quits.