Picks and Pans Review: D3: the Mighty Ducks
Ice, ice, baby. That's what you get plenty of in this, the third, and let's hope final, chapter of Disney's series about little kids who, as the Mighty Ducks hockey team, skate swiftly and carry big sticks. Now the kids have reached puberty and are taller than Estevez, who, looking glum and at a loss to explain how his career reached this frozen nadir, reprises his role as the team's main motivator. (Estevez reportedly said he'd do D3 only if Disney let him direct The War at Home, a Vietnam-vet drama due later this year.)
Actually, Estevez is barely in D3. Most of the movie is devoted to the Ducks' adventures at a snooty prep school to which the team's members have been given scholarships. Life at a country-club academy, it turns out, is not all it's quacked up to be. The Ducks' troubles center on the school's varsity team, which objects to the junior varsity Ducks' instant star status. Much intersquad nastiness ensues (dumping street clothes in the showers, setting lab ants loose), along with a couple of rock 'em, sock 'em hockey matches.
D3 follows a predictable, uninspired path, but it is without the potty humor, questionable language and gunplay that has been creeping into so many recent kids' films. Viewers under 6 will have trouble following the plot and dialogue but will eat up the slapsticky sequences on the ice. (PG)