D3: The Mighty Ducks

on October 04, 1996 by Dwayne E. Leslie
   After winning the Goodwill Games, the Mighty Ducks receive a scholarship to attend an exclusive academy to further their education- -and their athletic prowess. Their rival on the ice this time is the varsity team. Now, outsized and outpowered, the juniors are in for extreme ice action that's more violent than anything they've had to deal with before. (At times the smashes and flips are so brutal that one forgets the characters are kids.) The senior team members perceive them to be token students given a free ride and try to get them kicked out. In addition to the practical jokes and training under a new coach, the Ducks have to get used to a new team name.
   Each installment of the "Mighty Ducks" trilogy becomes more predictable but manages to keep audiences cheering. This time out, there are more laughs and several moments when younger moviegoers will feel special sympathy for the characters. It doesn't hurt that the original primary cast resuits for this third outing (rekindling a flame that turned a film into a real-world pro franchise) because the key demo here has grown up seeing these films at theatres or on video, and for them these further misadventures are likely to be must viewing. However, fans of Coach Bombay (Emilio Estevez) will be disappointed by his limited screen time; although top billed, Estevez makes only brief appearances. Opening early in a month that has little family competition, the wholesome "D3" can be expected to keep turnstiles turning. Starring Emilio Estevez, Joshua Jackson, Jeffrey Nordling and David Selby. Directed by Robert Lieberman. Written by Steven Brill and Jim Burnstein. Produced by Jordan Kerner and Jon Avnet. A Buena Vista release. Comedy. Rated PG for some hockey roughhousing and mild language. Running time: 104 min
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