ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

001689
Search by title # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The Omen 3: Final Conflict (1981)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Graham Baker

Starring:
Sam Neill/Damien
Lisa Harrow/Kate
Rosanno Brazzi/Father De Carlo
Don Gordon/Harvey Dean
PLOT-CRUNCH
Things don't get easier for anti-Christ with flair Damien (Neil) now that he's all growns up. Sure he just scored the seat of Ambassador of England and world domination is a couple of kills away. Sadly, ball busting monks who want to stab him and the imminent second coming of the big J. are pissing on his parade. What's an old boy to do but clean that house!
THE LOWDOWN
New Page 1

"Birth is pain. Death is pain. Beauty is pain." - Damien

Yup we've reached the end of the beheaded path as THE FINAL CONFLICT is the last of THE OMEN films, rounding up the trilogy with class. No, the piss-poor made for TV quasi Omen remake (but with a girl) OMEN 4 THE AWAKENING or the lousy 2006 cash-in update, don't count in that little bubble that I call my world. OMEN 3 THE FINAL CONFLICT got a lot of heat when first released and still carries a "rep" of being poor to this day, but I on the other end of the crucifix, whole heartily disagree. I think its the best of THE OMEN sequels.

Should've called this one "Days in the Life of an Antichrist" as Damien took center stage in this entry and was basically the point of focus throughout. And I was all for that! Seeing how the son of Satan handled moving up in the ranks of politics (sweet murder), his relationships with others and with himself was mucho compelling for me and I couldn't get enough of it. The brilliant casting of New Zealander actor Sam Neil in the lead role sure had a lot to do with that. Neil's Damien worked as he looked the part and his multi faceted performance of charismatic, menacing, evil yet somewhat still endearing brought it home with gusto. Straight up I was actually rooting for Damien to succeed for the bulk of the movie as he was easily the most fascinating character in here. With that said, I started rooting for "good" to prevail when Damien crossed the line to oversee some pretty nasty things.

Which brings me to another of the film's strength, its big bulldog balls. Lets just say that at a certain point, the offing of newborns came into play and although the flick suggested most of the atrocities committed onscreen, it gave me enough visual hints for my dead brain cells to gap the rest, hence me being freaking horrified! I cherished every second of it! You wouldn't see stuff like that in something made today that's for Aunt Jemima sure! Most of the narrative structure pleased me as well! The main anti-Damien  threat (them silly Monks) was a swell idea, one that was executed in a fair fashion and the "love story" (term used loosely, Damien shows love with anal rape) surprisingly worked too! The latter was well written and the chemistry (between Neil and the talented Lisa Harrow) was "on"! It was so refreshing to see such a layered and strong female character in a genre film. She was a mother, a career driven woman and an individual who happens to like sex! You know, a real woman, not a one-note cliche! NICE! Baptize on top of that firm directing that for the most part captured the epic like nature of this tale, more restraint yet still groovy "creative kills" and Jerry Goldsmith's hard hitting score and you get a fitting end to a franchise that never should've been in the first place.

On the sour side of the red wine, the flick had a slow burn pace. Didn't bother me much to be honest as I was too busy being transfixed to the great Sam Neil to give a damn but it needed to be yapped. The film's worse fault though had to do with the "bypassing" of the series' rules as per established by the original. Damien needs to be stabbed with all 8 knives to be killed not just one. And the fact that this second sequel blatantly ignored that crucial rule just to make its own plot work, insulted me as an "Omen" fan. The Monks needed some work as well! They came across as tad too bumbling and disorganized whilst being weak characterization wise. If these clowns were in charge of saving the world in real life, we'd be in big trouble on little planet! Finally the ending blew. The flick spent its time building to a grandiose finale and instead we get a ho hum cap-off  filled with contrivances and next to zero punch. Damien deserved better than this and so did we!

Overall though, OMEN 3 THE FINAL CONFLICT made for a slick watch! It had a strong storyline, good actors (Neil was this movie!) and it wasn't afraid to venture into some pretty disturbing corners. The script still needed some tap-tap-tap and so did the "yawn" ending but I dug it the most nonetheless. AVE SATANI THIS!

GORE
We get a nice blown up head (the back), some stabbings, burn damage and lots of implied nastiness. Gory enough!
ACTING
Who else but Sam Neill (Damien) could've played an adult Damien this well? The charm, the creepy factor, the hair, the intensity...Neil aced it! Lisa Harrow (Kate) gave a likeable, sexy and grounded show. Rosanno Brazzi (Father De Carlo) and Don Gordon (Harvey Dean) both aced their repsective roles.
T & A
Lisa Harrow gives us both the jiggling T and the heart shaped A while the ladies get Sam Neil looking like motherf*cking Sam Neil, what else can a dame need?
DIRECTING
Graham Baker captured the scope like feel of the story via his panoramic and countless gorgeous wide shots. I also dug his nifty angles and his slow, foreboding camera movements. All that was missing was more dread heavy atmosphere. The film was too bright for my liking.
SOUNDTRACK
Jeyy Goldmith comes in again to deliver a top notch, moody score! Loved it!
BOTTOM LINE
As opposed to repeating THE OMEN too much a la DAMIEN OMEN 2, THE OMEN 3 THE FINAL CONFLICT threaded some new ground. It dropped us into Damien's fascinating world and went further when it came to pretty twisted shite hitting the fan! Furthermore, the token Omen franchise elements (the dog, the wild kills, the Goldsmith's score) helped make it all go down smoothly. Granted the flick was slow paced, could've been more fleshed out and showed-off a bah ending, but I still had a hoot! Its hard not to with Sam Neil whooping creepy acting ass throughout! Give it a shot!
BULL'S EYE
This was Sam Neil's first role in an American film. He was also up for Bond twice but lost out to both Timothy Dalton and Pierce Bronsnan.

Sam Neil and Lisa Harrow were very much in love during the shoot. It showed!

Richard Donner thought about directing the film, but was too busy with his Superman II legal battle. He did executive produce it though.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

Mistress Of The Week

More
Terell, Taryn