It appears someone reached into my head, read my criticism of part 2 (pretty bad sexism) then decided to turn that on its head and give us the male version in part 3. Nadia Ramadan’s old boyfriend comes into the picture (more on his slightly convoluted entrance later) and almost immediately, Jack Hunter is a little suspicious of his motives. Of course, it lets its sexist flag fly by having the men deal with it in a much more reasonable manner, but I think this qualifies as them at least trying to correct their course a little. Or perhaps not. Ah, who cares?
This is the end of the Jack Hunter saga, and it wraps things up as predictably as you’d expect (not that this, necessarily, a bad thing). The Eye of MacGuffin is about to reunited with Magic Item 2, and the two of them will destroy the world, or allow someone to rule it, or whatever. The final piece of the puzzle, a box with Christian and Ugaritic symbols on it, a combination that shouldn’t be possible due to their respective timelines, is the thing everyone’s after this time. The guy who’s employing our villain shoots one of his goons to let the other goons know he’s serious, Jack gets involved in a firefight which seems to break out at random, and the action finally relocates to Turkey, where the majority of the three movies were actually filmed.
Returning are Jack, Nadia, Tariq, Littman, and finally given something to do in part 3, Jack’s NSA handler Liz (Susan Ward). After the Romans beat them to the tomb of Akhenaten (but only by about 2000 years, so quite close) they just need to find where the Romans left it, because their insiders in the Vatican know it’s not there. They find a listing in an old auction brochure, and wouldn’t you know it but the auctioneer’s son, Fuad, is Nadia’s ex-fiancee! He joins the gang and the story rumbles along, passing through the remote monastery where the artefact had been stored for the last 30 years, to the random spot of desert where we get the finale. On the way, we get some excellent examples of vehicles made out of oily rags and blasting caps – the only way that the car and helicopter which explode could have done so with the speed and vigour they did.
ASIDE: it turns out the reason Fuad and Nadia split up was due to pressure from Fuad’s family, as Nadia is a Muslim. When something feels weird like that, it’s an indication of how much the world has changed in a short time – it’s the only time her faith is mentioned, but I don’t see a white Canadian woman playing a Syrian Muslim again any time soon. Good on the movie for being on her side, though.
I’m always impressed by foreshadowing that I don’t notice as foreshadowing, and this has a lovely example, but as if they were determined to prove they could be stupid as well as clever, the initial plot driver is pretty dumb. Jack and the NSA find the person who bought the artefact, and find out he’s dead, but even though he’s got a wife who’s still alive, they’re unable to find her. Seriously, world’s best funded spy network? The wife of a guy rich enough to drop a fortune on some random artefact? Ah, I need to get over stuff like this. If people behaved with an ounce of common sense in these things, all movies would be 20 minutes long.
I don’t really have an enormous amount more to say on part 3. They’re all pretty similar, have the same cast and are in the same sorts of locations, and are quite good fun. There are a couple of twists in this – one expected, one not so much, and the “not so much” one colours quite a bit of what’s gone on before. So, good work movie! In non-twist news, will Jack and Nadia get together? They almost kissed in part 1 and feuded through much of part 2, but unless you’re the world’s most naïve person, you know they’re getting together at the end. So, to have ages wasted with montages of their scenes, and Tariq suddenly becoming a sage on matters romantic, is a touch on the boring side. Maybe, take that time and put in a scene where the two of them talk and find some common ground other than “we’re both incredibly hot and single”. Still, Sergei and Kelly have been lots of fun to watch in their roles.
I’ll leave you with one final thought. Tariq has been discussing his wife for all three instalments, how he’s been married for 10 years, she’s a bit tough on him, etc. After a little visual “gag” where you think it’s a woman about his age and level of attractiveness, his wife is actually played by the beautiful Silay Unal, who was 24 at the time of filming. 24. Married to a middle-aged man for 10 years. (Syria’s age of consent is 15, by the way). Hurrah for love!
Rating for the entire series: thumbs up