When My Big Fat Greek Wedding was released in 2002, it was a surprise hit with both audiences and critics, even earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. It was followed up with the first sequel in 2016, which was such a disappointing decline in quality that it is surprising the franchise continued beyond that. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 feels like a cash-grab, made possible because most of the cast doesn’t have much else going for them. The results reek of desperation while none of the cleverness or creativity found in the original remains.
Though the specifics may vary some, survival narratives with tough men of violence protecting innocent children have become increasingly common in films from multiple countries and existing within several genres. Even the recently released science fiction film 65 follows this formula. Warhorse One doesn’t have a genre revision of the formula and is just a straightforward survival film set within recent history, but that doesn’t make the film any more believable than a sci-fi film with dinosaurs. Unfortunately, despite some decent efforts at staging the film’s violence, the narrative always feels contrived and attempts emotional manipulation with the youngest cast member.
Basing a war film on actual events is hardly a new idea, though the budgetary restraints and artistic shortcomings of 3 Days in Malay make it stand out in the worst ways. Directed by minor character actor Louis Mandylor, who also gives himself a leading role, this World War II film has the best of intentions and the worst of execution. It is one thing to laugh at the unintentional hilarity of bad filmmaking when the story is inconsequential fiction, but 3 Days in Malay is weighed down by melodrama in a painful attempt to be respectful of the historical events.