Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In the beginning of the movie a new generation of nerds rule the Adams College campus, upholding the traditions of nerds from the first film. The Alpha Betas are now respectful of the nerds’ prominence and even wish they could get more nerds to join their frat. However, this changes when Orrin Price (Morton Downey, Jr.), becomes a member of the Adams College Board of Regents and a new generation of jocks come to campus, including Orrin’s obnoxious son and a brain-dead jock named Bobo. Stan Gable is now a pathetic motorcycle police officer whom Orrin Price implausibly installs as the new Dean of Students. Gable and Price rally the ABs to cause trouble for the nerds, whose group now includes an obese English inductee (who is depicted wearing a kilt) and a Korean Elvis impersonator (who notes that he is South Korean, when asked about his accent). Early anti-nerd actions include the vandalizing of the Computer Science Center and a raid that ruins the Tri-Lamb new membership party.

Lewis, who lives near the Adams College campus and chairs Adams’ Computer Science Department, shows that he is distancing himself from his nerd past by growing a ponytail and asking people to call him “Lou” rather than Lewis. His nephew Harold, who is now a student at Adams, is surprised at Lewis’ behavior, saying in his college day he was the “George Washington of nerds”. Betty, who is now married to Lewis and is also a professor at Adams College (teaching in the Art Department), tries to remind him she fell in love with him because he had the courage to be himself, but Lewis is more interested in becoming friends with new Dean Gable (and not noticing that Gable hopes to break up the Skolnicks and win Betty back for himself). When Stan and the Alpha Betas launch a reign of terror against the nerds, Lewis is forced to examine his “self-hating nerd” status, while Stan faces his own stirrings of conscience over the vile actions of Orrin Price and has to decide what he will and will not stand for.

The film reaches its climax when Lewis, finally unable to ignore Orrin Price’s reign of terror over Adams College, decides to take action. Orrin Price has framed the Tri-Lambs by planting marijuana in their house. Lewis reaches out to Stan to help defend the Tri-Lams, but Stan says he will not help. Lewis angrily tells Stan that he was forgiving of their rocky past and defended Stan as a friend when others were telling Lewis he should ditch Stan. Stan then says that he is not friends with Lewis, and that Lewis will be a nerd for life no matter what his behavior. This betrayal spurs Lewis to once again embrace his nerd self. Lewis arranges for bail for the arrested Tri-Lams, putting his house up as collateral. He then calls upon all the nerds and those sympathetic to their cause on campus and in the city to participate in a massive nerd strike, meaning to take it easy and stop working. Many of the city’s basic utilities and services are crippled. In order to end the strike, Price decides to frame Lewis for embezzling college funds, a tactic Stan is uncomfortable with. Lewis is arrested and the strikers return to work. Betty confronts Stan to tell the truth and get Lewis released. Stan suggests he would do it if she were to offer herself, when Betty asks if that is what he really wants, Stan looks deeply ashamed as he says he does not want that—he still has a little bit of pride left. At trial, things do not look good for Lewis until most of his old Tri-Lamb friends return to support him. Stan, realizing that his miserable life stems from his refusal to admit his own mistakes (and an earlier remark from Lewis that Stan thinks it is easy to always see himself as the victim), has a change of heart and testifies against Price, admitting that he has proof that Orrin Price planted the marijuana plants in the Tri-Lam house. Stan also states that he is a nerd; that he always wanted to read books but his family discouraged it. Price is arrested and the charges against Lewis are dismissed. Stan feels it ought to be best to resign as dean of student because he feels he cannot cut it, but Lewis argues he should stay on. The nerds accept Stan as one of their own, guaranteeing nerd freedom in Adams College.

REVIEW:

The nerds are back in town! Well, a new generation of them, anyway. The nephew of nerd extraordinaire, Lewis, from the first two films leads a new generation in Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation. Does the new blood hold a candle to the originals, though?

What is this about?

Disgusted by Adams College’s transformation into a nerd paradise, loudmouth alum Orrin Price (Morton Downey Jr.) teams with aging nerd nemesis Stan (Ted McGinley) to restore the campus to its jock roots. The nerds’ only hope is their patron saint, Lewis (Robert Carradine), now a wealthy computer consultant who has lost touch with his inner geek.

What did I like?

A for trying. When studious don’t want to let a franchise die, they do all they can to inject fresh blood into, while leaving things familiar. The fact that this film kept many of the things that worked in the first two films and coupled them with returning cast members, and a blood relation was something respectable, if you ask me. This very easily could have gone off on some other tangent that ruined the legacy of then nerds.

Moment. Late in the film, there is a moment where Lewis realized that he isn’t some yuppie, but still a nerd. When he puts back on the pocket protector and glasses, as well as let out the trademark laugh, something he had been fighting the whole film, it is a moment some would akin t the first time we see a superhero in their costume, or a surprise return of a hero.

What didn’t I like?

Postponed. It may be just me, but nearly 20 yrs after the original, why is it that just now an alumnus of the jock fraternity is noticing how Adams College has become an almost all nerd school? It just seems to me that this is something that should have been picked up on while it was happening, not after it was all said and done. Making matters worse, the guy that seems to be spearheading this movement is a complete pompous, arrogant, douchebag. Yeah, he was perfect for a villain, but it just seemed to contradict the tone of the series.

Quality. Revenge of the Nerds was a pretty good comedy, but the sequels have been going down in quality. As a matter of fact, the flick that follows this one was so bad, it didn’t even make it to theaters, but rather was a made-for-TV movie. Focusing on this one, though, there isn’t anything that really sticks out. Truth be told, while this isn’t a bad film, it isn’t good, either.

Cast. While much of the cast we have grown to love over the past couple of films returned, it was the missing pieces that bothered me. Not only were there those that weren’t there, but others were just flat out replaced, most notably, the other head nerd, played by Anthony Edwards. Rumor is that he was too busy with ER to appear, but his character is only in one scene and it is just 3 or 4 lines. The guy could’ve flown out one afternoon, filmed the scene, and then went back to being a fake doctor.

So, when all the dust has settled, what is the final verdict on Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation? Well, it tries, it really does. However, there just isn’t enough here to warrant a viewing, unless you are really bored. As I said earlier, this isn’t bad, but it isn’t god either. As a matter of fact, it isn’t even average. I don’t know what to call it, but I can say that I won’t really recommend it.

3 out of 5 stars

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