2 StarsFor a few weeks in the mid-1990s The Substitute ruled the box-office charts, resulting in a modest hit. The film was a fascist fantasy that re-envisioned Dangerous Minds as a Death Wish type action thriller, commonly referred to as Dangerous Teacher. Melding Rambo and the well-worn path of films like The Principle, Lean on Me and numerous others, the revenge flick was headlined by Tom Berenger and a young Marc Anthony. The sequel saw Treat Williams take over in the lead and this follow-up features him once again as Karl Thomasson, an ex mercenary with a doctorate in literature.
The Substitute 3: Winner Takes All shows signs that the formula is weakening. The first two pictures had plenty of scenes in the classroom and a couple of nifty set-ups and pay-offs. This film has been streamlined and stripped to its base elements. The whole movie plays out in a perfunctory manner, even the relationship between Thomasson and the injured female professor is derivative of the first film. Its time to stop the series when writers start to ape their own creative output. The Substitute 3 isn’t awful, just routine.
Director: Robert Radler
Stars: Treat Wiliiams, Clauida Christian, James Black