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Third Film in a Trilogy generally the worst?


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#1 Deji Joseph

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 03:00 PM

I was talking to someone about the anticipation of "The Dark Night Rises" and while i have faith Chris Nolan will do a good job, I cant see it being better than "The Dark Knight". Looking back at the trilogies with decent directors at the helm, the third film tend to suffer. WHile some like LOTR trilogy and Toy story are all the same quality, Most tend to go First>Second>Third or Second>First>Third. I think its because the second is expansion of the world of set up in the first, so it has more potential, while the third suffers because it brings closure to the world, which can be difficult. Do you think the third in a trilogy is generally the worst?
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#2 Brian Rose

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 03:20 PM

Kieslowski's "Three Colors" trilogy arguably gets better with each one, and most would agree the final film, "Red," is the best of the three.

Goldfinger was the third James Bond film and arguably the best of them all.
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#3 Deji Joseph

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 03:43 PM

James Bond is a franchise so i am not sure if its technically a trilogy. The Color trilogy seems to be more of spiritual sequels than direct sequels i.e the same protagonist.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 05:30 PM

I was talking to someone about the anticipation of "The Dark Night Rises" and while i have faith Chris Nolan will do a good job, I cant see it being better than "The Dark Knight". Looking back at the trilogies with decent directors at the helm, the third film tend to suffer. WHile some like LOTR trilogy and Toy story are all the same quality, Most tend to go First>Second>Third or Second>First>Third. I think its because the second is expansion of the world of set up in the first, so it has more potential, while the third suffers because it brings closure to the world, which can be difficult. Do you think the third in a trilogy is generally the worst?


Generally, yes, it almost can't help but be a disappointment if the 2nd one managed to be good. First one is original and fresh, the second one has to expand the characters and up the stakes to be a good sequel, but if it pulls that off, it raises the stakes for the 3rd movie which are nearly impossible to pull off -- look at "Return of the Jedi" for example, it's not so much that it's a bad movie (well, maybe it is) but that "Empire Strikes Back" was exceptionally strong and evocative, raising expectations for the follow-up that weren't met.

On the other hand, the Star Wars prequels were so mediocre that no one had high expectations for the third one, "Revenge of the Sith", so it turned out to be better than the previous two. But that was a pretty low bar.

Now there is Leone's Spaghetti Western trilogy, of which the third, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly", is the most ambitious and probably the best, but that's not a conventional trilogy, just like the Colors trilogy isn't conventional.

"Lord of the Rings" had the advantage of that they weren't original screenplays but adaptation of books covering a single story line. So it wasn't the case of making up the sequels as they went, unlike the Spider-Man movies.

Now with the longer series, sometimes the third is pretty good -- take the third Harry Potter movie, for example, or the third Connery Bond movie.
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 07:25 PM

I dunno; I may be the odd-ball out here, wel ok I am the odd ball out here, but I really enjoyed Beyond Thunderdome probably most of all.. then again it might just be due to the whole Thunderdome sequence.
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#6 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 07:42 PM

Well I just watched Rocky 3 on telly the other night (the one with Mr. T), and I gotta say, for laughs per minute and glorious slow-motion homoerotic hugging in the surf, it's by far the best of the 3. They really should have stopped there, so I'm including it as a trilogy..
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 07:48 PM

Of the Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray, I like the third one the best, "The World of Apu".
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#8 Joseph Arch

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 01:08 AM

The third is usually the worst because they have used up all the ideas for the first two.
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#9 Deji Joseph

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 03:40 PM

The third is usually the worst because they have used up all the ideas for the first two.


I thinks its more about execution, spider-man has a massive backlog of story, so i doubt they would have run out of ideas. Maybe what made the first to films so original has become overused by the third.
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#10 Joseph Arch

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:04 PM

The spiderman was a bad decision. I have the old cartoon that used to air on fox network and there are enough stories to stitch together and make a whole film.
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#11 Frank Glencairn

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 03:40 AM

The first Indiana Jones was great. The second (Temple) was so bad, I was close to leave the theater. Last Crusade was even better than the first, but don´t get me into talking about that Christal Skull disaster.

So I think there is no general rule here, but yeah - in a lot of cases, number three sucks.
Frank

Edited by Frank Glencairn, 01 March 2011 - 03:41 AM.

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#12 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 05:47 AM

The best, by far, hero film and series for me is the original Superman. The first gives you just enough background and sets up who he is. Superman II did a perfect job of continuing the story as it confirmed where the character stands in society and makes it clear how important he is to the world, along with dealing with the realities of someone like him trying to have a relationship. The third, in this case, could really only exist as an action piece and it pretty much failed there, though it was at least much better than the forth one which was disturbingly bad in every way.

The first two were actually filmed at the same time and by the same director so that had a lot to do with the amazing level of quality they shared.
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#13 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 06:47 AM

The third film by Jaques Tati featuring Monsieur Hulot, Playtime, is arguably his best.

There's precious little little character development in the Hulot series, but by the third film Tati's exquisite eye for the absurdities of modern society is fully honed, and due to the success of the first two Hulot films his budget was enough to shoot it in 70mm and recreate an entire city block on the outskirts of Paris.

It's a masterpiece, but it was a commercial failure at the time, and bankrupted him.
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#14 Matt Stevens

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 09:03 AM

JEDI was a serious letdown compared to EMPIRE. STAR TREK III was not as good as II, but it wasn't bad. It was just good instead of spectacular. HIGHLANDER III was an abomination, but then again, so was part II. The GODFATHER III was fairly insipid, but not horrific. The third UNDERWORLD was a snooze. The third MUMMY movie was a steaming turd.

I think, on average, third films are not as good as the first or second simply because it is usually a studio decision to make the film. Obviously the rule is broken frequently by flicks such as The Bourne Ultimatum and we all hope by The Dark Knight Rising.
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