Well, I was going to broach sequels this week but I have ADHD and, at the last second, decided to go in another direction. I decided why not take a look at a much stranger animal… the Threequel.
NOTE: For our purposes here, Threequel will refer to the third movie in a series and may or may not have “Part 3” in the title.
Threequels are very interesting in that if a 3rd movie in a series is being put out, chances are it’s based on a very popular property. Chances are also good that you were very excited to see it. And, of course, chances are Part 3 just wasn’t that good. See, Threequels are typically just formulaic concoctions, featuring characters you know and love, designed to suck out everything else that drew you to a franchise in the first place. However, they can also be something else. They can also redeem a series of films that lost their way on the always difficult Part 2. While this is rare, it does happen. And I thought it’d be interesting to look at some of the films that got it right. So, away we go, as I present you with this week’s list: GREATEST THREEQUELS.
SIDENOTE: Before starting, I should state that I still haven’t seen the LOTR trilogy so Return of the King will not be on this list. Also, I’m not going to get too obscure with this one. While a film like Lady Vengeance may make my personal list, I’m going to keep these relevant on a broader scale!
Let’s start with some honorable mentions (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)…
STAR WARS – EPISODE 3: REVENGE OF THE SITH.
“I sense a plot to destroy the Jedi.” – Mace Windu
All right… there are 2 types of Star Wars Fanboys. I’m the type that would rather have more Star Wars movies than nothing at all. True, many observed the prequels to be somewhat of a let down. I believe, when life gives you lemons, you make a drink! Sure, these films did not have the cultural impact of the first, or is it the second, trilogy. However, I feel like they got progressively better. And while Hayden Christensen’s acting was difficult to bare and the love story was a bit mushy, the film still paid off with a great look at what turned Anakin into Darth Vader!
BACK TO THE FUTURE 3.
“Are you in there, Eastwood? It’s eight o’clock, and I’m callin’ you out!” – Buford “Mad Dog” Tanner
Let’s face it… all 3 Back to the Future films are basically the same story told in a different time and location. If you like the first one, which everyone does, you like the 3rd one. Sure, the first one’s the best but as far as Threequels go, this one’s not too shabby.
“The program Smith has grown beyond your control. Soon he will spread through this city, as he spread through the matrix. You cannot stop him. But I can.” – Neo
Why this film gets a bad rap is beyond me. My guess is people couldn’t get the taste of Reloaded out of their mouths. Sure, the ending, with Neo dying in a Christ-like fashion to save the whole of mankind, was a bit of a bummer. And no fan wants to see hot little Trinity, with her patten leather outfit gripping the perfect curves of her body due to the sweat glistening on her skin just below, be impaled and die. She just got to see the sun for Chrissakes! Come on, people. Still, the ultimate showdown with Agent Smith in a world he came to dominate was fulfilling. And the showdown with the Sentinels for Zion rocked. Four words: Apu Mifune’s last stand! In the end, I say, “Good job… Mr. Anderson.”
THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM.
“This is Jason Bourne, the toughest target that you have ever tracked. He is really good at staying alive, and trying to kill him and failing… just pisses him off.” – Pamela Landy
I may actually get crap for this one, as critics and film geeks everywhere seemed to love this flick. I’ll just say this… Ultimatum is not as good as everyone says. It is not the best film in this trilogy. It’s not even the best Bourne film directed by Paul Greengrass. However, it is a very good film and as far as Threequels go, it’s a cut above. Unfortunately, all I can give it is an Honorable Mention.
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3.
“The Rabbit’s Foot, where is it?” – Owen Davian
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to realize how awesome MI:3 was. God bless, J.J. Abrams, Ladies and Germans. He single handedly revived this franchise after John Woo suffocated it, dismembered it, made fun of it’s mother and dumped it in the ocean. You have to remember where Tom Cruise was at in his career when this film came out too. He wasn’t “Top Gun” Tom that we all know and love dancing around in his skivvies to Bob Seger classics. This was “Scientology” Cruise, arguing with Matt Lauer and jumping on couches. Still, it didn’t matter because Abrams saved the day. The story is so good that you don’t even realize that you never even see, or know, what the Rabbit Foot (the object of everyone in the film’s attention) is. And respect to the casting of a good actor (Phillip Seymore Hoffman) in the role of a diabolical villain who will compromise his lack of morals for nothing. Wanted so bad to put this on THE LIST but it just missed out!
And now, without further ado, I present you with:
TOP 5 GREATEST THREEQUELS:
5. NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION.
“Can’t see the lines can you, Rust? RUST!” – Clark W. Grizzwald
I understand why some people don’t get the likes of a Chevy Chase or Bill Murray. Dry humor isn’t for everyone… especially people with low IQ’s. I, however, am not one of those people. Chase was born to play Fletch and Clark Grizzwald, who are basically the same type of character only one (Fletch) is cool and the other (Grizzwald) is completely inept. As far as Vacation movies go, they are very similar to Back to the Future in that they repeat the same formula. The difference is, with Christmas, they come as close as is humanly possible to matching the pure genius that was the Grizzwald cross country trip to Wallyworld. European Vacation proved that formula isn’t everything… and that “everything” is apparent in this flick!
4. STAR WARS – EPISODE 6: RETURN OF THE JEDI.
“Boba Fett? Boba Fett? Where?” – Han Solo
Wait a minute… Return of the Jedi only comes in at #4 on my list. I know, right? Sorry, Fanboys, but the fact of the matter is that Star Wars and Empire are so good that Return of the Jedi really just holds serve. However, it does make #4 on it’s own merit. Sure there were Muppets but think of everything this film had to offer: Slave Leia (the pic says it all) turns out to be Luke’s sister (making a once beautiful kiss now strange and incestual), Han is freed from Carbonite (his breath must’ve stunk), Luke turns Vader away from the Darkside (who knew he was so fugly under that mask), Ewoks (cute mini-Wookies that defeat Imperial forces with Guerilla tactics), Scout Troopers (whose Speeder Bikes were the coolest Star Wars toy ever made), and Boba Fett meets his grisly demise (apparently eaten by a giant vagina with teeth in the sand). Hey… what else needs to be said!
3. ARMY OF DARKNESS.
“Alright you Primitive Screwheads, listen up! You see this? This… is my boomstick!” – Ash
Hey, who doesn’t love a protagonist who works at S-Mart and goes back in time to save a Kingdom from other worldly forces while wielding a chainsaw for an arm. This is the film that put Sam Raimi on the map and is, by far, the most entertaining in the Evil Dead trilogy. Too bad it didn’t do for Bruce Campbell what it did for Raimi cause I think he could’ve been one hell of a leading man. Still, we’ll always have this horror-comedy-cult classic!
2. THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY.
“You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.” – The Man With No Name
Doubt I have to argue this one too much. Quentin Tarantino actually called this his favorite film of all time. Look, the score is one of the most recognizable ever (Doo-Doo-Doo, Wah-Wah-Wah), Clint is bringing his “A” game as “The Man With No Name” (Dirty Harry’s got nothing on this guy… er, Man… with no name), and Sergio Leone delivers his best with, if not the best western, the best Italian Spaghetti western ever made.
1. INDIANA JONES & THE LAST CRUSADE.
“We named the dog Indiana.” – Prefessor Henry Jones
I really am hoping that someone argues this pick as #1 in the comments section below. I’ll just say this, for now: Last Crusade is the best Indiana Jones movie ever made. Don’t get me wrong… the first 10 minutes of Raiders is the best Indy ever shot. But, as far as movies go, Crusade is king. The funny thing is it could’ve really failed. Introducing Sean Connery as Indy’s Dad seems like a good move now, but sidekicks in the Indy-verse don’t always work out so well (just ask Mutt and Short-Round). I could go on and on about this film but I’ll save my ammunition for any detractors. However, to sum up, let’s say, “While Raiders may seem like the best Indy film, Crusade truly is the “cup of a carpenter.””
That’s it, friends and frenemies. Feel free to comment below, whether you agree or not. I never edit any of the comments… unless you send me Spam. But, hell, I even let some of those through. Remember, this was meant to be an interactive site, as much as I love the sound of my own voice. You can also sign up to get this blog via e-mail at the top of the page. And, as always, if you like this site, TELL A FRIEND!
Check back next Saturday as that is when new posts go up. Have a great week. Sincerely, your friendly neighborhood Kaiderman!