So Robert Rodriguez is finally gearing a third crack at a solo Predator film.
While he's going the reboot route, we wondered what he can learn from other third films in series? While many of them are shoddy cash-ins, we’d argue that this lot are worthy entries in their respective franchises.
The Film: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
How It Honours What's Come Before It: Peter Jackson brings his Tolkien epic to a rousing close with a blend of battles, triumphs, danger and emotional high points. Sure, it has one too many endings, but it’s still a satisfying confusion to the story.
Why It's Better Than The Original: Fellowship is saddled with introductions and scene setting. King throws the plot into high gear, and raises the stakes. Plus: Mordor is way cooler than the council of Elrond.
The Film: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
How It Honours What's Come Before It: Paul Greengrass builds upon the solid work he started in Bourne Supremacy, while also cutting down on the ultra-chopping action editing.
Why It's Better Than The Original: No disrespect to Doug Liman’s first Bourne, but Ultimatum bests both of the two movies that came before it. The Bourne Identity is a nifty thriller, while Ultimatum is a satisfyingly rounded film.
The Film: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith (2005)
How It Honours What's Come Before It: It doesn’t honour George Lucas’ attempt to prequel-ise Star Wars, it more improves upon it. We get actual glimpses of the spirit that made us love the original trilogy and it also injected a healthy darkness into the tale.
Why It's Better Than The Original: Um… The competition is The Phantom Menace and Attack Of The Clones. It’s not exactly a tough job.
The Film: Back To The Future Part III (1990)
How It Honours What's Come Before It: Many have written it off as a poor third film, but BTTF ‘s Western outing is still a hugely enjoyable adventure. All the elements that made the first two films work are present and it finishes off the story in a satisfying loop.
Why It's Better Than The Original: It’s a lot less annoyingly twisted than the second, and while it can’t quite better Back To The Future for sheer class, it has a flying train. A time travelling flying train!
The Film: Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban (2004)
How It Honours What's Come Before It: Building on the foundation crafted by Chris Columbus, Azkaban snatches up the successful elements of Potter – the great supporting cast, the solid fantasy story – and runs with them.
Why It's Better Than The Original: It’s the first film to truly break the series out of the rut that was Columbus’ slavish devotion to the plot of the first two movies. The young stars also finally grow into their roles and deliver great performances.
The Film: Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (1989)
How It Honours What's Come Before It: Last Crusade sparks new life into the Indiana Jones story thanks to Sean Connery’s Henry Jones Sr. But while it occasionally dips into farce, it’s a hell of a lot better than Crystal Skull.
Why It's Better Than The Original: It’s another case where the first film in the series is so iconic that almost nothing can match it, but while Last Crusade is head and shoulders above Temple Of Doom’s dirgey darkness, it takes a solid stab at bringing back the fun of Raiders.
The Film: Army Of Darkness (1992)
How It Honours What's Come Before It: Sam Raimi keeps his madcap style in place and Bruce Campbell hams it up in trademark style, albeit on a bigger budget and scale. Groovy!
Why It's Better Than The Original: It’s everything amped up and feels like Raimi and co were busy mastering their craft with the first two and hit their stride with the third. It’s not everyone’s favourite, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
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