7 Great Movie Threequels

Predator 3 has a lot to live up to...

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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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Comments

    • TheTingler

      Apr 30th 2009, 10:40

      You got every one I would name! Back To The Future III's easily the best (I find the first annoying in places), and Army of Darkness is just the greatest film ever made. Camp skeletons all the way. Someone show this list to Christopher Nolan, ASAP!

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    • TheTingler

      Apr 30th 2009, 10:41

      Someone show this list to Christopher Nolan, ASAP!

      Alert a moderator

    • JimTheGreat

      Apr 30th 2009, 11:14

      I just thought you really wanted Christopher Nolan to be shown the list ASAP.

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    • ThrashGordon

      Apr 30th 2009, 14:21

      well... Evil Dead 3 is MY favourite. I think. Probably. And I really, really like the 3rd Indiana! I think Nazis should be the bad guys in every movie!! Would solve a lot of problems...

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    • squirebrown

      Apr 30th 2009, 14:26

      Someone show this list to Christopher Nolan, ASAP!

      Alert a moderator

    • squirebrown

      Apr 30th 2009, 14:26

      Someone show this list to Christopher Nolan, ASAP!

      Alert a moderator

    • chicks

      Apr 30th 2009, 16:32

      I did moderating before reading the rest of the comments and now I fear I've destroyed a potentially awesome meme.

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    • KerrAvon

      Apr 30th 2009, 20:46

      Are you doing this just to wind us up? Return of the King, Revenge of the Sith, Back to the Future 3! I'll agree that Azkaban is possibly the best and Army of Darkness takes the evil dead in a new direction, in so far as its back in time but come on, Supremacy is better than Ultimatum which feels shoehorned in towards the end, Fellowship is miles better than RotK, Revenge of the Sith should be destroyed along with the Holiday Special for the good of mankind and Back to the Future 3 is shocking in comparison with 1 which is ace. Please try a little harder when it comes to your articles, even if you are told to crack one out in ten minutes. "No ticket!"

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    • Serrano

      Apr 30th 2009, 23:47

      Hey, how about The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. ;)

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    • millerman2k

      May 1st 2009, 2:32

      I really don't understand this, you (rightly) say how c**p the "first" two star wars are, but you give them great reviews, saying about episode 1: "Believe the hype - - this is worth the wait." Huh? Jar-jar Binks anyone? Not to mention boring cgi battles, amazingly large plot holes and the most boring race in cinematic history...no wonder Jabbha fell asleep. as for the Indiana series, that really makes me want to tear my hair out, you say (again, rightly) that Last Crusade is "a hell of a lot better than Crystal Skull." But you gave Cystal Skull 5 stars...5 STARS!?!? it was so s**t! words can't explain how ridiculous the cgi monkey-swinging scene was...as for Indy staring at a glass-prop-skull for a minute or two looking like he needs a dump is about as tense as it sounds. ok, rant over...but please, don't give massive budget movies amazing reviews just because spielberg and lucas are involved, they're grown ups, they can take criticism, they will still let you interview them every now and then.

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    • Jobbin

      May 1st 2009, 3:09

      REALLY?!! Back to the Future part III is okay at BEST. The 1st and second one are to of the greatest movies ever made. Please enlighten me on how this one is better than the 2nd one....

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    • BigAndyT

      May 2nd 2009, 14:23

      Back to the future 2 is by far the best and Army of darkness is great but better than Evil dead 2 no! not in million years!! p.s someone show this list to chris nolan asap!

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    • unopeneddoor

      Apr 5th 2011, 10:48

      I'm glad you started with the best threequel ever made. LOTR's is flawless. someone show this list to Chris Nolan asap even though I have faith Dark Knight Rises will rock!

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