It’s not uncommon knowledge that the third movie in most respective trilogies are generally considered the worst of the bunch. We see this in Spider-man 3, X-men: the last stand, Alien 3, Karate Kid 3, and the list just doesn’t stop. This seems wrong. The third movie should have the most stakes, have the most pathos with the characters, and have the most spectacular ending of all of the movies. At least that’s what should be happening. Instead, something always seems to get in the way of a great trilogy. I offer a list of potential causes of this fall in quality and ways to fix future third installments.
- They switch directors
When a filmmaker pours their heart and soul into a couple of films and they’re well received and make good money, a third installment is logical. However, many directors are also tired of the material and desire to go off to other projects. This leaves the studio in need of someone to wrap up the franchise and this is where the problem begins. Either they hire a director who’s too scared to take chances and go the extra mile with the property, which leads to an uninteresting and repetitive movie, or the new director takes it in a completely different director leaving the project feeling foreign and disconnected. Example: Iron Man 3.
2. The current director is being forced to do it
Maybe the studio manages to get the same guy back. Wonderful. But is there anything else that can really add to the franchise. Sometimes the studio then forces the director to make certain decisions that they aren’t confident in. Sam Raimi did not want the character Venom in Spider-man 3. However, Sony wanted to shoehorn him in for more ticket sales and that element ended up crippling the movie beyond saving. Often times studios begin to believe that they know best or that the main goal of a film is to make money. This mindset leads them down a path that leaves their films sloppy and sometimes even hated by fans. It happens more than you’d think.
I now realize as i’m writing this that there are many more reasons that these trilogies fail and I really don’t feel like going into detail with every one. So, I will now rapid fire the rest that I can think of.
Directors loose their minds, ex: The Matrix Revolutions. First timers get bullied, ex: Alien 3. The idea is exhausted, ex: Robocop 3, Jaws 3-d. An unforeseen tragedy hurts the production, ex: The Dark Knight Rises (which I love but just imagine if Ledger was in it). Falls into self parody, ex: Terminator 3. It wasn’t good to begin with, ex: Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Over-reliance on jokes, ex: Pirates of the Caribbean: at world’s end, Batman Forever, Rush Hour 3. And finally, going in the complete wrong direction, ex: Superman 3, X-men: the last stand, Blade Trinity, and so many more.
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