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Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

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Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

Old 12-16-20, 01:14 PM
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Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

So, as is the pattern of so many movie trilogies, the third one is usually the weakest one for whatever reason. So, I must ask: what is the strongest third movie in a movie trilogy? Is it one that ties the trilogy up nicely (like Return of the Jedi) or one that takes a major risk (Alien^3).

My pick is Back to the Future, part III. Technically, it's the weakest of the BTTF Trilogy, but as a film unto it's self it's strong. It's clever, witty, heartfelt and ties up the Trilogy in a beautiful, satisfying way that could rival Return of the Jedi in the "feels good" department. (Except that BTTF pt III is better paced than ROTJ)

What's yours?
Old 12-16-20, 01:22 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is the first thing that popped into my head.
Old 12-16-20, 01:23 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

Before Midnight
Return of the King
War for the Planet of the Apes
Old 12-16-20, 01:26 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

While it doesn’t reach the same heights as Raiders of the Lost Ark, I think Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade rebounds nicely to end the trilogy. The quality of Temple of Doom can be argued but I didn’t care for it as a kid and don’t think the “white savior” story has aged well as an adult.
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Old 12-16-20, 01:34 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 is the high-point of the series. It has humour without being cartoonish like parts 4 onward, but still has an atmosphere of dread. The visuals are imaginative and well-executed. It's got surprises like the stop-motion Freddy skeleton. It's completely interesting from beginning to end.

I've often thought of the original Nightmare On Elm Street as being one of those "great idea, weak execution movies", but I saw it again this Halloween and was impressed by how well it's aged. It's a much more effective and creepy movie than I'd remembered. It is, dare I say it, a restrained, classy movie.

Nightmare 3 is to Nightmare 1 as Aliens (1986) is to Alien (1979)
Old 12-16-20, 01:36 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

Kieslowski's Red
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Old 12-16-20, 01:40 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

Rocky III

Sure, the original won the Academy Award, but Rocky III, in my opinion, is the most fun in the series. The 2nd Clubber fight, albeit unrealistic, is the greatest. Plus, it turned Apollo Creed into even more of a bad-ass.

Old 12-16-20, 01:41 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

Agreed with Back to the Future Part III. Many may consider it the weakest, but to me the entire trilogy is solid and it’s a good closing chapter to the films.
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Old 12-16-20, 02:02 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
While it doesn’t reach the same heights as Raiders of the Lost Ark, I think Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade rebounds nicely to end the trilogy. The quality of Temple of Doom can be argued but I didn’t care for it as a kid and don’t think the “white savior” story has aged well as an adult.
Temple of Doom has problems, but there is a lot to like, too. In any event, I agree that The Last Crusade is one of the best 'third movies.'
Old 12-16-20, 02:06 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

Die Hard with a Vengeance.
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Old 12-16-20, 02:08 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

The Last Crusade may be the Indiana Jones film I enjoy most. Not really a trilogy anymore though.
Old 12-16-20, 02:08 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

So just a strong third movie, it doesn't have to necessarily outshine the first two?

I thought Toy Story 3 was a great finale (though they made another one, of course) to the series.

If it needs to outshine the rest, I'd say Thor: Ragnarok. Much, much, much more enjoyable than the first two, IMHO.
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Old 12-16-20, 02:13 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

Personally I would only count true trilogies. Otherwise it’s a lot easier to just say best third film in a franchise. There are quite a few in that case.
Old 12-16-20, 02:32 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

Originally Posted by dex14 View Post
Before Midnight
Return of the King
War for the Planet of the Apes
Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
While it doesn’t reach the same heights as Raiders of the Lost Ark, I think Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade rebounds nicely to end the trilogy. The quality of Temple of Doom can be argued but I didn’t care for it as a kid and don’t think the “white savior” story has aged well as an adult.
All of these titles immediately came to mind. I want to personally thank Spielberg for making "Crusade". Not only is a great movie, but it made me forget about the loathsome "Temple of Doom". I'd also like to add "Star Trek Beyond" to this list.
Old 12-16-20, 03:03 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

Day of the Dead? It's actually hard to come up with a decent third movie unless it's slightly related like Chasing Amy.
Old 12-16-20, 03:35 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

Originally Posted by devilshalo View Post
Die Hard with a Vengeance.
First one to come to mind for me too. Just a fun flick that recaptured the magic of the original film.

I'll add Jurassic Park 3 to the mix. It's a straight up monster movie and doesn't pretend to be anything but.
Old 12-16-20, 04:56 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

I actually think The Dark Knight Rises is very underappreciated, so I'll say that. Last Crusade is also excellent and I actually favor it over Raiders.
Old 12-16-20, 05:22 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

Originally Posted by Mike86 View Post
Personally I would only count true trilogies. Otherwise it’s a lot easier to just say best third film in a franchise. There are quite a few in that case.
The problem is that “Trilogies” that we would consider to be actual trilogies end up getting more sequels over time.

IMO, there are a handful of series’ that I genuinely consider trilogies. Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Back to the Future, Lethal Weapon, Lord of the Rings, Die Hard, Alien, to name a few. All of those, with the exception of BTTF, have ruined their trilogies by adding additional movies that I barely recognize as continuations of those series.
Old 12-16-20, 05:25 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

Naked Gun 33 1/3

In all seriousness, probably Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome or Before Midnight. Admittedly, the third Die Hard movie was also pretty good.

I have not seen all of the Three Colors films, in all fairness.
Old 12-16-20, 06:04 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

Some good ones mentioned. I would throw in the Bourne Ultimatum, Army of Darkness and i have to give a shout out to Death Wish 3 as its such a guilty pleasure.
Old 12-16-20, 06:20 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

If we're talking true trilogies (so no additional movies in the franchise), I'll go with Back to the Future: Part III. Might add The Dark Knight Rises, though has its issues.
Old 12-16-20, 07:15 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

A true trilogy where the last film is the best one.
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Old 12-16-20, 07:25 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

I recommend being open about trilogies with additional movies that are tacked on as a cash grab (I'm looking at you, Alien: Resurrection). As long as it fits a sort of three movie/three act story or it's just three movies, let's allow that.

I'd also like to add the concluding chapter of the Star Trek Trilogy (a trilogy within a bigger movie series--II, III, and IV) : Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. It's a lighthearted jaunt that doesn't go over the top with the humor (see Star Trek V for that) and wraps up the story of Kirk and Co. losing Spock, getting Spock back and eventually coming home with a new Enterprise. They really thought outside that box with that one and we will never see its like again, sadly.
Old 12-16-20, 08:53 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy

Originally Posted by Count Dooku View Post
War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

A true trilogy where the last film is the best one.
I enjoyed Dawn better myself but I won’t argue the quality of War. I was more than pleasantly surprised by that trilogy. Good choice!
Old 12-16-20, 09:04 PM
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Re: Best Third Movie in a Trilogy




Last edited by inri222; 12-19-20 at 01:00 PM.

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