Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The curse of the trilogy

I was watching a video review of a game (Mass Effect 3), and had a realization about the "Curse of Three". The concept is all around me, but I never came to fully understand it until now. The first sequel is awesome; the second sequel sucks.

This is a rule (with exceptions), but I am going to focus it on movies, especially action movies... like The Dark Knight Rises. This threequel has no chance of being great.

1. Weird title. Yes, the second film was open-ended, but what film isn't these days. This is basically watering down a classic comic book. How about The Caped Crusader, or Batman Ends (get it)? It's a lack of imagination, and it reminds me of the Star Wars trilogy.

A U.S. Army recruitment video.
2. History repeating itself. Remember Batman Forever? It had Jim Carrey as the Riddler (which was awesome), but pretty everything else was horrible about this movie. They knew the franchise stakes were high;' they went completely crazy on this film. I'm talking about all the fluorescent colors and A-list actors. Yes, it was entertaining, but in a Val Kilmer kind of way.

3. Fanboy influence. Eventually, a franchise can't hold back the cultural influence of fans. They raid the temple; permeate the writing process. Expectations become out of control. Eventually, they want to throw in a flying batmobile.

4. The tagline: "The Legend Ends". Huh? How does this work? I thought, "Heroes get remembered, but legends never die". How am I going to tell my children about this one?

5. Terminator 3, Spider-man 3, Star Trek III, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, Alien 3, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, The Matrix Revolutions, Back to the Future Part III, Goldmember, and Ghostbusters 3 (sad). Count Men in Black III, too.


The Christopher Nolan Bat-trilogy is supposed to be more intellectual, more dark... but I think at the end of the day it will be the Tim Burton era that gets those nods. Is Nolan the ultimate "Batman done right"? We forget that Batman is a comic character, and his film persona will always be compared to that.

1 comment:

  1. My biggest gripe tends to be with the middle film in action trilogies, particularly with comic book films. Whether due to a lack of creativity or a fear that they created a good movie the first time out but may drop the ball the second time around, they bend to that fanboy request and turn out a campy piece of crap.

    Obivously the Dark Knight is an exception here, but look at Iron Man, Transformers, Spiderman, etc. All turned out entertaining first movies and hokey wannbe comedies their second time out. Iron Man drunk in his suit? Stereotypically ghetto black robots? Dogs humping things? C'mon guys.. show a little class.

    It's usually the third movie that ends up redeeming the series for me, (okay, Transformers was still trash) either because they recoil from the negative reviews from the second film or perhaps because there is so much story to tell and not enough time to tell it that they focus on the story and not getting cheap laughs.

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