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Movies The 11 Most Disappointing Third Films in Trilogies

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According to IGN

 

THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

 

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Many expected J.J. Abrams, who set the stage for the Star Wars sequel trilogy with The Force Awakens, to deliver big with saga-capper The Rise of Skywalker, but some fans left the theater with mixed feelings about this closing installment, which failed to tie up all the loose plot threads from the previous two films, let alone offer a satisfying send-off for the Original Trilogy.

 

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

 

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Criticism of The Dark Knight Rises almost mirrors that of The Rise of Skywalker, in that there's a lot of good throughout the movie but then also many parts that baffle and befuddle. Also, like with TROS, some fans objected to the way it sort of ignored the way the previous film ended. In this case, it was how The Dark Knight insinuated that Batman was going to continue to protect Gotham, but as an enemy of the law. Instead he instantly retired and Bruce became a recluse for eight years. TDKR also had the unenviable task of coming after a near-impossible to follow film, which many still hail as the best Batman movie of all time.

 

BLADE: TRINITY

 

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An enormously troubled production - in which star Wesley Snipes was reportedly so difficult to work with that director David Goyer had to use stand-ins and CGI to add Blade to some scenes - made Blade: Trinity the worst of the bunch, effectively killing the franchise (until Marvel announced an official reboot). It's a hollow, incoherent mess that some feel is one of the worst comic book movies ever made.

 

SPIDERMAN 3

 

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The Tobey Maguire Spider-Man franchise wasn't supposed to be a trilogy, and Spider-Man 4 was actually in development for a while until Sony decided to scrap it all and reboot, but as it stands, like with Blade: Trinity, this was the poorly-received third movie that basically busted the run. A sloppy Venom inclusion, a retconning of Ben Parker's death, M.J. getting kidnapped in the third act again, and a symbiote-suited Peter played for laughs (aka "Emo Peter") just soured the series for too many fans.

 

GODFATHER III

 

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Yes, Godfather III surely suffers from following the first two iconic films, but also following them sixteen years later with a sub-par offering. Though director Francis Ford Coppola was still behind the wheel, this final look at Al Pacino's mob boss, Michael Corleone, ended the saga on flat note, with things like poor aging makeup and a lack of chemistry between Andy Garcia and a miscast Sofia Coppola (who replaced Winona Ryder) dragging the story down.

 

THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS

 

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The Matrix Trilogy (which will now continue years later with Matrix 4) originally ended things with the dud The Matrix Revolutions - a film that focused too much on humanity's last stronghold, Zion, which fans were already cold on from The Matrix Reloaded, while turning Agent Smith into a final boss character. Weighted down with dull scenes (Neo's train station limbo, etc) and too many characters you didn't care about, Revolutions was a far cry from the clear, crisp idea presented in the first movie.

 

THE HANGOVER PART 3

 

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The third Hangover film brought the Hangover-ing back to Las Vegas, but ditched a lot of the comedy in favor of a darker, go-for-broke violent adventure that lacked the raunchy charm of the original. The stakes were higher but the laughs were gone. Grossing just half of what The Hangover II made in its opening days, it seems audiences were also kind of done with this premise after two films.

 

THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR

 

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Brendan Fraser (but not Rachel Weisz) returned for this lackluster threequel filled with sloppy CGI and mindless antics. Not even the inclusion of Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh could save this third Mummy film (not counting The Rock's Scorpion King prequel) from being a critical bust that stopped the Mummy train cold. Funnily enough, The Scorpion King franchise is five films deep now, with the most recent one dropping just last year.

 

TAKEN 3

 

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Liam Neeson's ex-covert operative Bryan Mills goes on the run in Taken 3, which was panned as an unnecessary crash-and-burn misfire. It's a hyperactive mess, and its best quality was reminding people that the original Taken was perfect and should have been left alone. The entire franchise jump-started Neeson's career third act as action star, but the Taken sequels produced diminishing returns.

 

TERMINATOR: RISE OF THE MACHINES

 

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By most accounts, Terminator: Rise of the Machines (which eventually wound up not being the end of a trilogy) is a solid movie. But the lack of James Cameron and Linda Hamilton - plus, the whole "having to follow T2" thing - hampered the project out of the gate, to the point where it was going to disappoint a lot of people no matter what. Plus, the movie ended on the biggest bummer note of the entire series, making it almost impossible to continue on with the story.

 

XMEN: LAST STAND

 

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Obviously, Fox's X-Men series lasted a lot longer than three films, but The Last Stand effectively ended the arc of the first cast before the studio decided to just focus on Wolverine - and then go back in time with a whole new cast as a circuitous kind of retcon. It can now be said, after this year's Dark Phoenix, that Last Stand was only the first flubbing of the Dark Phoenix storyline. One of the first comic book films to make fans angry (such an honor!), The Last Stand sidelined most of Jean's story for a "mutant cure" angle while also killing off Charles and Scott (rather unceremoniously).

 

 

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IGN stays trash. That list is stupid and clearly generated for the sole purpose of simply being able to state the obvious about Rise of Skywalker. 
 

What would have been a much interesting article to tackle...the apparent difficulty of closing out a trilogy given that their are generally more poor conclusions then great ones and why that is. But stay grabbing the low hanging fruit IGN. 

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This was a pretty easy article to write honestly. But they could have kept it at ten, because Hangover 2 was literally the same movie as the first.

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I really like the first two Mummy films. They’re not great or anything, but they’re just really fun flicks to sit down and watch on occasion. I remember seeing the third in theaters and absolutely hating it. 
 

The Last Stand was a disaster. Taken really went downhill after the first one. Spider-Man 3, lol. I remember not liking Terminator 3, so I didn’t bother with the movies after that. 

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T3 has a good synopsis. It just had lame actors and action pieces.

 

But not mentioning Alien3, Iron Man 3, Robocop 3, War of the Planet of the Apes (3rd reboot flik), Superman 3, and Austin Powers 3 ahead of what they did list is a bit dubious.

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I actually think TDKR has gotten better with age. I thought it was great then and I was surprised that the critical reception was different than some of the fan reaction.

 

One of the things said at the time was it was some kind of anti-Occupy Wall Street film and some right-wing film. I thought that was peculiar, one because Nolan donated to Obama in 2012, and the other because he's tackling a hero that doesn't want to kill or use a gun. He learns in Begins that justice isn't about revenge but harmony, that his personal vendetta to see someone suffer is missing that people like that someone exist because of larger corruption in the city. And it was never about the mindset that people who oppose rich corruption are bad; it was about someone weaponizing that who does not actually share the same interests.

 

Bane's whole speech about Gotham's corruption is great because there are parallels with today's climate as well. There's clearly lies and deep-seeded corruption in the upper levels of government that seed distrust, and someone who is significantly worse than all that is able to convince people feed on that mistrust for his own ends.

 

Just good shit overall. The spiritual enemy, the anarchist enemy, the militant enemy, from Begins to TDK to TDKR. 

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Some of those movies are good, just not as good as what came before in their trilogies. Others are indeed trash, but the entire list is obvious.

 

Time has been kind to The Matrix Revolutions, The Dark Knight Rises, The Godfather Part III and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. The rest are garbage, more or less.

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I'm just not disappointed with Rise of Skywalker. I understand the problems from a film making standpoint, but I enjoyed how they wrapped the Saga up. And I look forward to new SW, far away from the fan toxicity of the Skywalker Saga. 

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-the most disappointing is the dark knight rises.... despite the drastic change from TDK i still could have accepted the story if they had nailed the “big” moments... as it stands only the opening and breaking of the bat sequences work (the film score too)

 

-I didnt mind Rise of the Machines too much.. the ending was great.. what it needed was a well connected follow up.... but im a weird duck I actually liked Salvation

 

Spiderman 3 didnt really bother me too much because by the time Spidey 2 ended I was already tired of Tobeys mopey peter parker and dunts’ pathetic MJ..

 

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Dark Knight Rises biggest problem is that it was written like it was a part 4 in this series without there being a part 3. There were so many set ups in Begins and TDK that Rises just kinda forgot about, and it did a disservice to the entire Batman narrative.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, IdeaOfEvil said:

Dark Knight Rises biggest problem is that it was written like it was a part 4 in this series without there being a part 3. There were so many set ups in Begins and TDK that Rises just kinda forgot about, and it did a disservice to the entire Batman narrative.

 

 

Well, yeah? I wonder why that was....

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32 minutes ago, IdeaOfEvil said:

I have no idea... why?

I'm not Nolan, but I'm assuming he would have had some version of the joker in that movie. When Ledger died, they had to reimagine the entire movie. They did a remarkable job, all things considered. There was probably an insane amount of studio pressure to get it out by a certain date as well. The fact that the movie is even watchable is a testament to Nolan's ability. 

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I get Ledger not being there changes some narrative, but it doesn't explain why Nolan stepped back on his Begins set ups. Case in point, why was Wayne's knee messed up if Batman immediately retired after Harvey was killed? He wasn't limping away at the end of TDK after his fall because his leg was hurt. Freeman/Fox explained in Begins that Batman's armor could take any impact except for a straight bullet shot, which Batman took from Harvey.

 

There was just a lot of little stuff like that in TDKR that didn't make sense to what had been established before.

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14 minutes ago, IdeaOfEvil said:

I get Ledger not being there changes some narrative, but it doesn't explain why Nolan stepped back on his Begins set ups. Case in point, why was Wayne's knee messed up if Batman immediately retired after Harvey was killed? He wasn't limping away at the end of TDK after his fall because his leg was hurt. Freeman/Fox explained in Begins that Batman's armor could take any impact except for a straight bullet shot, which Batman took from Harvey.

 

There was just a lot of little stuff like that in TDKR that didn't make sense to what had been established before.

 

Wait, that's the thing you think he forgot about? Everything from not killing to Batman being a symbol to the League of Shadows was followed through in TDKR, but the one case in point you're making is his knee? Whaaaaa?

 

The doctor says he has no cartilage in his left knee. He's limping because all the shit he did caught up to him in his older years. Wear and tear of the body is real.

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Just now, SaysWho? said:

 

Wait, that's the thing you think he forgot about? Everything from not killing to Batman being a symbol to the League of Shadows was followed through in TDKR, but the one case in point you're making is his knee? Whaaaaa?

 

The doctor says he has no cartilage in his left knee. He's limping because all the shit he did caught up to him in his older years. Wear and tear of the body is real.

 

So, when I said "there's a lot of little stuff" you're gonna try and paint me in to a corner with the one example I made? There's plenty more in this movie that was wrong - Apparently they can Google search 'Bane' and know everything about him, Batman just "retires" for no reason right when Joker is caught, Joker is just gone and never mentioned as being the one who threw the city in to chaos in the first place, John/Robin can see through Wayne's fake smile and immediately knows he's Batman from it, Batman lost cartilage in his knee sometime after he retired when he had no problems before, the reactor/whatever weapon had a fail safe system from being stolen and Fox didn't implement it and just handed it over to Talia, Batman is villainized in Gotham but the cops were excited to see him return...

 

There's a lot to nit-pick over, but that's not for this thread.

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Dumb list, but then again it's an IGN repost. Most of the movies listed had a crappy second movie in addition to a crappy 3rd movie.

 

 

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Just now, IdeaOfEvil said:

 

So, when I said "there's a lot of little stuff" you're gonna try and paint me in to a corner with the one example I made? There's plenty more in this movie that was wrong - Apparently they can Google search 'Bane' and know everything about him, Batman just "retires" for no reason right when Joker is caught, Joker is just gone and never mentioned as being the one who threw the city in to chaos in the first place, John/Robin can see through Wayne's fake smile and immediately knows he's Batman from it, Batman lost cartilage in his knee sometime after he retired when he had no problems before, the reactor/whatever weapon had a fail safe system from being stolen and Fox didn't implement it and just handed it over to Talia, Batman is villainized in Gotham but the cops were excited to see him return...

 

There's a lot to nit-pick over, but that's not for this thread.

 

 

Batman didn't "lose cartilage" after he retired. It's what happens after years of stress to the joints. It gradually wears down, and he did plenty as Batman, plus got 8 years older, to have body issues. 

 

It seems like most of your "nitpicks" are things you didn't understand. Another point: Batman is chased when he returns. The cops divert their chase from Bane to go after him. And the entire reason they go after him is because they think he killed Harvey. They're happy to see him during the climax because everyone knows at that point that it was a lie and the Dent Act was built on a lie, that Batman saved Gordon's son and was not the villain.

 

Nitpickers don't become good filmmakers.

 

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TDKR is a fun film and I enjoy it but lord almighty it’s fucking stupid compared to the first two.

 

The notion that a city under terrorist control is going to give a single shit that their dead DA killed a few people and that the Chief of Police lied while eulogizing him is just crazytown banana pants.

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3 hours ago, Kal-El814 said:

TDKR is a fun film and I enjoy it but lord almighty it’s fucking stupid compared to the first two.

 

The notion that a city under terrorist control is going to give a single shit that their dead DA killed a few people and that the Chief of Police lied while eulogizing him is just crazytown banana pants.

 

Judging what the city should have done is the same reason the cesspool of the IGN Movies Lobby criticized TDK's ending. "I'd have blown up the other boat!"

 

Gotham's police department has been corrupt since before Begins. You guys had working with the mob in both movies. Now the entire Dent Act was based around a murderer. The notion that someone would take anger over corruption in what's supposed to be law enforcement and create a populist uprising is fantastic, never mind the ones who partook in the eating of the rich and loved what was going on.

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18 hours ago, IdeaOfEvil said:

I get Ledger not being there changes some narrative, but it doesn't explain why Nolan stepped back on his Begins set ups. Case in point, why was Wayne's knee messed up if Batman immediately retired after Harvey was killed? He wasn't limping away at the end of TDK after his fall because his leg was hurt. Freeman/Fox explained in Begins that Batman's armor could take any impact except for a straight bullet shot, which Batman took from Harvey.

 

There was just a lot of little stuff like that in TDKR that didn't make sense to what had been established before.

 

He was limping away though. There are moments where he stumbles as the police dogs are chasing him. The old suit was the one that was better armour against fire arms, but the new one was lighter, and Fox said, "separation of the plates makes you more vulnerable to knives and gunfire". 

 

I've watched this movie 16 times, so I know like every line. :p

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4 hours ago, Kal-El814 said:

TDKR is a fun film and I enjoy it but lord almighty it’s fucking stupid compared to the first two.

 

The notion that a city under terrorist control is going to give a single shit that their dead DA killed a few people and that the Chief of Police lied while eulogizing him is just crazytown banana pants.

Batman Begins was dumb ass shit too... what was the weapon they were gonna use? Something that made water explode? Nobody cared because all of the other aspects of these movies were extremely well done. And Batman at his very core, is a right wing idea of justice anyway. Basically he's a white rich 1% who uses his fortune to dress up in a costume at night to beat up poor people. There's a recent issue of the comic where Alfred (R.I.P.)says as much to him. The Dark Knight Rises just leans into that because Batman was essentially fighting to protect and maintain the status quo... still a fun movie :shrug:

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2 minutes ago, Derek said:

I watched Transporter 3 the other night. It was pretty bad. I thought TDK was better than Transporter 3.

Did I see that one? I'm sure I did... that would be a good one to add to this list.

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I’ve less issue with the fucked up knee and more issues with the magic knee brace.

 

I just hated the idea of Batman retiring because Rachel died. 

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1 minute ago, MarSolo said:

I’ve less issue with the fucked up knee and more issues with the magic knee brace.

 

I just hated the idea of Batman retiring because Rachel died. 

Wasn't that "knee brace" basically an exoskeleton of some sort?

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6 minutes ago, skillzdadirecta said:

Wasn't that "knee brace" basically an exoskeleton of some sort?


Honestly? I’m not sure. I saw it twice in theaters and I never watched it again.

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Wait, I did watch it on Blu-Ray and the opening scene had such piss poor audio editing because they had to crank the volume up on Bane’s voice.

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1 hour ago, SaysWho? said:

 

Judging what the city should have done is the same reason the cesspool of the IGN Movies Lobby criticized TDK's ending. "I'd have blown up the other boat!"

 

Gotham's police department has been corrupt since before Begins. You guys had working with the mob in both movies. Now the entire Dent Act was based around a murderer. The notion that someone would take anger over corruption in what's supposed to be law enforcement and create a populist uprising is fantastic, never mind the ones who partook in the eating of the rich and loved what was going on.

I've got no issue with the boat scene at all. I'd have no issue with the Bane / Dent / Gordon thing either if the city wasn't under literal mob rule during the reveal. They establish in TDK that Gotham is super into who their DA is and that position is a symbol of hope; cool, I'm into it. But in TDKR, the bridges have been blown up, gangs actually control the city, they've set up a kangaroo court... who the fuck cares what Bane has to say about Harvey Dent? Why would anyone even believe him? Stuff like that and the Talia reveal are so transparently for the audience first and for the characters second which is bizarre since Nolan is normally really good at that specific balancing act. There's a ton of literal explanation in Inception but it never feels forced; the characters need to know it as much as we do and Ellen Page is learning that stuff at the same time as the audience.

 

35 minutes ago, skillzdadirecta said:

Batman Begins was dumb ass shit too... what was the weapon they were gonna use? Something that made water explode? Nobody cared because all of the other aspects of these movies were extremely well done. And Batman at his very core, is a right wing idea of justice anyway. Basically he's a white rich 1% who uses his fortune to dress up in a costume at night to beat up poor people. There's a recent issue of the comic where Alfred (R.I.P.)says as much to him. The Dark Knight Rises just leans into that because Batman was essentially fighting to protect and maintain the status quo... still a fun movie :shrug:

Yeah, all of Batman is "dumb" conceptually and I don't usually have any issue with the broad strokes. It's always struck me as odd that in Begins they give you easter eggs like the tumbler giving Batman information about the buildings he's on so it's "plausible" that he knows which roofs he can boost onto... then by TDKR the city is being run by terrorists, the last anyone knew of Batman he was a cop killer, yet Bruce takes the time to Banksy the bridge with his logo.

 

It feels much less thoughtful than Begins or TDK to me.

 

And yeah, the classic Batman M.O. plays super weird in 2019 if you bother to think about it at all. :p

 

7 minutes ago, MarSolo said:

Wait, I did watch it on Blu-Ray and the opening scene had such piss poor audio editing because they had to crank the volume up on Bane’s voice.

 

IIRC, the audio mix when I saw TDKR in the theater was atrocious.

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2 hours ago, MarSolo said:


Honestly? I’m not sure. I saw it twice in theaters and I never watched it again.

Yeah I think it was an exoskeleton that helped move the leg. Fox made it I think.

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