The_Hangover_Part_3So Sarah and I had some friends over to watch some movies and hang out and it just so happened that one of the movie channels was in the middle of a Matrix marathon. We watched the end of the first film and I set my PVR to record the other two, under the presumption that I will watch them working out or something to see if they hold up. We watched Reloaded up until the “Neo vs a hundred Agent Smiths” fight, mocked said fight for its now incredibly jarring and subpar CG animation effects and then decided to revert back to original movie watching plan: watch Hangover III.  Not sure if you saw the final installment of the Hangover series, but it was not very funny. It had funny moments sure and I might have been kinder to it if it wasn’t related to the genius that was the first Hangover movie. Full disclosure: I was not super into the second one either and felt like it was too much of the same except you know, it was in Thailand. The third does mix up the formula a little more but in such an unfunny way that I was legitimately bummed about how the series went so far downhill.

So, witnessing two sequel/trilogy failures that initially had me excited back to back got me thinking in general how hard it is to really “nail” a trilogy. In fact, with the exception of Episodes IV-VI of Star Wars I cannot really think of a single trilogy that hits on all marks the whole way through (and even then, the prequel trilogy for Star Wars ruined the series pretty handily years later). (SPOILERS for some trilogies ahead)

  • Hangover: 2 is the same movie as the first and 3 is not very funny, has too much Ken Jeong and doesn’t really feel like an epic conclusion to the characters.
  • Matrix: Fuzzy ending, confusing side-plot where Agent Smith somehow was the main bad guy (but not really) and fight scenes so long they got incredibly boring. Not to mention the Dragon Ball Z/Superman Neo/Flying Agent Smith fight scene in the third one.
  • Back to the Future: First two are solid gold and I have a soft spot for the third, but the old west BttF has almost none of the time hopping and timeline alterations that made the first and second ones great (and is essentially just an old west version of the storyline from the first). I know some people somehow love the third installment above the second. But I think those people are crazy.
  • Lord of the Rings: I might be in the minority here, but I really feel like all three of those movies were just the same movie again and again. Walking, epic battle, Frodo adventure, epic battle, repeat.
  • Dark Knight: First two were standout and the third was also extremely good, however it still seemed to fall short. Bane’s crazy voice, Bane figuring out who Batman was by… I dunno… recognizing he was sad? Prisoners just mending a broken back to the point where Batman can now do some hardcore freeclimbing? Yeah, it’s got issues.

I could go on. Mad Max, Indiana Jones, Toy Story, Mighty Ducks, Terminator, Aliens… these are mostly beloved on the whole, however, if you pick them apart into their individual pieces there are almost always weak links in the series. The only rule is that usually the first one was pretty great. I mean, it has to be right? It has to be so good that a major studio greenlights multiple sequels. If they can reproduce the box office of a successful film twice then everybody gets a new BMW. Or something. ↓ Read the rest of this entry…

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