The Ninjabot

Trilogies Are Hard: Iron Man 3,Trend-setter Or Anomaly?

Posted on May 24, 2013 at 11:30 am by Frank Wingrove

Well-made “threequels” are hard to find.  Sure, plenty of them are successful at the box office, but how many of them are worthy of sitting on the media shelves of even the die-hard fans?  Star Wars and Lord of the Rings fanboys/girls have no qualms with buying the box-set of their holy trinity of films, but X-Men and Spider-Man fans probably prefer to buy their copies separately to avoid the humiliation owning the final entries of their beloved franchises.  While there is a gray area between the really good third-films and the really bad, and most of them probably do fall in the middle, the mean rating is below-average to average.

Then came Iron Man 3.  The third entry of the Iron Man franchise passed the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office a few days ago and has received mostly positive reviews from critics and fans.  In reality, no one is claiming that IM3 is this generation’s Citizen Kane, but in the realm of sequels to the sequels, a case could be made for that correlation.  With that being said, where do we go from here?  Today’s Hollywood doesn’t like to think too hard or too long, so if there’s an opportunity for a sequel or a reboot you can bet your sweet Aunt Sally that they’ll make it.  Let’s take a look at some notable “threequels” coming down the pipe and speculate how they’ll stack up against our heightened expectations.

The Hangover 3

the-hangover-part-iii-2aThis one will be in theaters soon, so we won’t have to wonder for long how good it’ll actually end up being.  The Hangover movies are some of, if not THE most, successful R-rated comedies of all time, so box office winnings will be abundant, but quality of story is the real question.  What this film has going for it is the fact that they are returning to Las Vegas, the setting for the first film.  One problem The Hangover 2 had was the fact that it was the same exact story but in a different setting wasn’t as relatable and fun as Vegas.  Also going for it?  Everyone is still on board for this final entry.  Director, Todd Phillips, and his stars, Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper, and Zach Galifianakis, really seem to love making these movies and that will be a big boost to how this movie performs with audiences.

Prediction: Good Threequel


Ghostbusters 3

GHOSTBUSTERS-3Production will start up soon for this long awaited end to the original Ghostbusters franchise, but strong opinions have already been formed from longtime fans.  The first film is a huge cult classic and was considered a success when it was released.  The second film, Ghostbusters 2, was less successful and had more mixed reviews from fans.  Now, stars from the first two movies, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, have raised this franchise from the dead and are determined to finish what they started.  What this film has going for it is the inclusion of original director, Ivan Reitman, and MOST of the original cast.  Also, the script has been worked on by Aykroyd, Ramis, and Etan Cohen, so the comedy should be right on point.  However, the biggest thing holding this film back is the portion of the cast that is NOT returning and that is Bill Murray and Rick Moranis.  Arguably, Murray is the funniest member of the cast and stole the show from his co-stars will many of the film’s most memorable lines (which he improvised a lot of them).  Moranis is also another member of the original cast that fans of the films really loved.  Another concern about this film is the possibility that it could suffer from the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull syndrome where too much time has passed between the most recent film of the franchise and the previous one and the cast is distractingly much older.

Prediction:  Bad Threequel


Clerks III

Jay and Silent BobKevin Smith only just finished his first draft of the script, but it’s hard to NOT be excited about this film whether you’re a fan of Smith himself or Clerks.  In 1994, a New Jersey convenience clerk had his dream of becoming a full-fledged filmmaker when his $37,000 indie flick, Clerks, was shown at the Sundance Film Festival and purchased by Harvey Weinstein at Miramax films.  Kevin Smith went on to become the face of independent film in the 1990s and amassed a huge fan following with his smaller-budgeted comedies, such as Clerks II.  Now, in his early forties, Smith has announced that the final entry to his beloved Clerks franchise will also be his last.  Finally, he can end his career where it all began; at a convenience store in Jersey with his friends.  With retirement looming, there is no doubt that this project will be soaked in passion, tears, and “cum jokes”.

Prediction:  Good Threequel


Overall, it looks like movies that end in “III” are on the up-swing and that’s great news cinema snobs everywhere.  This generation deserves its own classic trilogy and it should be right around the corner…probably when JJ Abram’s third Star Trek film comes out.

Agree with me?  Disagree?  Tell us about it in the comments.

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