The Three Musketeers. The Three Amigos. The Three Stooges. The Three Wise Men. The Three Blind Mice. Three’s Company. The Powerpuff Girls.
Everything happens in threes. Some good (Rock, Paper, Scissors) and some bad (Diddy Dirty Money). So since I’m a self-proclaimed movie snob, I want to talk about some of my favorite movie trilogies.
Now making a good trilogy isn’t easy (see: The Matrix, The Mummy). Especially with Hollywood’s propensity to make sequels for no other reason than the fact that they know people will pay money to watch it (Saw 23, anyone?). It is a business, after all. So when a trilogy comes out that has a story that not only progresses through three movies but that is coherent in that progression, captivates the audience, and is generally awesome, it should be something to be honored. So here is a list of my favorite movie trilogies…
Star Wars (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of The Jedi)
This, IMO, is the best trilogy ever conceived in the history of EVER! I may be a tad bit biased since The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite movie of all time and I love sci-fi, but this is my list so the entire thing is biased anyway. The story, dialogue, character development, special effects, and action are all so well done. I’d KILL to have been in theaters watching The Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vadar revealed that he was Luke’s father. It must have been pure chaos. Mass hysteria, looting, and projectile vomiting. It is the quintessential trilogy for all nerds and has had a greater and longer lasting societal impact than arguably any movie ever made. Ironically, George Lucas, the same man behind this great feat is also the one behind what I consider to be one of the WORST trilogies ever made. The Star Wars Prequels. Ugh.
Back To The Future (I, II, III)
A time traveling Delorean. Enough said. This movie is the only reason that anyone even knows what a Delorean is, cause it was a pretty shitty car. That won’t change the fact that I will pay someone a lot of money to recreate the Delorean from Back To The Future once I get enough money. And for all the cheesy messages and corny dialogue that the movie had, the story was so interesting and skillfully connected between the three movies that it’s a classic in most circles. It also gave us a very valuable lesson: time travel is dangerous. Your mom might end up wanting to do you.
Indiana Jones (Raiders of The Lost Ark, The Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade)
Now, some people have the opinion that The Temple of Doom holds the trilogy back from being considered great, but I’m not one of those people. Indiana Jones fought the Nazis so please show him some respect. Raiders of The Lost Ark was the best of the bunch (and has one of my favorite scenes of all time!), but the other two movies weren’t too far behind. The Temple of Doom was the weakest of the three, but still entertaining. The Last Crusade, with the help of Sean “Suck It, Trebek!” Connery, brought a great end to the trilogy (The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull doesn’t exist to me).
Die Hard (Die Hard, Die Harder, Die Hard with A Vengeance)
Now, I will admit, this trilogy doesn’t really have a coherent progression through all three movies. The first and third movies are weakly connected and the second one can stand on it’s own. But John McClane is a badass, so I had to add it to the list. I mean, he kills terrorists while barefoot. It’s simply a trilogy with action upon action and a protagonist who is comprised of one part sarcasm, one part asshole, and three parts badass. Yeah, that’s really all there is to it. Moving on…
Lord of The Rings (Fellowship of The Ring, Two Towers, Return of The King)
What made this trilogy so great is that the movies were based on books and, get this, stayed true to the source material. Peter Jackson was able to take the detailed world of J. R. R. Tolkien and make it one of the most visually stunning and wonderfully executed trilogies ever. The mammoth lengths of all the movies (all three movies run a little over 9 hours) is a testiment to how much detail was put into them. Some people find the trilogy boring and that is one of the inherit flaws of making a movie so true to the source material; it makes it harder to generate interest from those who aren’t familiar with it. Regardless, the movies were nominated for a total of 30 Academy Awards and won 17 of them, which is a record for any movie trilogy. The last movie in the trilogy won 11 Acadamy Awards by itself.
The Bourne Trilogy (Identity, Supremacy, Ultimatum)
This is a trilogy that flies under the radar for most people. I remember when The Bourne Identity first came out. I couldn’t fathom seeing Matt Damon as an action star. It was comical to even think about it. And then I watched the movie. O_O This dude kicked ass. These movies seamlessly flowed together and made for a great mystery/thriller. Did I mention this dude kicks ass? If I remember correctly, he beat someone up using a rolled up magazine….while the other guy had a butcher’s knife.
Dollars Trilogy (A Fistful Of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly)
Now, I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never actually seen any of these movies (some movie snob you are smh), but I know that this is regarded as one of the best trilogies ever. Since I’ve never seen it, I can’t give you a breakdown of what made it so great, but I know that Clint Eastwood is in it. So, that’s a good place to start.
The pattern that all of these honorable mentions meet is that they all have a great first movie, an even better second movie, and a shitty third movie that keeps them out of my best trilogy lists. I mean Godfather and Godfather 2 are regarded by some as the best movies ever, Aliens 2 and Terminator 2 are both huge favorites of mine, and Spider-man 2 was a great sequel to the surprisingly popular Spider-Man. But Alien 3? Terminator 3? Godfather 3? SPIDER-MAN 3??? Good Lord. Just awful. AWE-FULL!
But anyway, what are some of your favorite movie trilogies? Do you agree or disagree with any of my choices? Be kind, rewind.