3…Hollywood’s Not So Magic Number
So I was browsing Netflix the other week as I normally do when I have some time to burn, and as a avid fan of the Horror genre I decided upon a film I had never actually seen. The film was ‘Poltergeist III’. I sat down for what I thought was going to be a brisk ninety minute trip through some classic, probably fun, 80s horror. I was instead subjected to what I consider one of the worst third entries in a franchises catalogue. I shouldn’t have been shocked, it happens a lot in the Horror genre and sometimes it occurs well before Part 3. Despite this a part of me was a little saddened, a lot annoyed by what I had just seen. However it also got me thinking, about what other miserable trilogy enders & third entries I had put myself through the years.
Here is a list of my worst & most diappointing Part 3s…
In no particular order
1. Poltergeist III – 1988 (Dir. Gary Sherman)
As I just mentioned in the opening salvo, ‘Poltergeist III’ was just rubbish. I’m old enough now that I no longer get angry when this happens, not just in the Horror genre but in film in general. Though I did not get angry, I was pretty annoyed. They had taken the good ground work laid by ‘Poltergeist’ & ‘Poltergeist II: The Other Side’, and just dumped all over it.
‘Poltergeist II: The Other Side’ is a favourite of mine and the malevolent spirit of Reverend Kane is easily one of the creepiest characters in the land of Horror. ‘Poltergeist III’ then came along and made a mess of it. The story is ridiculous, the otherworldly events are just stupid and the motives of the evil spirits are confused and make little sense. It doesn’t help that it must have one of the worst scripts to ever grace the silver screen behind it. I’m not being overly dramatic when I say that either.
I have a drinking game for you, get some friends around and watch ‘Poltergeist III’, every time somebody mentions the name Carol Anne you have to drink. You’ll be drunk after 20 minutes, dead by the hour mark. A scene takes place in a parking structure and I swear there must have been about three of four pages of script that just read…
The spirit of Kane cries out
Carol Anne….Carol Anne…..Carol Anne…….
If I never hear the name of Carol F****** Anne again it would be too soon.
2. Taken 3 – 2015 (Dir. Olivier Megaton)
Watching ‘Taken 3’ brought me the closest I’ve came to performing a Hulk Smash on an object. It’s also the closest I’ve came to walking out of a film. There is simply not one redeeming feature about this film at all. The fact that it holds a 6.1 rating on IMDB is outlandish.
The action is sloppy, the acting is woeful and the direction is just, for lack of a better word, crap. I actually feel bad for Liam Neeson as he became cursed by his success on the first film. There are many things that made ‘Taken’ the great film that it is, one of them being the sheer unrelenting pursuit by Bryan Mills to rescue his daughter, without going too over the top. Taken 3 however is littered with moments of stupid escalation, and sequences where Bryan Mills should actually have died. The car falling down the elevator shaft and a roadside collision being two that stand out.
What makes this stand out in terms of being a rubbish film is that my expectations were exceedingly low going in, thanks to ‘Taken 2’, giving it every opportunity to surprise me. Yet ‘Taken 3’ managed still to be worse than I thought it could be. To throw out a crappy little pun, ‘Taken 3’ was Taken the Piss.
3. Ong-Bak 3 – 2010 (Dir. Tony Jaa, Panna Rittikrai)
Do you remember that brief period after ‘Ong-Bak’ in 2003 when Tony Jaa was the next big thing to come from Asian cinema? No, maybe it was just me. After watching both the first ‘Ong-Bak’ and ‘Warrior King’ I had high hopes Tony Jaa would bring some much needed new blood into the action genre. Jackie Chan had even tried to get him on ‘Rush Hour 3’. Unfortunately nothing has really materialised. One of the possible reasons behind that is this.
Despite my issues with the film, the action scenes are pretty good, but are few and far between for a ninety minute film. The time spent between the action is confusing, choppy, silly and boring.
4. Iron Man 3 – 2013 (Dir. Shane Black)
The box office figures for ‘Iron Man 3’ would suggest that I am in the minority when I just didn’t enjoy this film, however I know I am not alone. Now ‘Iron Man 3’ did not land on this list because it is a particularly bad film, but it is easily the most disappointed I’ve felt after a part three.
The reunited team of Robert Downey Jnr & Shane Black after ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ promised many things, unfortunately it fell short. The problem here I think is the darker journey that Tony Stark finds himself on, which doesn’t play to the strengths of Shane Blacks style.
One of my biggest issues with ‘Iron Man 3’ is THAT twist. Sure it came out of the blue, it caught everybody off guard and the entire marketing campaign of the film was very much like the Mandarins terrorism videos within the film. It truly was a stroke of genius in this day and age. That being said, it absolutely and positively sucked every bit of tension and drama out of the film to the point where I actually didn’t care any more. The build up to that twist point was near brilliance but after it happened there was no longer any genuine threat, and it was all but assured Iron Man would save the day.
I also did not like the Extremis powered generic bad guys that were essentially T-1000 clones. Disposable henchmen work in an ensemble film where the tide is against the heroes, just like ‘Avengers’ but in a smaller scale film they take the feeling of threat away. The CGI for them was also pretty poor.
5. Alex Cross – 2012 (Dir. Rob Cohen)
So, I realise this is technically not a Part 3, but it is the third film to be based on the character of Alex Cross after ‘Kiss the Girls’ and ‘Along Came a Spider’. Grasping at straws? Maybe.
To be honest I’d not be surprised if few people have actually seen this film. I also think that had we not had an excellent sadistic performance by Matthew Fox then this film would have went straight to DVD. Apart from Fox the acting is ridiculously poor considering the calibre of talent featured. Edward Burns, Jean Reno, John C. McGinley & Tyler Perry are all capable of better than this yet something just brought it all down. Maybe it was the script, or the direction, you have to go back to the early 2000s to find a decent Rob Cohen film. Regardless, the majority of this film was predictable, dull and below standard. Just like the tagline for the poster.
That is it for now, I have more which I’ll post at a later date but I’m sure you all have your own worst third entries, so sound off in the comments below!