I am currently in New York for another audition, and on the train ride here I was deeply engrossed in book three of the Hunger Games trilogy. Well, mildly engrossed. Ok, it basically kept my interest, but I have to say, it was kind of disappointing. I’m not quite done yet, but something about the book just isn’t as good as the first two. With the first two books, putting them down at the end of most chapters was simply an impossibility. I was so hooked, and it was so exciting, that I literally hungered for more (pardon my pun). With the third book, “Mockingjay,” I just didn’t feel that way. The writing was of the same style, and the characters stayed true to form, but for whatever reason, it wasn’t as good as the first two books. That got me to thinking of a lot of other trilogy enders that disappointed me. For instance:
His Dark Materials – This is another book trilogy that I could not stop reading. I read the first two books in about a week, and when I finally got my hands on the third one, I tore through it, only to find that I hated it, and the series was ruined for me.
X-Men: The Last Stand – X-Men emerged onto the movie scene at a time when superhero movies were a joke, and it made them awesome again. This is the movie you have to thank for the fact that every summer we have 19 superhero movies clogging up the multiplexes. Then X2 came out, and is hands-down the best superhero movie of all time (sorry The Dark Knight, you are a very close second). I could watch X2 for days and days and never get bored. So what happened to the third one? It truly sucks. Director Bryan Singer left the production to go film another not so great movie, “Superman Returns.” If only he had stayed on X-Men 3 and let someone else handle ol’ Supes, maybe we would have gotten two better films.
Spider-Man 3 – Just re-read the last paragraph about the X-Men, but replace “X-Men” with “Spider-Man” (and take out the stuff about Bryan Singer) and you will have the same story again. Good first movie, truly great second movie, horrible third movie. No change of directors to blame on this one though.
The Matrix – When I saw “The Matrix” I was blown away. Most people were blown away. It was an awesome movie with ground-breaking visual effects. The second movie was alright, I guess, and even though it wasn’t perfect, it left you with hope that maybe they were going to go somewhere cool with the third one. Nope.
Bob Newhart’s Shows – I used to watch reruns of “The Bob Newhart Show” on Nick at Nite when I was in high school, and it was a great show. And even before that, I used to watch “Newhart” when it was on regular old TV, and that was great show too. Remember his third show? “Bob”? Yeah, neither does anyone else.
The Mummy – Man, “The Mummy” was a fun movie. “The Mummy 2” was a fun movie. Brendan Fraser has made some terrible movies, but these were not them. I’m not saying they should win any awards, I’m just saying they were some fun adventure films. And then they made “The Scorpion King.” No Brendan Fraser = no fun.
Star Trek – This is kind of cheating, because all the odd numbered Star Trek movies are bad. 1, 3, 5, you get the idea. The good ones are 2 (KHAAAAAAAANNNN!), 4 (the one with the whales), and 6 (the one you didn’t see that is actually awesome).
There are plenty of other examples (I’m not even going to discuss “Return of the Jedi” here, because I don’t want any angry letters, and plus I like the Ewoks), but this is long enough as it is. Any others I am missing here? Let me know. And feel free to tell me about all the 3rds of things that are actually the best, like “Return of the King,” “Storm of Swords,” and the third TV movie based on “Gilligan’s Island,” “The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island.”