Thor: Ragnarok gives us the third cinematic helping of MCU’s Thor. Click here for my review, but basically I thought it’s proclivity for comedy made it a rather empty experience. But it got me to thinking…how many great third entries in a film franchise/trilogy are there? Most trilogies fail on the third outing: see The Godfather Part III, Spider-Man 3, X-Men III, Scream 3. In many cases, the second outing was so incredible that it’s hard for a follow up to live up to expectations (see: The Dark Knight Rises). Very good/great third entries in a film franchise/trilogy are a rarity, but here are My Top 10 Best Threequels!

  1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The other seven Harry Potter films make me want to pluck my eyeballs out. Seeing Daniel Radcliffe attempt to act makes me want to have a lobotomy. But Alfonso Cuaron works his magic here to deliver a worthwhile and memorable Harry Potter film. There’s still wonder and amazement in the third film, but darkness creeps in and threatens to take over. The Dementors are genuinely creepy and force Radcliffe to act his socks off (maybe he thought they were real?). For me, it’s the most cohesive Potter film, not content to focus on the “wonder” of the magical world like the previous two films nor attempting to fit massive books into one film like the later films.

  1. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

I know that Return of the Jedi is the worst film of the original Star Wars trilogy. I know that it’s anti-climatic and full of silly Ewoks. But my childhood memories scream out to me not to leave this film off this list. I adored this film as a child. It was easily my favourite of the trilogy. The Empire Strikes Back was perhaps too emotionally complex for my naïve brain. Return of the Jedi felt more like the first film, full of excitement, space battles and lightsabre fights. I always used to punch the air when the Second Death Star blew up (and find it hard to stop myself even now!). There is plenty to criticise about it, but it holds one of the most poignant moments in the entire saga when Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader fight to the death. It’s gripping and full of pathos (but spoiled by the other two plots that are happening at the same time).

(Click here for my review)

  1. Iron Man 3

For my money, this is the best Iron Man film out of the bunch. It’s a Shane Black film starring Robert Downey Jr. that Iron Man occasionally pops up in. And there’s no problem with that at all! I was one of the people that felt the second act twist ruined a potentially great villain, but after a rewatch it made perfect sense. It was the first MCU film after The Avengers and thus had an uneviable task: how do our heroes survive without each other (or why don’t they just call each other when faced with saving the world?)? Iron Man 3 poked fun at The Avengers whilst giving Downey Jr. a meaty role dealing with PTSD. Yes, it’s still funny, full of dark humour, but there’s an emotional core here that’s missing from the previous two Iron Man films. Oh, it has something to say about the post 9/11 world as well.

(Click here for my review)

  1. Three Colours: Red

Yes, here’s where I waffle about foreign films for a little bit. Krzysztof Kieślowski’s trilogy explored the political ideas behind the three colours of the French flag: blue being liberty, white being equality and red being fraternity. Yes, it may sound pretentious, but any self-respecting cinema fan should see this trilogy, if only to see a master at work. You can easily ignore the story and admire Kieślowski’s handiwork behind a camera. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but for people who want are sick and tired of romantic films I’d advise you watch Three Colours: Red, the final film in the trilogy. We follow two relationships, one about to blossom and one at its withering end. You can watch the final film without watching the previous two, but I’d highly recommend watching them in order.

  1. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

How do you wrap up the adventures of The Man With No Name? A Fistful OF Dollars was great, A Few Dollars more was more of the same, but The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is a fitting finale for Clint Eastwood’s most memorable character This three hour film is about three bounty hunters searching for Confederate gold, but it’s less about the plot and more about the visuals, the tension and the violence. Every shot looks like a painting, for one. Sergio Leone using silence (and Ennio Morricone’s iconic soundtrack) to make you stop breathing whist waiting for a duel to happen. And when the violence happens, it’s beautiful to watch. It’s style with extra substance, if you will. I still prefer A Fistful of Dollars for its simplicity and brevity, but in terms of quality The Good, The Bad and The Ugly reigns supreme.

  1. Toy Story 3

I really don’t hope Pixar ruins Toy Story with a poor fourth instalment, as the original trilogy stands as one of the best and most fulfilling film trilogies of all time. The second film is the best of the lot, but this is excellent. It’s a story about growing up and losing childhood innocence. Andy is all grown up, and sadly his toys have to go. Of course, it happens to most toys: children get fed up with them or grow out of them. But Toy Story 3 takes us on an emotional journey that yet again appeases both adults and children. It pays homage to the previous two films whilst riffing on particular aspects of them. This would have been the perfect farewell to Woody and co…

  1. The World’s End

Admittedly, the other two films in Edgar Wright’s Cornetto trilogy are superior to the final one. Shaun of the Dead remains the best, whilst Hot Fuzz is funnier but more bloated. This one features, for no particular reason, a group of friends who are awesome at martial arts. It’s not written into their back story. They just start throwing punches and kicks like a professional. If you can get past that, then The World’s End is a fine science fiction film that riffs on previous science fiction films whilst adding martial arts to the mix. Undoubtedly, the fight sequences are great (even if they do make you ask why these out of shape men in their mid-thirties make Bruce Lee look like Jim Carrey). But the character arcs of Shaun Pegg and Nick Frost give the film great emotional heft, even more so than the previous two entries.

  1. Captain America: Civil War

The first Captain America film was forgettable. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the best MCU sequel to date. Captain America: Civil War felt more like an Avengers movie thanks to its extended cast, but gave us more pathos and emotion than most of the MCU films combined. But it balances its cast of heroes and villains with the feel of a Captain America film, forcing Cap to once again question his allegiances to his country and his friends. Yes, calling it a Civil War may be hyperbole, but seeing two friends reduced to fighting gives this film definite emotional peaks and troughs. We see friendships built up for almost a decade fall to pieces. And its gripping viewing. The best MCU film thus far? Quite possibly…

(Click here for my review)

  1. War for the Planet of the Apes

The rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise was a pleasant surprise. The first one was flawed, but entertaining. The second was a masterpiece. How could the third one follow Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? I’d say it was a few notches below Dawn, but only because the title gave us false expectations. Yes, it’s a war film, but a war film in the vein of Apocalypse Now. It’s bookended by battle scenes, but the substance is our ape hero Caeser’s war within himself. From that point of view, it’s excellent. It’s a bleak, intelligent and soulful blockbuster that relies on character, not on big explosions and a high body count, to tell its story.

(Click here for my review)

  1. Day of the Dead

For my money, this is superior to Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. I like to praise Day of the Dead a lot, as it’s the forgotten film out of Romero’s original trilogy. I’m not sure why…maybe it’s took bleak for some people. If you thought the first two films were bleak, then the third one will literally make you question why humanity should continue existing. Many of the human characters are unlikeable; some are downright detestable. The most sympathetic character is the zombie Bob, who’s beginning to exhibit human-like tendencies. This is Romero’s middle finger to humanity. It may be overly talky, but it’s gorier than the first two put together. The finale will make the strongest of stomachs churn.

(Click here for my review)

Honourable Mentions

Back to the Future III

The Bourne Ultimatum

Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

Rocky III


Agree or disagree? Any you’d take away or add? What is your Top 10?

Click here to see Hammy’s Top 10 Best Sequels


  1. lkeke35 November 7, 2017 / 4:46 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree with this list except for a couple of the honorable mentions. I’d replace Planet of the Apes and Day of the Dead with Bourne Ultimatum and Dream Warriors, though, because I had so much fun watching the Freddy movies with my Mom, and I’ve never been a huge zombie movie fan all like that. I also prefer the old Planet of the Apes movies with Charleton Heston.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hammy Reviews November 7, 2017 / 5:19 pm

      Cheers! I’ve only seen the first original Planet of the Apes, although I have the boxset!

      Liked by 1 person

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