In search of solid trilogies

Okay, this entry may signal the beginning of this blog’s sharp decline….

But I just finished watching The Bourne Ultimatum, and it was amazing. It’s a smart, taut espionage movie in a great series, and I’m a sucker for spy movies. (Did you all know that I was named after James Bond? No joke, ask my dad.)

This movie completes a solid trilogy, which is rare among movies. I know I start this conversation often, but I’m interested in what others think is a great trilogy as well. To be a great trilogy, each movie in the trilogy has to be good: one misstep disqualifies the entire series. So X-Men, Spiderman and the Godfather is out (because of the last movie), and of course, the Matrix it out (because of all the sequels).

Another solid trilogy I could think of was The Lord of the Rings, but that’s almost unfair, because the entire trilogy was made at the same time. The Star Wars series could come close (if you count episodes IV to VI). But after that, my mind goes blank.

Any others out there?

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22 Comments

  1. Indiana Jones.

    After that, it’s pretty slim pickings. Karate Kid? Back to the Future? Yeah.

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  2. Three Colors: Blue, White, Red.

    Not much after that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_film_trilogies

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  3. High School Musical 1, 2, and 3. You might feel like the first two are a waste of time, but you’ll appreciate the brilliance of the trilogy about halfway through the third. Trust me on this.

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  4. indiana jones 4 is coming out so, no longer a trilogy.
    karate kid and bttf are great nostalgic trilogies.

    How about Godfather. I still haven’t gone through all three in one sitting, and hopefully, I’ll have some free time to do that…. (yeah right).
    blade is a pretty fun one, though not incredible.
    spiderman is currently a trilogy, but i’m sure they’ll make another.
    terminator 3 screwed the trilogy out of its goodness.
    i like beverly hills cop – a fun cop trilogy.
    and i’m still a fan of matrix….even though everyone hated 2&3.

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  5. You can probably add the Alien movies to the your list of “first two were great, but the third one wasn’t” trilogies.

    I thought of Indiana Jones too, but I feel like the first two aren’t nearly as good as the third. But I don’t think the addition of a 4th movie quite disqualifies it.. I mean, do most folks consider the latest Rocky and Rambo movies to be within canon?

    How ’bout the even numbered Star Trek movies (and pretend the odds didn’t happen, most consider the 5th one to be non-canonical anyway)?

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  6. Thanks for the comments. But Indiana Jones doesn’t count because of the 2nd movie. C’mon, y’all. Temple of Doom?

    Haven’t seen Red, White or Blue — very high-brow of you, Mark.

    High School Musical, haha!

    Back to the Future — the third one wasn’t great. Blade’s ok, but you’re right: not great.

    Now, Beverly Hills Cop — I hadn’t thought of that one. But I remember liking it all the way through… then again, I wanted to be Eddie Murphy at one point in my life. A long, long time ago.

    Nice try on Trek. =)

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  7. Someone beat me to the Three Colors trilogy, which was my vote …

    Oh, and for further reference:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_film_trilogies

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  8. I’m a sucker for Indiana Jones and Back to the Future. I also like Rodriguez’s Mexico Trilogy — just thinking about Once upon a Time in Mexico puts a smile on my face.

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  9. I agree with trois colours (blue is my favorite of the three), and also nominate infernal affairs. i saw 1 and 2 and parts of 3, and while 3 wasn’t as good, it didn’t stink the way other trilogy black sheeps do.

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  10. (this is seattle elle, by the way)

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  11. Well, I didn’t know it was a trilogy until I looked at the wiki link, but I have to suggest the “Man with No Name” trilogy. “A Fist Full of Dollars”, “A Few Dollars More”, and “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” – classics! I love movies where the main character hardly ever talks.

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  12. Oceans 11 12 and 13….

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  13. Rush Hour?

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  14. Ooo — I left the Oceans series off, because I thought 13 was lame. And I heard Rush Hour 3 was a dud, but did people like it?

    Lots of people mentioned the trois colours — perhaps that would be my next movie lineup. Too bad I cancelled Netflix: I was watching movies that I didn’t really want to see.

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  15. James, I own Trois Couleurs, if you want to borrow them.

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  16. Hi Mark. That sounds great. Thanks! And even after three years of French, I can’t spell “Couleurs.” Haha.

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  17. Great discussion. Have you read the Bourne trilogy? Even better than the movies….and I know that’s saying a lot. I really like the movies. I’m a big Ludlum fan, and I think the Bourne series is among his best…

    Also, another vote for Star Trek 2, 4 & 6. A Brilliant Trilogy.

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  18. Thanks for the tip, Jon. That sounds like a fun read. And you’re not the only one who tried to get by with the even-numbered Star Trek trilogy. =)

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  19. Bourne is back…

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  20. kudos to doug. the “man with no name” movies are true classics. I also would think the fantômas movies deserve being mentioned. i think they are pretty hilarious.

    unfortunately i haven’t seen “sympathy for lady vengeance” but if it lives up to the first two then this would be a trilogy to recommend, too.

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  21. I think the beauty of the Bourne series is that long before it became a movie it was in print, so it wasn’t a movie exec determining that we can milk this for more, it was a well thought out series. Ludlum is a great author, if you like to read that kind of book.

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  22. […] Hopefully, I won’t need to make this into a trilogy. […]

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