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Films in threes not always true ‘trilogies’

Charlie Owen
Vail CO, Colorado
Charlie Owen
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What does the first Star Wars trilogy and The Lord of the Rings trilogy have in common? They are both awesome. What does every other movie trilogy have in common with these two? Absolutely nothing, and they all fail in their grandiose attempts at becoming part of film legend.

What they succeed in doing, usually by the third installment, is destroying entire movie franchises with mediocre, half-hearted work that screams, “I’m in this for the money!”

A perfect example would be the Matrix trilogy. The first movie was groundbreaking and turned into an instant classic. But the writers wrote the movie as a stand alone project. After the box-office success of the Matrix, you could almost hear Hollywood suits fighting over the rights to the sequels. But when was the last time anyone ever talked about the second and third installments of the Matrix franchise, other than to say how bad they were? The writers jumped on the band wagon”and who wouldn’t”and quickly came up with some uninspired plots to continue the legacy of the first film. Now what you have is two more movies that almost negate the profound impact that the original Matrix had on the film world.

The trilogy has become Hollywood’s latest weapon of choice, unfortunately they don’t know how to use it correctly yet. Most trilogies sputter out creatively by the end of their run, even as ticket sales continue to break records.

I think that the studios that keep churning out this useless material should answer the following trilogy of questions before the green light is given to any more movie trilogies.

1. Does the trilogy need to exist to further the storyline of the original film? If the answer is yes, then make the sequels. The second and third Lord of the Rings needed to happen, since it was already a trilogy in book form. But I did not need to know any more about Neo and his merry band of misfits to die happy.

2. Can the trilogy keep the same level of integrity from start to finish? As in the case of the Matrix and X-Men trilogies, we find that it is easier said than done. More often than not, directors, producers, and even the stars themselves change throughout the completed work, and this disrupts the mood and feel that most viewers have become accustomed to.

3. What is the goal of creating the trilogy? If it is profits and capitalizing on demographics, than put the brakes on. The industry does not need 10 movies about every super-hero ever created. If the writer does not start out with a trilogy in mind, then why does it have to be forced into the mold? If a project can be done in one or two installments, which was the case for many years, than keep it that way.

The fact of the matter is, Hollywood can keep flooding the theaters with silly sequels and trilogies forever, and consumers will keep buying the tickets. Everyone wants to know what happens to Jack Sparrow and Spider Man, so we follow them to the end of the road, even though we already know how it’s all going to end. Just remember that for every Die Hard, there is a crappy Die Hard 2 and 3 just waiting to follow it up.

The thought is, if the first one is so great, then the second and third must be great too. Does anyone remember Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines?

Exactly.


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