Good Things Come in Threes: 5 Fantastic Movie Trilogies
Finding fantastic movie trilogies can be quite a tricky feat, considering that Hollywood’ thirst for capitalizing on the success of certain films has led to abominations such as the “Jaws,” “Jurassic Park,” “The Mighty Ducks” and “Star Wars Prequel” trilogies. And even when they got the trilogy right, sometimes they can’t help destroying such great works by adding a fourth or fifth film that threatens to sink a once thriving franchise, as in the case of all the “Indiana Jones” offerings. But, once in a great while, production companies succeed in getting the most out of a formula that worked the first time, satisfying the cravings of fans that just need to know, “What happens next?”.
There is no denying that Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of Mario Puzo’s novel is widely regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces in cinema history. “The Godfather” trilogy chronicles the rise and fall of the fictional Corleone family, one of New York City’s five Mafia organizations, from the mid-1940s to the early 1980s. Powerful performances by Hollywood heavyweights such as Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando, Diane Keaton and James Caan, in addition to breathtaking cinematography and superb writing, ensures the trilogy will consistently find a home among the greatest films of all time.
The case for George Lucas’ epic magnum opus can be summed up in the words of the always outspoken character Randal Graves (of cult director Kevin Smith’s “Clerks” and “Clerks 2”), “There’s only one ‘Return’ okay, and it ain’t of the king, it’s of the Jedi… There’s only one trilogy.” And you would be hard pressed to find a die-hard “Star Wars” fan that would argue with that sentiment. Though Lucas released a prequel trilogy some sixteen years later, fans around the world were quick to disparage the films as complete masturbatory drivel. The original trilogy that introduced the world to Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Darth Vader will always be considered the only trilogy that matters.
“Back to the Future”
A comedic sci-fi fantasy that plays to the imagination and wonder of the young and old alike, the “Back to the Future” trilogy dares to answer the age old question, “What would you do if you could go back in time?” Over the course of the three films, Marty McFly and his friend Doc Brown embark on adventures that see them crisscrossing the fabric of time, visiting the sock hop innocence of 1955, the technologically advanced future of 2015, and the rough and tumble Wild West of 1885. The only downside to come from this great trilogy? We still have yet to see flying cars and hover-boards.
As with many great trilogies, sometimes another film is later added to the mix that can leave fans with a sour taste in their collective mouths, forever marring the reverential view once held for the franchise. When 2008’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” in taken out of the equation, the original trilogy is perhaps one of the greatest set of adventure films to come out of Hollywood in the twentieth century. Set between 1935 and 1938, the films chronicle the adventures of archeology professor Henry “Indiana” Jones as he travels the world with his trusted fedora and bullwhip, seeking to keep artifacts such as the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, and the Sankara stones out of the clutches of Nazis and into the safety of museums.
The "Bourne" Trilogy
After he is found floating in the middle of the ocean with two bullet holes in his back and suffering from amnesia, ex-CIA agent Jason Bourne sets about trying to piece together the puzzle of who he is and why a handful of assassins want him dead. What unfolds over the next three motion pictures is some of the best action sequences ever produced on the big screen. Blinding hand to hand combat, adrenaline pumping, edge-of-your-seat car chases, and enough twists and turns to make M.C. Escher dizzy are all just icing on the cake of a trilogy of films that takes spy thrillers to a whole new level.