So you’ve made an amazing movie, great! Now you have to up the ante for the sequel, add more conflict, make it bigger, and possibly darker. Oh, your sequel has done gangbusters? Threequel time!
Third films in a series are notorious for being very crap, see Godfather: Part III, Spider-Man 3, and Big Momma’s House 3. However, some rise above that and sometimes even take the crown as the best one.
Avengers: Infinity War
While I still think Avengers: Endgame is a better movie, Infinity War is such a strong and brilliant blockbuster film. Somehow fitting more than twenty of these big characters into the one film is mesmerising to even think about.
While there are many players, it really hones in on Tony Stark and Thanos. Stark’s arc is close to completion, and reaping what he sowed as he learns that this big massive threat he’s been preparing for is finally arriving. Josh Brolin’s motion-capture performance as Thanos is so good you will forget he’s not actually a real person.
And who can forget the ending? Possibly the most shocking end to a major blockbuster since Darth Vader reveals to Luke that he is his father. Drama aside, the real litmus test of how good and how big an impact a movie has these days is how many memes can be made from it, and this one just oozes memes.
Return of the Jedi
Speaking of Darth Vader, here’s the threequel that played a huge part in making other threequels possible. Return of the Jedi.
While it isn’t the best Star Wars movie, it is still a great movie. Coming off the back of Empire is difficult, but this definitely works as a culmination of the previous two movies. Luke’s reveal at Jabba’s Palace is brilliant, the whole Sarlaac scene is great, the Viet-Cong inspired Ewoks are fun, and who doesn’t love a bit of redemption for the big bad?
Halloween 3: Season of the Witch
This movie’s connection to the previous two Halloween films is tenuous at best, but this is quite possibly the second-best movie in the entire Halloween filmology. As Halloween approaches, kids from across America are dying to get the new range of toys from Silver Shamrock corporation, with their jingles taking up air in the week leading up.
After some suspicious events, two regular people go to investigate Silver Shamrock and travel to their commune-like factory town of Santa Mira. Without spoiling it, this is a really wild movie that has some of the most interesting ideas from across this franchise. Abandoning the iconic slasher milieu of the previous two films, and immersing itself in this strange science-fiction witchcraft idea is one of the boldest moves that’s been done for a threequel.
Three more days to Halloween, Halloween, three more days to Halloween, Silver Shamrock…
Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade
After the dark and brutal Temple of Doom came a far more family-friendly and light Indiana Jones adventure. Starring Sean Connery as Indiana Jones’ father in one of the best performances from across the trilogy, here’s a movie that is a great return to classic globe-trotting – perhaps fittingly emulating James Bond.
Last Crusade provides much more character and emotional stakes than the previous films, with the father/son dynamic between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery being a highlight of the trilogy.
What a great way to finish a great trilogy in a definitive way, I hope they never consider making a CGI mess of a fourth movie…
Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3 is the greatest threequel of all time. It does everything a good sequel, and good threequel, should do. It ups the stakes, it throws our characters through the ringer, completes character arcs, and provides a truly complete and emotionally fulfilling ending.
There is no greater way to wrap up a trilogy, and that is something I’m certain of.
What do you think of this list? Did I miss an amazing threequel? Sound off in the comments below!