In long-running film franchises, it’s hard for the quality to stand up to the early films in the series. And more often than not, they’ve almost run out of steam by the third movie, or at least they’re very different movies from what the series began with.
However, Redditors point out several three sequels that they believe are actually the best, and while some are in line with the general consensus, there are some massively unpopular opinions. Between a blockbuster street racing movie, a fantasy wizarding movie that includes time travel, and a found movie where novelty has long wore off, Redditors’ opinions are everywhere.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
- Available to stream on HBO Max
With eight films in the franchise, most of which are around 2.5 hours long and packed with dramatic set pieces and action sequences, Achshar interestingly prefers the quietest and shortest entry of them all.
The user thinks Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the one who “changed the resume universe […as it changed] from magical plushies for kids to serious magic.” The Redditor isn’t alone, as most Wizarding World fans prefer the time travel movie to the rest of them and it’s the second Harry Potter movie highest rated on IMDb, losing the top spot to the epic final film.
Mission: Impossible 3 (2006)
- Available for purchase on Amazon
Coco9Unzain quotes Mission: Impossible 3 as the best movie in its franchise, one that sits interestingly outside the box compared to its siblings. The Movie May Not Feature Tom Cruise’s Best Stunts, But It Has The Most Compelling MID stories and by far the show’s most sadistic villain, played amazingly by the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Mission: Impossible 3 followed the second film by six years, which is an unusually long gap between films in a successful franchise, but there’s a reason for that. While mission: impossible 2 was successful at the box office, it was badly hurt, and even fans thought it wasn’t as good as the first film. That means if director JJ Abrams breathed new life into both star trek and star warsit was Mission: Impossible 3 which established the filmmaker as the go-to director for reviving outdated franchises.
Golden Finger (1964)
- Available for purchase on Amazon Prime
Most of the Sean Connery era james bond the films are iconic, but none are more memorable than the 1964 one The golden finger. The film combines the freshness of From Russia with love and the theatricality of Dr. No to create the ultimate Bond movie. Clanec69 notes that “The golden finger is the third and greatest James Bond film of the Sean Connery era.”
Although 007-based movies continue to get more ambitious and epic with each consecutive release, sometimes the unassuming, hammered-out choice is the best. And yet Casino Royale and celestial fall could have a more universal fame, The golden finger is a classic.
Transformers: Dark Moon (2011)
- Available to stream on Netflix
the Transformers The series isn’t exactly the most acclaimed franchise of all time, but it’s hugely popular, especially since the six films and spinoffs have grossed $4.8 billion at the worldwide box office (via Deadline). But while Inmyelement87 isn’t a franchise advocate, they have a soft spot for dark of the moonthe third film in the series based on action figures.
The Redditor explains that “none of them are that good, but the third one was super entertaining and really epic.” Most people would say Transformers soft restart Bumblebee as the franchise’s best, but there are some surprisingly jaw-dropping action sequences in the third movie.
Saw III (2006)
- Available to stream on Starz Play
In what is a somewhat unpopular opinion, Muteconversation believes that Saw III is the best film in the long-running nine-film horror franchise. The Redditor notes that “the relationship between Jigsaw and his apprentice is really well done”.
The first film is generally considered the best because it’s not only full of gore, but it’s actually a shocking crime thriller, with one of the biggest twists of the 2000s. Saw II is considered a close second due to its death funhouse and nearly as good twist. The third film features none of that, but it expands on the world-building, gives audiences an interesting insight into the Jigsaw slayer’s story, and is filled with terrifically complex and deadly trappings. And it’s something that even Spiral did not succeed.
Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)
- Available to stream on Amazon Prime
A deleted user notes that Die hard with a vengeance is not only the best die hard sequel but the best version of the franchise (even better than the 1988 original). The Redditor explains that “the first two are fantastic, but just having Samuel L. Jackson playing a cool sidekick makes it a bit better than the previous two.”
While the second film essentially repeated the premise of the original, only setting it in an airport instead of a skyscraper, the third film told a completely original and entertaining story. The film not only changed the setting in New York, but it saw John McClane team up with Zeus for a cop buddy-type action-comedy.
Fast And Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
- Available to stream on HBO Max
Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift had a poor reception when first released because it didn’t star Vin Diesel or Paul Walker, and was instead an anthology film telling a completely different story. However, he has since developed a strong cult following.
Basketball12345 is one such fan and thinks the 2006 release is the best film in the 10-movie franchise, noting that it’s “the only FF about driving!” Surprisingly, even Christopher Nolan is a big fan of the 2006 film, although that doesn’t mean the famed filmmaker will be directing a fast furious his own movie (although it’s something fans can’t wait to see).
Scream 3 (2000)
- Available to stream on Starz Play
Keeponrocking613 mentions Cry 3 as the best movie in the franchise, sarcastically stating, “It’s okay you forgot, a lot of people forget Shout 3.But while that’s always been an unpopular opinion, it’s even more of a hot take now with the critically acclaimed new release. Cry 5.
the Yell The series has always been meta, as it satirized horror tropes while paying homage to them at the same time, but with Cry 3, writer-director Wes Craven went a bit too far. Not only do the conscious jokes go too far, but there’s a way too long cameo from Jay and Silent Bob, and it’s one of the most out of place cameos of all time.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
- Available to stream on Disney+
It’s hard to imagine Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End like everyone’s favorite pirate movie, but it has its fans. LordDEMAXUS reminds users that the movie is one of the most expensive blockbuster movies ever made, but that’s exactly why they love it.
The Redditor explains that “there are few blockbusters at this level where you can actually see where the money went. Just really impeccable craftsmanship right there.” At the end of the world doesn’t come close to exciting the curse of the black pearl or even entertainment Dead Man’s Chest. But compared to both pirate sequels that followed, the 2007 film looks like Citizen Kane.
Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)
- Available to stream on Paramount Plus
It’s amazing to think that a movie with a budget of $15,000 has grown into an eight-movie franchise that’s made almost a billion dollars. The first one paranormal activity was a phenomenon, and while each subsequent film has been more of the same found footage-style horror film, this Redditor thinks the third film is the best. The Redditor claims that “the concept of found footage feels scarier with the 80s setting and boundaries. The only entry in the series that I personally find reviewable.”
Even though the $5 million budget seems excessive compared to its two predecessors (via box office mojo), it’s still extremely economical, and director Henry Joost has also been able to stretch it so far. The film appears to be at a mid-budget level, as it’s set in the 1980s, and the set and costume design is impeccable. It’s horribly terrifying too.
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