Rocky 3’s underrated threequels to clear and present danger

Due to the nature of building a modern franchise world, building a connected universe is more important than singular focused storylines. It’s rare to see a real trilogy anymore. The days of a grand and epic trio that crowns a series on a definitive note, like The Lord of the Rings: The Return of a King or The dark knight rises, feel far removed from the modern landscape. There are even franchises that seem perfectly wrapped up and have recently gotten subsequent sequels, such as Bourne, toy storyand The matrix.

Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets hope to revive the Harry Potter prequel series following the negative response to the last installment, The Crimes of Grindelwald. It’s the last trio that we already know for a fact won’t wrap things up, because David Yates and Warner Brothers are still moving forward with two more films planned.


Many three movies are highly rated and movies like Return of the Jedi, Goldfinger, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, or The good the bad and the ugly are commonly cited as the best in their respective series. However, there are a few threequels that weren’t fair upon their initial release; whether they were financial disappointments or ignored by their fans, these films deserve another shot. Here are seven underrated threes that are way better than their reputation suggests.

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The Executor (1976)

the executor
Image via Warner Bros.

1971 dirty harry is one of the most important action films of all time. Not only Don SiegelLance’s investigative thriller one of Clint Eastwood, but the intense film introduced a new level of grit that was distinct within the new Hollywood generation. The sequel to 1973 Magnum Strength was equally advertised; while he couldn’t create a villain as formidable as the Scorpion sniper (Andy Robinson), Magnum Strength is still a tightly wrapped mystery. Surprisingly, the dirty harry the series remained mostly consistent. The Third Movie, 1976 The executorgave Harry a valuable partner in Tyne Dalyis Detective Kate Moore. It was essential for a series that focused so heavily on law enforcement to introduce a character whose worldview challenged Harry’s.

Rocky III (1982)

rocky 3
Picture via MGM

Rocky III changed the tone of Rocky franchise. Like the original Best Picture winner, Rocky II kept things mostly grounded and serious. By the time Dolph Lundgren appeared as Ivan Drago in Rocky IVhe fell into complete madness. Rocky III straddling the border between campiness and emotion. Obviously, Mr T presents an aura of inherent awkwardness, and he barely plays a complex character. That being said, introducing Rocky’s former rival Apollo Creed (Carl Meteos) as his new mentor was a fun angle and introduced an interesting friendship. Sylvester StalloneThe directorial efforts of have been mixed, but he has remained mostly consistent with his quality work in the Rocky saga.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Image via Warner Bros.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome is a good film wedged between two masterpieces, and as a result it suffers from comparison. 1982 Mad Max 2: Road Warrior has long been considered one of the greatest action movies of all time, but in 2015 Mad Max: Fury Road succeeded in overcoming it. That being said, Beyond Thunderdome is still a very worthy entry in the series. The opening hour is excellent; the cage motorcycle fights are simply thrilling, and Tina TurnerThe eccentric villain Aunty Entity made a very different villain than the madmax series had seen before. While the final hour gets a little cheesy as Max rescues orphaned children, there’s still a terrific final chase sequence that ends the Mel Gibson series run on a solid, but ambiguous note.

Day of the Dead (1985)

Image via United Film Distribution Company

George Romero used every movie in the Undead series to explore current political topics; even the critics ridiculed Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead presented some interesting insights into Bush-era politics. While night of the living dead and dawn of the dead are considered essential zombie films, The day of the Dead is just as strong. The film is set after the pandemic has spread and zombies outnumber humans. The remaining human survivors live in underground areas, and a group of scientists led by Dr. Sarah Bowman (Lori Cardille) and Dr. Matthew Logan (Richard Liberty) attempt to understand the behavior of zombies by “humanizing” them. However, military officer Captain Henry Rhodes (Joe Pilat) completely ignores their research. In a haunting depiction of Regan-era militarism, Rhodes drives humanity toward conflict when he refuses to accept the possibility of a peaceful solution.

Psycho III (1986)

Picture via Universal Pictures

The idea that there are sequels to Alfred Hitchcockthe 1960 classic psychology seems unthinkable, but the franchise is actually quite interesting. While turning Anthony Perkins‘ Norman Bates as the main character, the psychology The series was able to explore its complex psychology instead of just relying on cheap scares. Psycho III is not as grounded as the most dramatic Psycho II, but it offered Bates the chance for a normal life. Norman falls in love with the nune Maureen Coyle (Diana Scarwid), and is forced to wonder if he could ever forgive himself for his past crimes and strike up a romantic relationship. Perkins stepped behind the camera for an impressive debut.

Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)


Lethal Weapon 3 managed to create the dynamic between Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) still feel fresh. In the days before Murtaugh’s retirement, a new drug dealer calls him back to duty and, for once, the phrase “I’m getting too old for this” is fitting. There’s always a risk with Buddy Cop sequels that the relationship will become stale once the characters get to know each other, but Riggs undergoes a surprising change of heart. He falls in love with their new partner, Sergeant Lorna Cole (Rene Russo) and forms his first solid relationship since the death of his wife.

Clear and Present Danger (1994)

clear and present danger-harrison-ford
Image via Paramount Pictures

Harrison Ford launched its version of Tom Clancyis Jack Ryan in patriot games after Alec Baldwin launched the character in The Hunt for Red October. patriot games is a good movie, but it steered the series in a more action-focused direction. Ford had another chance with the years 1994 Clear and present dangerwhich retained the mysterious element of The Hunt for Red October. Ryan is forced to question his own patriotism when he discovers that the US government is involved in a secret war in Colombia. The final scene, in which Ford yells at the President for his cover-up, is one of his defining moments.


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