6 greatest movie part 3's

Posted September 25

THREE TOWN — It’s hard enough to make a really good movie the first time— it’s even harder to make a really fantastic part three. Many times we’ve waited anxiously for the third installment only to be disappointed in it.

You have some movies like “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Godfather Part III” that aren’t terrible, but disappointing compared to the rest of the trilogy. Then you have parts three’s like “Spider-Man 3” and “Jaws 3-D” that are just garbage.

Sometimes, however, you get a part three that’s downright fantastic. Sometimes these third installments are better than the previous two films in the franchise.

This had been on my mind lately because whether you realized it or not, a third “Bridget Jones” movie is headed to theaters this weekend and is actually scoring well on Rotten Tomatoes.

So with all of that, here’s a list of six of the greatest part three’s ever made:

Captain America: Civil War

I debated including this because it felt more like an Avengers sequel than a Captain America sequel, but at the end of the day it’s technically “Captain America III.”

I am not the biggest Marvel movie fan, but this movie was fun, energetic, and entertaining, and I couldn’t stop myself from having a good time. Not only is “Captain America: Civil War” the best Captain America movie, but it’s the best Avengers movie as well.

Mission: Impossible III

The first “Mission: Impossible” movie was a twisting tale of betrayal and espionage that was engaging even if it was a little confusing. “M:I 2” was a mess top to bottom. When I heard they were making a third, I rolled my eyes almost as hard as I did when I saw the title for “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip.”

To my surprise “Mission: Impossible III” wasn’t just great, but arguably the best addition to the franchise to that point. When compared with “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” and “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” the third installment doesn’t quite match up, but it’s still a great film.

“M:I III” managed to marry the action of the second films with the smarts of the first film and create something that not just revitalized the franchise, but completely saved it. On top of a fun spy flick involving the IMF, we also got one of the best villains we’ve seen on screen with Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s Owen Davian.

Return of the Jedi

Personally I think “The Empire Strikes Back” is the best Star Wars film, but it’s hard to find a Star Wars flick that’s more fun than “Return of the Jedi.”

Granted "Return of the Jedi" is actually Episode VI, but it was the third film in the series, so it makes it on to this list.

Ewoks may have not been the greatest addition to the Star Wars canon, but they also weren’t the worst, and a big party in the tree houses may have been a little over the top, but all of that was forgivable because we got closure, action, humor, and speeder bikes.

The Bourne Ultimatum

The Jason Bourne series is one of the best spy franchises we’ve had the opportunity to see. They are smart, sleek, and action packed and make for a fun time at the movies.

The third installment in the franchise, “The Bourne Ultimatum,” found a great way to wrap up Bourne’s story with a bang. Seeing Jason head back to New York City and uncover the CIA’s shady dealings with secret programs is arguably the most clever and well-executed Bourne film.

“The Bourne Ultimatum” was so good that it actually made the long awaited movie “Jason Bourne” a bit of a let down. This movie wasn’t bad, but compared to Ultimatum it was disappointing. Most of you probably remember my feelings on this because you were calling for my head when I said it, but it’s really hard to live up to the expert execution of “The Bourne Ultimatum”

Toy Story 3

Pixar is now a juggernaut when it comes to family films. While they don’t always have the best track record with sequels (please see “Cars 2”) they had a real hit with “Toy Story 2” and then made one of their greatest films with “Toy Story 3.”

It’s hard to say anything is better than the original “Toy Story” because it’s what set all of this Pixar and computer-animation in motion, but “Toy Story 3” may be a stronger film.

The movie is poignant, funny, heartbreaking, and relatable to everyone from age 3 to 93. “Toy Story 3” isn’t just a great part three, but an overall great film.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” introduced us to what is now one of the most iconic movie characters of all time— Indiana Jones. In “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” we got a prequel that was entertaining and fun, but couldn’t quite capture the magic of Raiders. Then in 1989, we got “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and everything was right with the world.

This movie is action-adventure at its best, and I can watch this over and over again. I still remember being 6 years old and standing in line at the old Villa Theater waiting to see this movie. The line stretched around the block and my brother KC and I were nervous wrecks the whole time worried that it would be sold out. Thankfully, it wasn’t.

This movie recaptured the magic from Raiders and entertains this 33-year-old just as much as it did that 6-year-old.


These are just a few amazing part three’s that stick out to me. What are your favorites?

John has been writing about movies, news, sports and pretty much anything awesome for more than five years. John is the co-host of the Flix Junkies podcast and will always entertain you with his stories.


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