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Third Time’s A Harm
Second Sequels Worse than The Hangover, Part III

I’d say SPOILER ALERT, but let me just save you the $12 ticket price.

Early into this past weekend’s third and “final” The Hangover installment, a giraffe is decapitated by a freeway’s low overhang.

With the assistance of some pretty garish CGI and quick editing, the sequence is dark, bizarre, mean-spirited and, if you ask me, funny as hell.

But it’s also just the set up a movie completely designed to kill off the “franchise” that the first one started. This third movie makes the formula-re-trending second’s almost redeemable.

Personally, I think Todd Phillips intended to kill off any possibility of bringing the Wolf Pack back a fourth time. He delivers a movie that’s way less funny than its predecessors, and focused on secondary characters like Mr. Chow, Black Doug and Jade. It will die at the box-office once word of mouth (not to mention some ugly reviews by the critics) reassures it’s a hot mess.

But this is hardly the first “second sequel” to end a movie series winning-streak.

Here’s a look at some of the worst PART IIIs…

JAWS 3D
Although I defended it on this very site here, the third Jaws movie solidly ruins the reverence of the mighty Great White Bruce. The first film is a masterpiece modeled on Moby Dick, the second film a pure pop-corn thriller, but this third time was a poor excuse for the studio to dust off the mechanical shark to cash in on the 3D craze of 1983. The movie made money, however, and amazingly gave way to an even worse sequel: Jaws The Revenge.

THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US
Years before the same studio used 3D to revive the shark, Universal went back to 2D for the third Creature from the Black Lagoon installment.

In this one, they try to get the Gill-man acclimated to human life. They even make clothes for him, so he’s not all naked and stuff.

It’s as bad as it sounds.

The Creature never walked again.

SUPERMAN III
And just how did Warner Bros. follow up the more critically acclaimed Superman II?

Well, they gave it more comic elements. But, like, Archie Comics, not Superman. Bad jokes, gags, slapstick, puns and one incredibly coked-up Richard Pryor made you believe a man could floop.

Amazingly, this third film did make money. Even more amazingly, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace not only exists, but it’s even worse.

LOOK WHO’S TALKING NOW!
The oddball success of 1989’s Amy Heckerling directed talking baby comedy spurted out a passable sequel also directed by Amy Heckerling, who later redeemed her career with Clueless.

Wisely, she didn’t return a third time for this talking babies and dogs installment featuring the voice talents of Danny DeVito and Diane Keaton.

Lucky for John Travolta, this would be one of his last Hollywood dogs, as Pulp Fiction relaunched his career for a third time.

ANACONDA 3

The first sequel moved away from the plot of the first film.

This second sequel moved away from the big screen. It’s a straight to video/TV extravaganza that is “saved” by the presence of David Hasselhoff.

It’s a clear reminder that there really is only so far you can go with a giant snake movie franchise.

That said, it has been since followed by Anacondas: Trail of Blood.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN AT WORLDS END
Personally, they should have kept to the first film, which is a daft re-imagining of the popular attraction at the Disney Parks.

But this third film in the now four film franchise is easily the worst and most unwatchable. It’s overblown, overlong and underwhelming.

Everyone in it seems bored, not helped by Gore Verbinski completely out of visual tricks.

The fourth one is my second favorite, actually. On Stranger Tides is more structured, more fun and visually wondrous.

SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT PART 3
Jackie Gleason retured as Smokey in this massive box office flop, but originally he also returned as The Bandit as well.

Confused?

So were test audiences, who didn’t really go for the original movie cut, Smokey IS The Bandit Part 3, which Gleason doubled the duty.

The film was recut with new scenes and a new “Bandit,” or Cledus taking the place of the Bandit in the original script, or something. It’s a a full on South bound and down mess.

This original teaser for the original unreleased film is fun though…

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