The 15 Worst Movie Threequels of All Time

8. The Matrix Revolutions


The “Matrix” sequels have to go down in history as two of the most disappointing of all time considering the groundbreaking kickassedness and truly inspired innovation of the original film in 1999.

The quality slide began with “Reloaded” in 2002 and then continued with “Revolutions” in 2003. The two films were shot back-to-back by often overreaching directors, The Wachowski Brothers.

The plot attempts to explain and complete the story of Neo (Keanu Reeves) and his quest to save the remainder of humanity from the inhuman and robotic forces at work to destroy it.

“Revolutions” does not even have the redeeming one cool car chase action scene featured in “Reloaded” to fall back on.

The plot becomes very contriving and confusing and breaks some of the rules it had set forth on itself within the earlier films.

The acting also seems more unbelievable than in the first “Matrix”. Keanu Reeves will never be applauded for his acting range here, but this one was phonier and paper thin than the first film.


7. Superman III

superman III

This film was such a disappointment when seen by me at the age of 12.

The missed opportunities were plenty and the casting of Richard Pryor as Superman’s sidekick was such a joke.
Supposedly, Pryor joked on an episode of “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” about wanting to be in a “Superman” movie.

Producers evidently got wind of this and wrote the script with him in mind. Pryor was a hot stand-up comedian at the time and had appeared in the successful films “Stir Crazy” and “The Toy” (directed by original “Superman director Richard Donner).

Christopher Reeve almost did not appear in the film himself after Donner’s firing from “Superman II” and a subpar script. Tony Danza had actually been cast to play Superman until new director orchard Lester found out and was furious.

The villainous computer hacker, Ross Webster, was also an original villain for the film who was ludicrous.
Why didn’t they just use a much more inventive original or go to the vast villain archive.

Maybe they felt they did not have the budget or the fortitude to make it happen.


6. Iron Man 3

Ben Kingsley as Trevor‘the Mandarin’ – Iron Man 3

The fact that “Iron Man 3” and “Man of Steel” both released in 2013 have the same IMDb rating of 7.2 is a joke.

“Man of Steel” is such a better film filled with immense heart, emotion not to mention really great action scenes, but this is for another article.

“Iron Man 3” fails on almost every level.

Aside from continuing to benefit from perfect casting of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, the rest of the film is bloated, confusing and just downright stupid.

The great Ben Kinsley is reduced to pretending to play the evil Mandarin who turns out to be just a puppet for Aldrich Killian, a former Stark wannabe who was dismissed by Stark years earlier.

The recent trend to replace CGI with any apparent point or complete story arc continues with this film when it concludes with another array of meaningless robot fighting.

Not expecting “Schindler’s List” here, but just wanting to be more entertained when we know truly great superhero films are out there.


5. Batman Forever


In 1995, the hottest thing going was Jim Carrey. He had appeared in three very successful films the year before with “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”, “The Mask” and “Dumb and Dumber”.

Surely, studios were grasping at every opportunity to insert him into their franchises at that point.

Apparently Warner Brothers shelled out the highest paycheck or Carrey just really wanted to appear as The Riddler.

A lot of people were also upset about the recasting of Michael Keaton to Val Kilmer as Bruce Wayne and the caped crusader.

Original director Tim Burton also departed leaving directing duties to veteran director Joel Schumacher who is considered by many to be the man who killed the original franchise.

The art direction Christopher Burian-Mohr and Joseph P. Lucky created for the film wasn’t really that bad. Cinematographer Stephen Goldblatt was actually nominated for an Academy Award for his work in 1995.

The main problem was the combination of the robotic acting by pretty much the entire cast, the villainous coming together randomly to “team up” to get Batman, and the introduction of Robin (Chris O-Donnell) who pretty much everyone hated.

Also the culprit for most of these bad films: the script. Implausible, thin, unconvincing, dubious.

Having said all this, “Batman Forever” is “Citizen Kane” compared to the next installment, “Batman & Robin”.


4. Scream 3

Scream 3

A sequel of a sequel of a parody ends up becoming a parody of itself.

After having reinvented modern teenage horror in 1996 with the original “Scream”, director Wes Craven and the cast gang keep things going with the so-so “Scream 2” the next Christmas in 1997.

They probably should have stopped there.

By the time “Scream 3” was released in 2000 audiences had been put through all the copycat films including “I Know What You Did Last Summer”, “Urban Legend” and even “Halloween H20” and the originality had started to wane.

The premise of “Scream 3” revolves around the filming of a fake movie based on the successful novel written by Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) and the eventual appearance of Mr. Ghostface as he terrorizes another batch of teenage prey.

Even returning writer Kevin Williamson could not find the genie in the bottle for the third round. The entire film felt stale, contrived and like we had seen it all before.

Due to the deaths in the previous films, some of the headliners were replaced by the likes of Jenny McCarthy and Parker Posey (who is usually great).

Even Jay and Silent Bob make a pointless cameo which was totally out of place.


3. Halloween 3: Season of the Witch

Halloween 3 Season of the Witch

In what can only be described as an “unusual departure”, the character of Michael Myers is not present in this installment of the famous slasher movie franchise created by horror legend John Carpenter.

Neither are any of the supporting characters.

The original idea was to make other “Halloween” related films each year with independent stories since the character of Michael had died at the conclusion of “Halloween II”.

This idea may have worked if the first idea the new writers had come up with wasn’t such a dud.

This story revolves around unusual Halloween masks made in a small town and their creator’s vision of world domination.

The idea might have worked as sort of a 30 minute “Twilight Zone” type episode, but not as a feature film.

The dialogue was excessively boring and cheesy and the $2.5 million budget didn’t give any room for cool make up effects or even one big star to anchor the production.

Following the failure of this film, they picked back up with Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers in 1988.


2. Poltergeist III

Poltergeist III

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse than “Poltergeist II: The Other Side”, comes “Poltergeist III” in 1988.

This time around, the original Freeling family is gone other than young daughter Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O’Rourke).

Carol Anne is sent to live with relatives in a high-rise apartment building in hopes she can have a peaceful life. Everyone knows this cannot happen and she is again tormented by spirits and the evil Reverend Henry Kane (Nathan Davis).

The special effects for the film were just dreadful and the plot involving spirits coming to get the young girl and a new batch of teenagers just never gets going.

The usually dependable Tom Skerritt has nothing he can do with an awful script by director Gary Sherman.

Sherman was not pleased with the ending of the film; however, the continual “Poltergeist curse” was at work once again taking young O’Rourke from us at the age of 12 and leaving the director with a large lump of a film.


1. Robocop 3

Robocop 3

One of the mammoth problems with the idea of “Robocop 3” was the idea by going defunct studio, Orion Pictures, to tone down the violence to try and appeal to a younger audience.

Remember the “Robocop” animated series? Not many people do, but it was a conscious decision from certain studios when they had properties such as “Rambo” and “Police Academy” to make subsequent entries more “kid friendly” but totally disenfranchise your core audience.

Peter Weller wasn’t available either since he was filming “Naked Lunch” at the time.

Basically removing everything which made the original 1987 Paul Verhoeven film a genre classic made this film a disaster before filming even began.

The first time had a completed story with the arc of the character of Alex Murphy which meant not nearly the character development for subsequent stories.

Maybe if they could have introduced an interesting villain that could have made the film better.
It seems to me there was no winning with this one and it was instantly forgotten.

Purposely not included: (Guilty pleasures)

X-Men : The Last Stand
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock
Alien 3
Rambo III

Author Bio: Andy Kubica is a life-long cinephile. Having spend time as a video store manager, movie theater manager and the first DVD buyer for a former rental chain he now spends every waking moment reducing his film “bucket list”.