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MOVIE TRILOGIES: That difficult third album: The Bad

August 8th, 2014 by Dave Bowling Comments

So, with my relatively recent take on The Good of movie trilogies (check it here), here’s my rundown on some of The Bad. Brace yourselves, folks…

Spider-Man 3

Oh yes. Get the big one out of the way first.

The whole film is a disjointed mess. So we find out that Uncle Ben’s murderer wasn’t actually Uncle Ben’s murderer, but Sandman was. With me so far? Okay. Now lob a vengeful Harry Osborne into the mix, who suddenly loses his memory. And then regains it. Oh and look, here’s Venom.

Look, we all know Sam Raimi doesn’t like Venom as a character. And boy does it show here. The origin of the symbiote is dealt with by… having a meteor drop out of the sky next to Peter’s moped. Oh yeah. Then, to show how evil Peter is becoming, we have him dressing all in black and sporting a Hitler-style side parting. He literally flushes Sandman down the bog without a second thought, blows up his best friend and doesn’t give a toss, but it’s accidentally knocking the suddenly whiny and unbearable MJ on her arse that makes him realise that the suit is now in control of him. The only decent bit of the entire film is Parker fighting against the suit in the bell tower, before a hilariously miscast Topher Grace becomes the new host for the symbiote.

Honestly, this film is a mess. I thought it rocked the first time around but now, in the cold harsh light of day… no. Hell no. Frankly I could’ve written a better plot for this film. I did, in fact. Which brings me inevitably to…

The Dark Knight Rises

…the other famously Thor-awful superhero trilogy closer.

After Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, we were maybe expecting too much of Nolan and Goyer. Actually, no we weren’t. All we wanted was a decent end to the trilogy and for it not to descend into the kind of farce we’d come to see of Batman in the past. Well, that didn’t exactly happen. What did was a kettle of humdrum pointlessness and utterly idiotic plotting that gave me back spasms in the cinema as I watched it.

So let me get this straight: Bruce Wayne has spent EIGHT YEARS mooching round the rebuilt Wayne Manor with a gammy knee like some sort of growly Howard Hughes, yet Gotham has somehow been cleaned up by a Jim Gordon so dedicated to his job that his wife leaves him and takes Batgirl with her? Then along comes Bane, minus his ’roid pump but now sporting a gimp mask and the single worst accent known to cinema. So now Batman leaps back into action with a bionic leg thingy that cures said gammy knee but gets no further mention at all. No leaping tall buildings in a single bound, no running faster than a speeding bullet, sod all. Bane nicks all Wayne’s billions, Catwoman gets mixed up in all of it somewhere, Bane breaks Batman’s back, throws him in a hole and then holds Gotham hostage with the help of a fusion reactor-cum-hydrogen bomb primed to go off Odin-knows when. And some explosive concrete.

Meanwhile! In said hole in the ground, Bats discovers that a broken back can be cured as easily as cramp and that he must spend months climbing out of the hole to escape. After escaping and arriving back in Gotham with precisely 15 minutes until the bomb goes off, Batman (still sporting a broken back and knackered knee) kicks the stuffing out of Bane only to find that Ra’s Al-Ghul’s daughter Talia is behind the whole thing. But he still saves the day, fakes his own death and goes off to live the good life in Italy with Catwoman. And just in case you needed an even worse ending than that, some gimpy kid who worked out Wayne was Batman and joined the police discovers the Batcave. And we find out his real name is Robin.

Jesus wept. It actually seems even worse when I write it down than it was to bloody watch. There were holes in the plot I could’ve driven a Transit van through, I couldn’t make out a damn word Tom Hardy was saying in his stupid Bane accent half the time, and for the love of all that is sacred in geekdom, EXPLOSIVE BLOODY CONCRETE!? I’m not accepting any explanation that we waited too long and the film could never meet expectations, it was crap, plain and simple. Again, I could’ve written a better plot myself. In fact I waited so long for this bloody film that I did.

High explosive concrete. By Odin’s raven…

Blade: Trinity

Let’s get one thing straight: the first Blade was a damned good movie. It’s the role Snipes was born to play and he plays it with aplomb. The sequels, however, are a different story.

Blade 2 was pretty risible but was almost Kubrick-esque when compared to Trinity, where Blade meets Dracula. Yep, Dracula. And Kris Kristofferson gets killed again. But he has Jessica Biel as a daughter. Even though his entire family was wiped out prior to the first film. And some sort of plot to have Blade done for murder, despite the vampires running every police force on Earth and being able to do him for anything at any time. And there’s a human farm. And Ryan Reynolds. Erm, did we mention Dracula?

There is only one thing that can be considered remotely good from this risible pile of crap, and that is Ryan Reynolds swearing. His character Hannibal King (oh dear) has a fantastic vocabulary of combo-swearing. Everything else in this waste of two hours is crap.

Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines

Why? I mean, why? What was the bloody need for this pointless follow-up to James Cameron’s last decent film? Oh yeah, money.

So the US Military has bought out Cyberdyne and started redeveloping Skynet for its own purposes, which remain a complete mystery. No mention of it running the US nuclear arsenal. Meanwhile John Connor is living rough and taking cash jobs to avoid appearing on electronic databases, just in case. Then a rather foxy female cyborg that’s part T800, part T1000 and part Royal Armouries rocks up to kill every one of his future subordinates and does a bloody good job until Arnhult arrives to save Connor and future wife Kate. So Judgement Day is due this week, the world’s about to explode and, oh who bloody cares? They killed off Sarah Connor for crying out loud.

There was supposed to be another trilogy following on from the even worse Terminator: Salvation, but fortunately the awfulness of that film killed off the idea. The TV series The Sarah Connor Chronicles was a mixed bag, but fortunately chose to pretend T3 never happened. Wise.

Scream 3

Am I the only one who thought that the entire Scream concept was about as scary as an episode of The Care Bears and hugely overrated? Yes, they reference other horror movies in a horror movie. It’s SO postmodern. I get it you stupid hipster bast#@d, I just don’t care.

So after avoiding murder by her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s mum in the first two films, Sidney (…) is living in complete seclusion. Yet somehow a knife-wielding nutter in a melty mask reappears and turns out to be her estranged, adopted half-brother that she never knew she had. Of course. And then there’s the even more postmodern self-referential film-within-a-film of Stab 3, a third part in a series based on the events of the first film developed by Courtney Cox’s teeth-achingly annoying Gail Weathers. Look, it’s not scary. The whole intertextual nature of the concept was old after the first film. Just leave it.

Rambo III

Well, First Blood was okay. It told the story of a shell-shocked Vietnam veteran driven beyond his fragile grasp on sanity by a petty smalltown sheriff. Then we got Rambo: First Blood Part 2, where Stallone goes back to Vietnam to find some POWs still held hostage by The Evil Russians. It sucked.

Then came Rambo III, which gets worse as time goes on. Rambo’s former CO Sam Trautman is kidnapped by The Evil Russians while running guns to the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan. Yep, running guns to Islamic fighters in Afghanistan. Wasn’t the 80s a wacky time to be alive?

Anyhoo, Rambo meets up with the Mujahedeen and proceeds to launch a one-man attack on The Evil Russians’ base to rescue Trautman, with the rebels covering his escape. The Evil Russian main villain follows in a French helicopter mocked up to look (badly) like a Soviet attack chopper, while Rambo steals a tank, shoots down the helicopter and survives it crashing into him. And in between all this he slaughters 200 Evil Russian soldiers who in reality would’ve been conscripts in their late teens from places like Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.

Look, it’s just bloody awful right-wing Reaganite jingoism, ok? In all honesty this film only has one redeeming feature: there are worse films out there. Inevitably, we’ll come to them later.

Seriously, high-explosive concrete? Christ on a bike…

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Dave was born at an early age to parents of both sexes. He has been a self-confessed geek for as long as he can remember, having been raised through the 80s on a steady diet of Doctor Who, Star Trek, Red Dwarf and (sigh) Knight Rider. Throw the usual assortment of Saturday morning cartoons into the mix and we have something quite exceptional: someone with an encyclopaedic knowledge of utter tosh; a love of giant robots and spaceships fighting; and the strange desire to leap tall buildings in a single bound while wearing his underpants over his trousers. The death ray is currently in the works and one day you shall all bow to him, his giant space station and fleet of funky orange space shuttles...

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