I love movie franchises (a series of 3 films or more). Contrary to this idea that they are counter active to new stories, I like the idea that a character and a story has more to it than the single 2 hour film. Yet there is no escaping the notion that every franchise has the best and worst episode. So here they are from some of my favourite film franchises.
Indiana Jones - Temple of Doom wins it hands down. Kingdom of the Crystal takes the wooden spoon with dubious honours!
Star Wars - This one is an easy formula. The more time Vader spends on the screen and the more menacing he is, the better the Star Wars film. So Empire Strikes Back is the best... Phantom Menace is the worst, even though it still has the best lightsaber fight in the series.
Die Hard - You can't beat the original. It has the most claustrophobic setting and the best villain. Conversely, Die Hard 4.0 has the most boring villain and the most expansive setting, making it the weakest in the series.
Bourne - Ultimatum is the ultimate in that it is 100mph and smart throughout. Supermacy is the weak link in that for all that great action, we don't really learn all that much about Bourne. It really only serves as a set up for the 3rd film.
Terminator - T2 still is the definitive Terminator film. Even with time having passed by, the special effects hold up and the story is the most compelling, laced with a ridiculously high level of tension. Which makes you wonder how they could have gone so spectacularly wrong with the lacklustre T3. Those damn machines should have quit whilst they were ahead.
Saw - Was the first one ever going to be beaten for its ingenuity? No but they had a good go at trying. And then we got graced with Saw IV. The most predictable of all the films and ironically, the most confusing too. If you haven't seen the films, watch Saw, Saw II and Saw III and then stop. The next 4 films are nothing to shout about except for how they improved Lionsgate's bank balance.
Star Trek - The J.J Abrams entry nearly stole it but the Borg manage to hold him off for First Contact to take the win. Where as the very first Star Trek film is by far the worst. It makes you wonder how they got to film 11 when you see where they started with film 1!
Batman - Lumping all of them into one franchise, it is painfully obvious that The Dark Knight was always going to win this one. I never thought I would see someone do a better job with The Joker than Jack Nicholson. I was wrong. Heath Ledger succeeds in taking a great film into the realms of all time classic. However, Batman and Robin is truly horrendous. When it is so bad that the Adam West entry doesn't even get a flicker of a thought, you know you've messed up!
Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers should be the worst. The story doesn't majorly progress and the big showdown with Shelob is pushed to Return of the King. Yet it is the one film that balances the various stories the best and offers the menace and atmosphere that should be riddled throughout the films. Problem is, you get to Return of the King and it is bloated and unbalanced. I watched Return of the King in the cinema and almost screamed out a plea for it to end because it made like a Duracell battery and kept going and going.
Spider-man - Simple this one. No. 2 is the best... No.3 is the one where the studios and the fans thought it would be a good idea to take over. What? 2 good films and we couldn't just leave Sam Raimi to it?!
007 - Casino Royale is my favourite. Everybody has a different one but this was the Bond film that I felt the biggest emotional attachment to. But On Her Majesty's Secret Service... well I couldn't have cared less and this is the one film where Bond gets married, only to see his wife killed shortly afterwards.
M:I - The only franchise that Tom Cruise has done and he manages to break the rule of it. Typically the second in a trilogy tends to be the best. In this one, it is easily the worst. A plot that could have been written in crayon and cinematography that looks like it was MTV behind the camera. They should have stuck with the formula of the first one. Espionage at its very best. Just because most people were too stupid to understand it doesn't mean you should dumb it down.
There are plenty more to be discussed... you know how that commenty thing works below! Use it!