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Comic Movies: What's Wrong With #3?

I'm sure most comics fans like myself are elated at all of the comic book properties that have graced the silver screen over the past three decades.
Of course, we've seen a dramatic increase in the quantity (and usually quality) of comic movies over the last 10 years as Hollywood has finally caught onto the treasures that we all know and love.

Today's discussion focuses on those comic properties that have been lucky enough to receive the sequel treatment at least twice. Of course I'm biased when it comes to comic movies having been a collector for almost 30 years (and I can honestly say that I'm neither a Marvel or DC guy exclusively).

That being said, it seems to me as though there is a common trend amongst all of the franchises. They start out with a solid first picture (X-Men and Blade are two such examples) follow that up with an even better sequel (in my opinion X2 and Blade 2 were excellent movies and better than their predecessors), but then experience a let-down with it comes to the third instalment. I didn't really see the need to try and make Blade funny in the third movie and I don't think X-Men: The Last Stand built upon Bryan Singer's first two movies.

We can even go back further to the big two of the DC Universe, Superman and Batman. I don't think that anyone can argue about the work of Richard Donner on Superman and the success of Superman II. However, the third instalment with Richard Pryor was a bit of a joke and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace was only marginally better in my option.

Tim Burton's work on Batman and Batman Returns was excellent but with his departure, the franchise suffered through Batman Forever (which wasn't bad but a little too campy) and (in my opinion the forgettable) Batman and Robin.

Even everyone's friendly neighbourhood Spider-man wasn't immune from the effects of the second sequel let down. I thought the first two Spider-man movies were excellent but number 3 had far too many villains and certain weak plot elements.

Was it the director? The studio? The casting? I think an argument can be made for one or more, depending on which franchise you're talking about.

I have faith in Christopher Nolan that the next Batman movie, when it comes out will buck the trend.

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