Jurassic World smashes its way into theatres this Friday and will be the fourth film in the Jurassic Park tetralogy (I’m not using quadrilogy you can’t make me Alien franchise). Despite the film looking awesome, I can’t help but think that the fourth outing in most franchises tends to be… well a bit rubbish. So in a celebration of terribly good movies, here are four of the worst “fourth” films I’ve seen.
Jaws: The Revenge (1987)
Jaws invented the summer blockbuster, Jaws: The Revenge killed the franchise. The film tells the story of a shark (yes a shark) taking its revenge on The Brody family, motivated by… well that’s where things start to fall apart. We’re never told why the shark is attacking, beyond it being random coincidence, despite the fact it’s stalking the family like an aquatic Michael Myers.
According to the novelisation of the film, the reason why the shark was attacking the Brody’s is that a witch doctor curses the family for a personal insult. I’m not sure if that’s better or worse than what we got. This train wreck of a film is wonderfully stupid; combining a nonsensical plot, hilariously bad acting, poor cinematography and one of the worst directed endings in the history of cinema. Do yourself a favor and give it a watch.
Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)
The Exorcist is a horror classic, a master piece of subtle creepiness and all-consuming terror, the sequels less so. But the franchise hit rock bottom with its fourth entry Exorcist: The Beginning. The production itself was mired with complications, including the death of director John Frankenheimer before production had even begun, and Liam Neeson leaving the project. Eventually Paul Schrader was brought on board to direct but after completing the film, executives feared a flop and hired Renny Harlin to reshoot the film adding more gore and demonic depravity. Consequently the film was a disaster.
Batman and Robin (1997)
Forget Bane, this is the film that nearly broke the bat. After the success of Batman Forever in 1995, Warner Brothers were keen to get another movie out, so fast tracked director Joel Schumacher and writer Akiva Goldsman to put together a new outing for the caped crusader. Schumacher said he wanted to pay homage to the campiness of the Adam West Batman TV series which led us a bat suit with nipples, a pun spouting Arnold Schwarzenegger dressed as a fridge and… the bat credit card.
Most worryingly though Warner brothers were actually impressed by the dailies and commissioned another Schumacher led Batman film! Thankfully Batman and Robin was a critical and financial bomb killing Batman Triumphant before it had even had time to get it’s cape on.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
After turning Darth Vader from the most badass villain in cinematic history to a whining mummy’s boy, George Lucas needed something else to do. So he got in touch with his old friend Steven Spielberg and they made this, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and you know what, it wasn’t that bad.
Others have described it as one of the worst sequels ever but that’s not fair, it’s got some nice action beats, a few laughs and when I first saw it I genuinely didn’t hate it. Obviously it doesn’t touch the first three, how could it, but it’s nowhere near as bad as it could have been especially considering what we got with the prequels. And at least Indiana’s there still cracking wise and having adventures in his old fedora.
So there we have it, four fourth installments of varying quality, I’m sure we can all agree that the fourth film may not always be the best but we can all get some entertainment out of them so I’m sure Jurassic World will be a roaring success.