The first, maybe. The second, meh. The third? You’re having a giraffe! Hasn’t Michael Bay run out of stuff to blow up?
When you find yourself nodding off during a film even when things! are! exploding! every! ten! seconds! you just know you’re in deep do-do.
Where the first Transformers at least flaunted some gentle Spielberg charm, the second was a vacuous, insulting, cigar-smoking car wreck.
How Could It Be Improved? Abort, Autobots. Abort before it’s too late!
It’s gone down in the movie history annuls as one of the most tortured productions, like, ever .
Which could be construed as the Movie Gods up in their Movie Olympus throwing 20th-Century-Fox-shaped lightning bolts at everybody involved to stop this one getting made.
It got made anyway.
Really, it’s not as bad as it could have been (after all, it’s not set on a wooden box), but it’s still a weak, anaemic, spluttering runt compared to its two predecessors.
How Could It Be Improved? Two words: James Cameron.
The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor
What does this tell you... Stephen Sommers had the sense to keep well away from this one.
Yeah, it’s that bad. The guy who directed flaccid first sequel The Mummy Returns refused to do anything more than produce this third entry (i.e. cash a rights paycheck), and with good reason.
It starts and ends with the script by Smallville writers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, which is as creaky as the mummies it features. Shame, shame, shame.
How Could It Be Improved? Bury it under a pyramid for a thousand years and it might ripen with age.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
No Michael Myers? No way!
You sort of have to admire the guts of producers John Carpenter and Debra Hill, who did away with their white-faced boogyman in the second Halloween and refused to resurrect him for a third.
Instead, they let Tommy Lee Wallace loose with this oddity, a story about a twisted toy manufacturer who has it in for America’s children.
Is it oddly genius/disturbing/ridiculous? Yes! Could we have done without it? Yes! Is it still a seasonal must? Yes!
How Could It Be Improved? Less Shamrock singing, more Tom Atkins.
After two Burton films spent sweltering under the latex, Michael Keaton let the franchise go and handed the Batmobile keys over to Val Kilmer instead.
Burton, in turn, let Joel Schumacher take the director’s chair. So...
Gone are the Gothic visuals, the villains with bite, and any sense of foreboding. Or, conversely, any morbid fun. Instead we’re drowned in neon frivolity and Tommy Lee Jones over-acting to within an inch of his life.
How Could It Be Improved? Remove Schumacher from the building and we’ll talk.
Here’s a fun fact for you.
The producers of the first two Jaws flicks originally pitched this turd, sorry, third murky monster movie as a spoof entitled Jaws 3, People 0 . Sounds sort of fun, right?
What we actually got was this 3D embarrassment, Joe Alves' first (and last) directing gig.
He’s the one who made the shark for the first Jaws . Which throws up all kinds of questions. Like: why does the shark look so shit in this one?!
How Could It Be Improved? We’re gonna need a better shark.
Look Who's Talking Now
The kids have grown up, they no longer sound like Bruce Willis and Roseanne Arquette.
Who can we glean unexpected insight from via quirky voiceovers now?
Why, the pets! Enter Danny DeVito and Diane Keaton, sniffing their way around crotches, leaving little surprises on the carpet, generally making a nuisance of themselves.
And that was just in the recording room.
How Could It Be Improved? Less talking, more laughing.
The Matrix Revolutions
By this point we’re so confused we’d be quite happy to just sit back and let the action and stonking soundtrack send pleasant vibrations through our weary bodies.
But people just keep talking.
About weird philosophy stuff. And computers, and existence. And they won’t shut up. And now not only are we bored, but our ears are bleeding, too.
What happened to the knowing smarts of the original Matrix ?
How Could It Be Improved? Take the blue pill. Trust us.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me. Or not, because, actually, being a pirate looks a bit rubbish.
Especially in this second sequel. For a start, Keith Richards is your dad. Shudder. Then you’re stranded in some weird limbo where there are millions of you (and, really, you’re quite annoying now, too).
For all the neat visuals and obvious labour put into this, it’s a shame that somebody forgot to call the Coherence Fairy to ask her to give the script a once over. That, or she’s fielding calls from Hollywood (we don’t blame her).
How Could It Be Improved? A lot ( a lot ) of rum.
Home Alone 3
This sequel was so delayed that original Kevin McCallister munchkin Macaulay Culkin was shaving, married and earning $50k a year by the time it came around.
Instead, we’re in the family home of Alex Pruitt, which is all very hi-tec and new, this being a house of the ‘90s. And, look, he’s the size of a small gerbil, but he’s still stronger than four grown adults. Gah!
Even though the late John Hughes wrote this, the formula’s tired. What’s wrong with letting your kids watch the original two-hander on repeat?
How Could It Be Improved? Kevin McAllister is banged up in juvi.
Ingredients for a Superman movie: Clark Kent. A big red S. Lois Lane. Peril: mild to extreme. Lex Luther. Kryptonite. John Williams’ score.
Did you see slapstick included anywhere in there? Then why the heck is it in this movie?!
Reducing poor old Margot Kidder to a mere cameo (then replacing her with bloody Annette O’Toole’s Lana Lang), exploiting Richard Pryor’s comedy to fill gulf-sized plotholes, and regurgitating plot points from the other better Superman s ( Supermen ?), Supe 3 is laughable in a moronic way and a slur on all things super.
How Could It Be Improved? Watch Supergirl instead. Much better.
The Godfather Part III
Oh, Godfather 3 , just how much do we hate thee? Let us count the ways. Once, twice, thrice...
The term ‘flogging a dead horse’ was never more fitting considering the head incident in the first flick, and The Godfather Part III is a textbook case of a film series going one step too far despite itself.
The first sequel was a classic. Insurmountable, really. So why try surmount it?!
How Could It Be Improved? Oh Sofia, you’re just the easy target, aren’t you? Now please leave.
Too many cooks in the kitchen? It certainly felt that way with Sam Raimi’s third (and, evidently, last) bash at the Spiderverse.
Cramming in an elevator full of new characters while also attempting to tie up the threads left dangling by the first two Spidey s, Spider-Man 3 feels bloated and rushed.
Oh, and Peter Parker as an emo? Wince.
The real kick in the nads is that this is the last in the now ‘old’ Spider-Man movie trilogy. Raimi, we weep for you.
How Could It Be Improved? Reboot the franchise! Oh, wait... Dammit!