It’s onerous for any long-running franchises to remain constant. Good sequels? Uncommon, however potential. Threequels? Even rarer, however nonetheless potential. However the fourth film in a franchise? Most don’t make it that far, and many who do are by that time unrecognizable from the unique.
With the fourth Thor (Thourth?) film now out in theaters (read our review), what higher time to go over a few of the uncommon cases of profitable fourth entries in a franchise? From late reboots to early franchises to long-running style sequence, listed here are our picks for the very best ones you possibly can watch at residence.
Mad Max: Fury Street
It’s unbelievable that Mad Max: Fury Street exists in any respect, interval. The third sequel to a franchise that had all however evaporated from public consciousness, filmed throughout 138 days underneath the grueling warmth of the Namibian desert and premiering in theaters practically three a long time after the final installment, Mad Max: Fury Street defied the percentages in each method, securing its place as not solely the most effective movies in George Miller’s oeuvre, however as one of the crucial celebrated motion films of the 2010s. Tom Hardy does a outstanding service assuming the position of the laconic highway warrior Max Rockatansky, however the true star of the movie is the brutally succesful Imperator Furiosa performed by Charlize Theron. The sheer spectacle of the movie alone, even aside from the huge vehicular chase scenes and explosive set-pieces, is totally mind-boggling. Steven Soderbergh put it greatest: “I don’t perceive how they’re not nonetheless taking pictures that movie and I don’t perceive how lots of of individuals aren’t useless.” —Toussaint Egan
Mad Max: Fury Street is accessible to stream on HBO Max.
Land of the Useless
George A. Romero’s earlier zombie films like Night time of the Residing Useless and Daybreak of the Useless are what the horror grasp is thought greatest for, however 2005’s Land of the Useless is an underrated entry to the franchise. Set in a post-zombie apocalypse feudal Pittsburgh (dominated by a deliciously cold-blooded Dennis Hopper), the zombies are actually organizing and organising for an assault on town. The rich residents of Pittsburgh stay in a luxurious residence constructing, with everybody else fortunate sufficient to be inside the metropolis partitions relegated to a lifetime of poverty on the streets. Like many different Romero movies, Land of the Useless successfully wrestles with sophisticated themes, reflecting the issues of our present world by way of the gap of a fictional one. —Pete Volk
Land of the Useless is accessible to look at at no cost with adverts on Tubi.
Mothra vs. Godzilla
The fourth film within the Godzilla franchise (and the second of the Mothra franchise), this is likely one of the better of the unique Showa-era films, and the final of that period to have Godzilla within the position of the villain. Directed by Godzilla and Mothra director Ishiro Honda, it is a standout entry from a terrific run of kaiju films, with a terrific rating, robust thematic parts that play on company greed and nuclear testing, and naturally iconic battles between two of the best film monsters to ever do it. The 88-minute run time is effectively well worth the funding for anybody even barely kaiju-curious. —PV
Mothra vs. Godzilla is accessible to look at on HBO Max, The Criterion Channel, and FuboTV, or at no cost with adverts on Tubi, Pluto TV, Plex, Crackle, and The Roku Channel.
The Scream sequence has a ridiculously excessive batting common, so it’s no shock that its fourth entry is nice. It brings the meta-slash sequence into the fashionable period, with a plot centered on social media and the rise of on-line video as a way for younger individuals gaining fame, which makes it one of the crucial prescient films of 2011. After all, together with its surprisingly correct predictions about what rising up on-line can do to an individual, it’s additionally a humorous homicide thriller and slasher, full with a forged that features Scream regulars like Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox, alongside newcomers like Emma Roberts, Alison Brie, and Hayden Panettiere. —Austen Goslin
Scream 4 is accessible to look at on Paramount Plus or on Starz by way of Prime Video.
Bride of Chucky
Two dolls go on a murderous highway journey with two unwitting youngsters, who blame one another when the our bodies begin dropping.
The primary three films of the Baby’s Play sequence comply with a younger boy named Andy. Regardless of the place he goes — be it to a foster residence, a navy faculty, no matter — he’s adopted by the murderous Chucky doll, which is possessed by the soul of the useless serial killer Charles Lee Ray.
The primary film, Baby’s Play, is a terrific black comedy, and the fourth, Bride of Chucky, takes the sequence in a very totally different course. Andy is totally gone — he doesn’t make an look and isn’t talked about as soon as. As a substitute, the main target is on the dolls: Chucky and Tiffany. Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly, in a scene-stealing efficiency) has revived Chucky from the useless, and after a lethal argument, Chucky turns her right into a doll as effectively.
The 2 dolls go on a sadistic highway journey with two clueless youngsters (together with a younger Katherine Heigl) in a hilarious, murderous romp. Tilly and Brad Dourif (returning because the voice of Chucky, after all) are a delightfully twisted duo and make this a joyously enjoyable time. —PV
Bride of Chucky is accessible to look at with adverts on Tubi.
The Bourne Legacy
Jeremy Renner’s Bourne film all the time will get unfairly missed in discussions of the sequence, however it’s truly a worthy follow-up to the preliminary trilogy. Renner performs a person named Aaron Cross, a U.S. authorities agent who watches from inside as Jason Bourne’s amnesiac rampage brings to gentle a whole authorities conspiracy. The primary three Bourne films are motion films with a shady authorities conspiracy on the facet, however Bourne Legacy places that latter aspect entrance and heart and seems to be the most effective spy thrillers launched within the final decade. —AG
The Bourne Legacy is accessible to look at on Peacock.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
The fourth of the Muppet films, Christmas Carol excels as a result of it’s as shut as we get to the “exchange all actors however one with Muppets” Twitter immediate that goes round every year. That actor, after all, is Michael Caine, taking part in Ebenezer Scrooge with sincerity and depth befitting a Shakespearean manufacturing. It’s the deft steadiness of his heartfelt, critical efficiency with the standard raucous Muppet shenanigans that makes this the most effective Muppet films (or Christmas Carol films) ever made. —PV
The Muppet Christmas Carol is accessible to look at on Disney Plus.
Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace
The Phantom Menace will get higher day by day. Star Wars’ fourth film is singularly bold and a landmark of film world-building. After Return of the Jedi, it will have been simple to return to that film’s sickly candy sentimentality, secure motion, tiny, insular world, and bland characters time and time once more, identical to Disney has for nearly a decade now. As a substitute, Lucas constructed the house opera of his desires, blew out Star Wars to a very galactic scale, and created the blueprint for contemporary blockbuster motion and pleasure, all with out the flexibility to write down a single good line of dialogue. Empire Strikes Again is the very best Star Wars film, however all of the issues that Star Wars followers in 2022 wish to love most in regards to the sequence was completed greatest and largest in The Phantom Menace. —AG
Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace is accessible to look at on Disney Plus.
The Undisputed sequence is likely one of the most constant motion film franchises of all time, however will get largely ignored due to how lots of the films went direct to video. The franchise began with Walter Hill’s 2002 jail boxing drama Undisputed, starring Ving Rhames and Wesley Snipes. In 2006, direct-to-video grasp Isaac Florentine took over the franchise and moved the main target to the burgeoning world of blended martial arts. Michael Jai White was tapped because the protagonist, to sq. off in opposition to antagonist Yuri Boyka (performed by Scott Adkins), however one thing humorous occurred: Boyka took over the franchise.
Undisputed II: Final Man Standing and Undisputed III: Redemption are each legitimately nice motion films, however we’re right here to speak about Boyka: Undisputed. Launched in 2017 and directed by Florentine, the film offers with the fallout of an underground combat the place Boyka unintentionally kills his opponent. After discovering the opponent’s spouse owes cash to a criminal offense lord, Boyka decides to combat for the gangster’s membership as a way to repay her debt. With terrific combat sequences choreographed by the superb Tim Man and one other wonderful efficiency by Adkins, Boyka is 86 minutes of nice motion cinema. —PV
Boyka: Undisputed is accessible to look at on Netflix.
I’ve talked about this film loads on this web site — it’s on our listing of the best thrillers to watch at residence, and extra not too long ago the best movies added to streaming this July — so I’ll cease in need of repeating myself and merely say Day of Reckoning is a hypnotic, bloody style mashup that takes the long-running sci-fi sequence into shocking new instructions, with a powerful action-horror bend. —PV
Common Soldier: Day of Reckoning is accessible to look at on HBO Max, or at no cost with adverts on Crackle.
Grasp Z: Ip Man Legacy
I spent fairly a little bit of time deciding whether or not the fourth film within the wonderful Ip Man sequence is 2019’s Ip Man 4: The Finale (self-explanatory) or 2018’s Grasp Z: Ip Man Legacy (a derivative from Ip Man 3). I’ve determined to go along with Grasp Z for 2 causes: It’s actually the fourth film within the franchise, and as a lot as I like Scott Adkins (and I actually do), I didn’t wish to finish this listing with three consecutive films of his.
This film follows Max Zhang’s character from Ip Man 3, a father attempting to lift his younger son and get well from his defeat by the hands of Ip Man within the earlier film. Directed by legendary martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-ping and co-starring Dave Bautista, Michelle Yeoh, and Tony Jaa, Grasp Z is a worthy addition to the Ip Man canon and a star-studded martial arts crime thriller. —PV
Grasp Z: Ip Man Legacy is accessible to look at on Peacock, FuboTV, and Hello-Yah, or at no cost with a library card on Kanopy or Hoopla, or at no cost with adverts on Tubi, Crackle, Pluto TV, or Plex.