‘The daddy of them all’: readers on their favourite movie franchises

Estimated read time 5 min read

Mad Max

Having seen Furiosa last week, my vote goes to Mad Max.

Most franchises obey the law of diminishing returns. I would happily live in a parallel universe where The Godfather, Alien, Terminator, Star Wars all ended after two instalments, and there was no sequel to The Matrix or Back to the Future. Going out on a high note just doesn’t seem like an option these days, does it? (Dune and Blade Runner, take note.)

But what George Miller is doing is admirable. Thirty-one years after Road Warrior, he blew my mind again with Fury Road, fully restored my faith in the Mad Max franchise, and gave me a completely new protagonist to root for. I queued to watch the prequel on the first day and all I can say is: keep them coming, George. And thank you. zurnalista


Twenty-six films, almost all starring the same incredible actor. A wide variety of tones and styles, but still all centered on an endearing and fascinating character, and provides an interesting survey of a turbulent period of Japanese history. Highly, highly recommended. tafkapao

Star Wars

film still of man holding sword made of white lightView image in fullscreen

The original trilogy and the daddy of them all. Conceived as a franchise, complete with action figures and toys ready to go.

And today men of a certain age (Simon Pegg) still can’t get over it. CordTrousers

James Bond

I’m unashamedly a Bond fan. A while back I decided to read the books and then rewatch the movies. The books were great, a little dated but very entertaining. When I watched the movies afterwards they were even better than ever, as I now had the additional back story and character background. autvincam

All the other franchises suffer the same fate; squeezed until the pips squeak and then shoved into a grinder to extract that bit more.

At least with Bond they’ve tried to keep it original as possible throughout its lifespan, even if they did do a soft reboot with Casino Royale. Granted there’s some stinkers in the list but generally they’re all at the very least watchable on a drizzly Sunday afternoon with a big bowl of popcorn and the heating on a bit. Crossvader

For longevity and success, you can’t look beyond James Bond, pretty much everything else pales into insignificance. Stillgrizzly

Planet of the Apes

Not having seen the most recent one, and Tim Burton aside, it is a pretty damn fine run and the three reboots build brilliantly. Shanghaidiver

Jason Bourne

Assuming we are allowed to completely ignore the completely shit entries to a franchise (AvP, Alien Resurrection etc) then my vote is the Bourne Trilogy.

A hill I will die on is that pound-for-pound the first three Bourne films are the finest trilogy ever made – strong competition from Toy Story but that comes down to personal taste.

Yes yes, The Godfather or Aliens are individually better films than any of the Bournes, but the final part of their trilogies is weak and divisive.

Every one of the Bournes improves on the previous, and the whole story hangs together beautifully. OldDirtyBAStart

I like how Bourne is clever; that it’s not because he has bigger weaponry than the other. Using a Bic pen or a thick magazine to ward off an assassin would never be a choice but it was working the problem and surviving for another day.

I’d actually choose the first as the best. Franka Potente gives it real humanity and her demise in the second is a kicker. Paul Greengrass’s technique is sometimes derided as “shaki-cam” but it’s more dishonest blizzard editing to cheat its brutality under the wire to a 12A/PG-13 rating. George Miller’s big-budget Mad Max masterpieces didn’t care and the difference is there for all to see: keeping the action comprehensible; being easy to understand who’s doing what to whom. Haigin88

Lord of the Rings

man and woman in fantastical clothesView image in fullscreen

On any measure [popular acclaim – box office; critical acclaim – Oscars] Lord of the Rings wipes the floor with them all. It does have an unfair advantage in having source material that was written by a giant, still it could easily have been lost in translation – but wasn’t. Qattus

The Muppets

There can only be one choice as the greatest franchise in cinema history and it’s the Muppets! Any who disagree are uncultured, brainless and and total twits! Tom Cruise doesn’t deserve to be spoken of in the same breath as Kermit the Frog. Does any Hollywood goddess have even half the allure of Ms Piggy? Can anyone name a comedian who matches the comic genius of Fozzie Bear?

So, it’s the Muppets, end of debate. jon55


Yes, there have been some duds (I still believe I had a guardian angel looking out for me when I went to watch Batman and Robin at the cinema, only for there to be a power cut), but plenty of excellent films.

And like some of the ones mentioned here, plenty of re-invention, different takes (Lego Batman!) to compare and contrast. SwissCheese

Carry On

Easy to make a franchise when you centre on stunts and explosions, hard to make one when you centre on double entendres and comedy cameos. davidabsalom

Source: theguardian.com

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