After Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation unexpectedly bucked the trend established by Terminator Genisys and A Good Day to Die Hard of fourth sequels being underwhelming – and, perhaps not unrelatedly, bucked the trend of fourth sequels starring Jai Courtney – we’re looking back at the other number fives which have actually been worth watching over the years
X-Men: First Class
Sandwiched between an underwhelming Wolverine spin-off and a downright terrible Wolverine spinoff, the fifth entry in the X-Men canon was easily the best since X2 and worthy of consideration as a choice for the best in the series overall. A strong plot, a great cast capable of continuing the series well into Sir Ian McKellen’s dotage, and capable direction from Kingsman‘s Matthew Vaughn are among the resons why the series is still going strong after the missteps that were The Last Stand and Origins: Wolverine
The fifth entry in Vin Diesel’s popular series of feature length hip-hop videos marked the point where it went from being a series of street races rigorously obeying the law of diminishing returns, and started to become the ridiculous, overblown and immensely fun box office phenomenon that it is today. It also marked the first appearance of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, establishing what appears to be a direct correlation between the number of muscular bald men on screen and box office success. Fast and Furious 8 starts filming next year, adding Randy Couture, Michael Chiklis, Grant Mitchell and a steroidally enhanced Telly Savalas to the cast in order to rake in box office takings of all the money in the world
You Only Live Twice
You can argue over the relative cinematic merits of Sean Connery’s fifth outing as Ian Fleming’s debonair killing machine until the cows come home, but just look at what it contributed to the popular culture lexicon. Evil bases inside hollowed-out volcanoes. Pools of pirhana. Blofeld. Borderline incomprehensible schemes involving rockets. Indirectly, Robbie Williams’ “Millennium”. Roughly 80% of the jokes in the Austin Powers movies. 100% of the good jokes in the Austin Powers movies. It’s not the best Bond, but it’s right up there with Goldfinger as the most iconic
The Dead Pool
Clint Eastwood’s fifth outing as “Dirty” Harry Callahan is perhaps more interesting as a time capsule of 80s filmmaking than it is as an actual film, featuring, as it does, a pre-fame Jim Carrey, cameos from the five original members of Guns ‘n’ Roses while they were still talking to eachother, and one of the silliest San Francisco car chases you’re likely to see any time soon. Exploding remote control cars!
The Empire Strikes Back
Yeah, that’s exactly the kind of cheating we need to resort to in order to fill out the list. We all know that this was the second of George Lucas’s epic space operas, but there’s a great big roman numeral five in the title so that’s good enough for me. Already widely regarded as one of the finest sequels ever made, the drama exploring the dark secret at the heart of the Skywalker family looks even better when you think of it as the fifth entry in a franchise which was largely pretty crap for it’s first three films
What are your favourites and what have we missed? Let us know in the comments!