Friday, May 22, 2009

The Fourth Film

For my Friday afternoon ritual of walking to the theater to see a film with the elderly crowd (which has significantly diminished with the onset of 100 degree weather here in Mesa), I'm going to see Terminator Salvation. I've been anticipating the film for awhile, but I have some trepidation. This is the fourth film in the series. And I'm starting to believe that the fourth film will always disappoint.

Take Indiana Jones for instance. Last year's Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was one of the year's most highly anticipated movies. Critics loved the film, and it does have its merits. But it's probably the weakest of the Indy series. Or how about George Lucas' other series, Star Wars? The original trilogy was tarnished with The Phantom Menace and the annoying Jar Jar Binks. Batman and Robin is definitely the worst of the Batman films. Fast & Furious wasn't a great series to begin with, but the fourth film didn't make it any better. Jaws: The Revenge is a blight on one of the best horror films ever created. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace is simply atrocious.

The makers of the fourth film have a choice: continue to ride the coattails of the first three films' success and succumb to mediocrity; or forge something out of innovation instead of memory, keeping some of the key elements while also creating something new. It takes innovation and a desire to make something great, not just make something that will sell box office tickets.

Perhaps this idea can be applied to the church: continue to ride the coattails of previous eras and struggle in mediocrity, or creatively forge ahead while holding on to the beautiful truths of Jesus. 

In any case, I'm excited to see Christian Bale kick robotic butt.


  1. We are going to see it tonight. I'm totally pretending like it is a first movie ... wholly unconnected to the others. Well, I might pretend that it is an extension of the TV show which we really liked. But that girl won't be there ... I'm excited though. Hoping for good things!

  2. Good observation. The only fourth film that I think I really enjoyed as much as the originals might be Live Free or Die Hard.

  3. i love your application of the church to "the fourth film." very insightful and sadly often true.

  4. Lori, I've seen it now, and I thought it was good! The story could have used a facelift and some more heart, but the action and overall feel of the film was great.

    Cam, good call on Die Hard 4. I totally agree.

    Candace, so many films try very hard to impress but simply aren't rising above mediocrity; yet a select few are beautiful reflections of God's creativity. Now replace the word "films" with "churches" in the previous sentences. :)

  5. You and Cam liked Die Hard 4 as much as the others?! It was way better than DH2, not as good as DH3, and absolutely no comparison to the action classic original Die Hard!