Bourne rule

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As opposed to the well-established High School Musical rule (first great, second dips, third brings it back - as followed by The Matrix triology or the Back To The Future films), the Bourne rule covers five-film arcs and is specifically:

  • The first film is good
  • The second is brilliant
  • The third is astonishingly superb
  • The fourth doesn't exist
  • The fifth (which is of course the fourth, because the fourth didn't exist) is also great, if not as good as the third.

There are as yet no examples of other five-film arcs that follow this rule. While it is the case that the third of the Twiglet movies - Eclipse - is, in Mark's opinion, the best, New Moon is a significant drop from the first one, thanks to Bella sitting in a chair for a year moping.

In theory, if looked at chronologically, the Indiana Jones films fit four fifths of the pattern - since Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom is a prequel and Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Unmemorable Name Made Of Gold definitely, definitely does not exist.

The third film in the Bourne series, The Bourne Ultimatum, was reviewed by neither Mark Kermode nor any of his regular stand-ins but by the BBC's Security Correspondent Frank Gardner.