Last weekend, 'Resident Evil' joined the relatively small club of movie franchises that survive to the fourth chapter. A three-part series is nothing. Plenty of movies produce exactly two sequels and no more. It's so common that we have a word for it. That word is "trilogy." But FOUR parts! That is rarefied territory, so uncommon that the word we tend to use for it, "quadrilogy," isn't a real word. And to make a Part 4 that's actually entertaining is even rarer. In honor of 'Resident Evil: Afterlife,' here are five other fourth chapters that are worth watching.
'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.' The midpoint of the book series is the high point of the movie series -- if any of the novels should have been split into two films, it was this one. Once again fighting evil at his notoriously unsafe school for witches and devil-worshippers, Harry Potter here discovers that the stakes are as high as they can get: Someone actually DIES in this chapter. It's only Robert Pattinson, but still.
'Thunderball.' The fourth James Bond film has a lot of scenes set underwater! And Sean Connery almost got eaten by a shark while filming them! And Bond has a jet pack! And the villain has an eyepatch! Everybody has something, including the viewer, who has a great time!
'Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.' It is commonly known that within the 'Star Trek' franchise, the odd-numbered films are bad while the even-numbered films are good. It is less commonly known that 4 is an even number, and thus that 'Star Trek 4' must be a good movie. Mathematics proves it. The Enterprise crew saves some whales in this story, a precursor to the time when it would be appropriate to make jokes about William Shatner's weight.
'Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.' We have to deduct a few points for this installment failing to actually be the final chapter, but it's one of the best films in this series about a taciturn, hockey-loving forest-dweller and the people he murders. (For the record, part 9 in the series, 'Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday,' isn't the final one either.) Many of the characters in 'The Final Chapter' say and do interesting things, and are played by interesting actors such as Crispin Glover and Corey Feldman. Unless you've sat through all the other 'Friday the 13th' movies, you have no idea what a breath of fresh air this is.
'Rocky IV.' The 1980s were a magical time. All you needed to make a movie character seem villainous was to make him Russian. If he was Russian AND killed Apollo Creed, well, forget about it. The Rocky series hit a dead end in Part 5, but Part 4 -- with the rah-rah Americanism and James Brown's funky theme song and Ivan Drago saying "I must break you" -- is energetic enough to make you want to run up some museum steps.