If you see “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” this weekend (and you should), chances are you’ll be satisfied with the majority of the movie, but in the end, left wanting more. Like so many money-making films, “Catching Fire” is the middle installment of a film trilogy, or now quadrilogy or tetralogy (four films series; choose your term), that leaves the audience hanging in order to build intrigue for the next film. Thank you, “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” for setting the mold. So before you start throwing your popcorn at the screen this weekend or worse, pick a fight with a “Twilight” fan because you just can’t wait a whole year for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” take heart that there is a reason for these cliffhangers (besides money). Here are five movies that left us holding our breath — but where the payoff was absolutely worth it.
In the comments, tell us which cliffhangers are your favorites.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
It’s the film that started it all and gave filmmakers the precedence of leaving us hanging until the third film. Here we see the Rebels under the assault of the Imperial walkers with Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and the droid C-3PO escaping only to be captured by Darth Vader who finally connects the links between him, Leia, and the Jedi Master Yoda. Will Luke Skywalker manage to rescue his friends from Jabba the Hut again in the third film? In the third movie it’s the same question: Will Darth Vader and the Dark Side overcome the Rebels and take over the universe?
The rebel leaders have only 72 hours until probes discover and destroy Zion and its inhabitants. In the end, we are left to guess if Agent Smith (who wants to get out of the matrix system and is now in the body of Zion’s resistance fighter, Bane) will destroy Neo. So it makes it very timely for us to find out that Neo has powers outside the matrix. So what will he do with them to deal with Agent Smith?
The follow up to “X-Men” sees the mutants going face to face with Nightcrawler as we see a glimpse into Wolverine’s past. However, the film leaves us hanging with the death of Jean Grey, who put her life on the line to save her fellow mutants. In the final shot of the film we see something on the lake in the shape of a phoenix flying away. Comic book geeks know that Jean Grey turns into the phoenix, so there is a hint that she has really survived.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Captain Jack Sparrow is at it again, but this time, the audience is left wanting more, as we question what could be the next adventure. It ends as we are surprised to see the resurrected Captain Barbossa, who asks what has become of “his” ship. I guess we have to see in the next installment.
Twilight Saga: New Moon
The second film in the “Twilight” saga left tween girls crying for more when Edward returns to Bella’s side and asks her to marry him. We end up having to wait until the third “Twilight” film, “Eclipse,” to discover whether she decides to marry Edward and face her future as a vampire or embrace her love for Jacob and stay human.