10 Awesome Movies That Fail In The 3rd Act

When great movies stumble at the final hurdle.

Rose Byrne Sunshine
Fox Searchlight Pictures

There's perhaps nothing more frustrating as a film lover than watching a movie that's just great for its first two acts, before catastrophically stumbling in the third and final reel.

Delivering a movie that's consistently entertaining - let alone actually awesome - for its entire runtime is much tougher than it looks, and so it's little surprise that many filmmakers choke at the crucial moment and just can't stick the landing.

Given that the third act will provide audiences with their lasting impression of a movie, a failure of a finale can often severely sour their opinion overall, no matter how deftly crafted the preceding two acts might've been.

And that's most certainly true of these 10 movies, all of which offered up a thrilling and/or hilarious time for the first two-thirds of their runtime, before struggling to figure out where to take things for the closing stretch.

Whether arriving at a simply dissatisfying ending, not knowing when to end the story, or bombarding the audience with an exhausting CGI battle they never asked for, these 10 movies all squandered their prior greatness as they approached the finish line...

10. Shang Chi & The Legend Of The Ten Rings

Rose Byrne Sunshine
Marvel Studios

There's a very strong argument to be made that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the strongest feature-length entry into Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It provides a fantastic introduction to the title character (Simu Liu), offers up one of the MCU's all-time strongest villains in Wenwu (Tony Leung), and boasts a bevy of thrillingly kinetic, visually stunning action sequences.

But as has been a consistent problem with the MCU ever since its inception, in an attempt to give audiences an epic climax, Shang Chi goes a little too big for its own good in the final stretch.

Because having Shang Chi battle Wenwu apparently wasn't enough bang for the viewers' buck, the final fight sees Shang Chi riding a Chinese dragon called the Great Protector in order to battle the soul-eating dragon known as the Dweller-in-Darkness.

Yet as per the MCU's infamously time-constrained productions, that concluding fight is an eyesore of lackluster, blurry CGI and goofy, unconvincing physics.

In a film with so much gorgeous, grounded action, it really didn't need to wrap up with a boring digital monster slug-fest.

The MCU desperately needs to take stock of the fact that not every movie needs a chaotic CGI clash, and sometimes smaller scale fights are far more satisfying.

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Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.