How many times have you heard someone say, 'It was a pretty good movie, but the ending sucked!"
If you fumble the conclusion, it can spoil the whole story.
It's even more important to end a franchise on a high note, because if the last movie in a series is a dog, it can taint all the rest of the flicks that came before it.
Three words: The Matrix Revolutions.
Fortunately for fans of the Rurouni Kenshin trilogy, you're in good hands.
This tale of a former assassin who tries to save Japan from a crazy man boasts a thrilling third act.
Of course, I won't tell you the ending, but I can tell you about the ending.
Let's see how it compares to the finale of some other favourite franchises.
THE END OF KENSHIN
KENSHIN: THE LEGEND ENDS
The only reason franchises exist is because people love the first film so much that they want to see more.
This was definitely the case with the original Rurouni Kenshin (2012) which found great success in Japan, and later around the world.
The first film focuses on Kenshin's origins as a former assassin who turns his back on murder and devotes himself to protecting the weak.
It did so well that two sequels were immediately put into production - Kyoto Inferno and now, The Legend Ends.
By any measure, it's a monster finale.
Kenshin (Takeru Sato) is now fighting over the very fate of Japan against the bonkers Shishio (Tatsuya Fujiwara), who wants to overthrow the new government and establish a dictatorship.
How can Kenshin keep his vow against murder when he's up against a savage, fire-breathing, mummy-wrapped psycho?
Well, maybe with a little help from his friends.
With some wonderful character moments and many show-stopping sword battles, The Legend Ends definitely goes out with a bang.
FRANCHISE BOX OFFICE
FIRST MOVIE: US$61.7 (S$77 million)
LAST MOVIE: Opened at top spot with US$12 million in Japan during its first weekend, and is expected to climb much higher.
FRANCHISE CRITICAL CONSENSUS
FIRST MOVIE: Thrilling action with beloved characters.
LAST MOVIE: Perfect end to an amazing trilogy.
Started strong. Ended strong. Superlative stuff