Movies They Need to Stop Making Sequels To
Why does Hollywood keep making sequels? Because we keep going to see them. The audience requires less convincing to see it, the development time is less…all in all they’re a better investment. Studios do know that there’s a rule of diminishing returns, especially if they take a long time to come out, so they tend to be rushed and have less creative thought put into this.
Here’s ten movies that have already had a couple of sequels, potentially have more in the works (or actually does have one or more in the works), and really need to cut that shit out. We’ve excluded some films for being more reboot than sequel happy (such as Spider-Man), franchises that have already wrapped up (Saw) and ones where the terrible sequels have all but sunk the series already (Paranormal Activity).
There isn’t a fourth Iron Man adventure slated at the moment, but it’s bound to be back on the table before long. It’s the original money maker for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has produced 2 successful sequels, keeping Stark the most popular member of the Avengers Team. Since Robert Downey, Jr. is joining the next Cap. America film in such a prominent role that it’s a wonder they call it a Captain America film and Iron Man is very much centre stage of The Avengers films, he barely needs his own series of the side any more. Plus his character arc was pretty much played out by the end of Iron Man 3.
Same can be said for the Wolverine movies, especially as the X-Men series is basically about Wolverine and his sidekicks.
He’s something that barely needs to be said following the awful Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a clusterfuck of terrible ideas. Part of the problem is that everything George Lucas touches turns to arse. He’s not a good storyteller or a good film maker. At the time of writing Harrison Ford is 72 years old, and it’s going to be embarrassing enough seeing him playing the roughish Han Solo again. He was hardly swashbuckling in the last adventure.
Then there’s Hollywood’s weird pre-occupation with bringing back characters no matter how useless of unpopular. That means we’ll likely see Shia Lebouf, Karen Allen and whoever else was left in pointless roles. Fuck it, bring the aliens back as well…it’s not going to get any worse.
I don’t think the studio, cast or director understood what made Ocean’s 11 work. It had a tight script that worked with a twist – not because of it – and every character brought a different type of fun to the screen. The sequels banked on the idea that all audiences wanted was a bunch of Hollywood A-Listers swaggering around being ‘witty’. The scripts were build around silly costumes and nonsense twists and only a small number of the cast had anything to do. Pretty sure they didn’t even work on set during the same days.
Also that Julia Roberts ‘joke’ was fucking awful.
Fast and Furious
My interest in this series is little to none, but I respect how well they turned the franchise around. It went from a surprise hit, to losing its stars to better paychecks to being a safety mat when their careers fell through. From there they repackaged it as a heist series, employed The Rock and it became a must-see action film year to year. With the death of Paul Walker they’ve hit a hurdle just after reaching their peak. At this point in time: quit while you’re ahead.
Oh, god, this has to stop. Rise of the Machines was silly, Salvation was atrocious and I couldn’t even finish watching the trailer to Genesys. Arnie is looking every year of his 67 year life, and casting him as an unstoppable killing machine would be laughable in a normal world. He looks ridiculous in the trailer, and seems to be getting played as the comic relief. The plot is…I don’t even know. Emilia Clarke is kinda nailing the Sarah Conner role though.
Part of the problem here is that no-one seems to grasp what kind of movies these are. The original 2 were straight forward: run away from the unstoppable machine. The instant you start depicting a war or fucking around with the continuity you’re not making a Terminator movie. You’re making an action film with robots. Nobody knows what they’re doing with this franchise, just let it go.
Wait, these are still getting made? It seems to take quite a while for these movies to happen. Every couple of years a new director comes on board, they get Tom Cruise on day release from the vault the Scientologists Marketing Department keep him in and take a fresh crack at the series. Brian DePalma, John Woo, J.J. Abhrams and Brad Bird have come and gone and while not failures their movies have not become the beloved classic franchise builder that the studio is hoping for. Yet they keep plugging away as Tom Cruise gets older and his public image becomes more laughable.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Time for another case of the producers not knowing what worked in the first place. With the supernatural elements, swashbuckling attitude and amazing musical score (that track makes everything more awesome) it was destined to be a hit. The inclusion of a demented, ad-libbing Johnny Depp living out his pirate fantasy elevated it to blockbuster status. But as awesome as he was he isn’t the main character. He’s the support team and the comic relief. Will Turner is the main character and they keep making movies about his sidekick.
I know, I know…Will Turner was as exciting as a plank of word. But think of him as the Luke Skywalker to Capt. Jack Sparrow’s Han Solo. Turner should be growing and developing with the wise-cracking support of Sparrow who has all the fun. When Bloom and Knightley bowed out of the franchise it left Depp in the spotlight, and the film making team didn’t know what to do with the character beyond ‘act whacky’. Shut it down, people.
Men in Black
What even went wrong with this one? Men is Black knocked it out of the park. A raising star and a veteran actor in roles custom tailored to their styles, a quirky world full of mirth and surprises and a dark edge to the humour. It was cool as fuck. The hastily rushed out sequel promptly unwound the tied up plot threads for the purpose of repeating the same jokes with less creativity. The scene when the pug dog spoke was funny because it was unexpected! It’ll still be funny if he’s in the movie non-stop and wears a little suit! As to the third movie…well, Josh Brolin does good Tommy Lee Jones but that was forgettable.
It’s not a terrible idea to expand upon the initial set-up by looking at some of the other agents created alongside Jason Bourne. There’s two reason why this was a failure. Firstly, the original trilogy of films ended on a perfect note – a great cliff hanger that kept the tone of the film and was very much a high note. They essentially quit while they were ahead. Satisfactory. The attempts to stretch the story further without the title character may have worked if it wasn’t for the second point – they couldn’t let go of Bourne. His name is in the title and half the movie was about him not being there.
Let’s not kid ourselves, American Pie is not on par with the rest of this list. It’s a good film, with plenty of laughs by the largely charismatic cast and if you were the right age it was the movie of the summer. But the legacy is largely based on nostalgia. It’s not the best teen comedy out there but people remember it fondly. The sequels have banked on comic relief Stifler and increasing amount of gross out humour (and, more recently, the actors need to pay the rent) to diminishing returns. Even disregarding the shitty straight-to-video spin-offs, which I do, this series has gone off.
Any other franchises that need to stop the madness? Comment below!