Hollywood loves sequels. It loves them so much that they often get made instead of… you know, original stories. Here are 13 film franchises that have long outlived their usefulness — but refuse to go away.
All it would take is one really great movie to prove me wrong on any of these. Look at Fast & Furious 5; that series had run entirely out of steam, but this latest movie gave a new purpose to the old formula and won over audiences who were surprised that it was actually pretty good.
On the flip side, you’ve got dreck like Die Another Day, which proved that James Bond needed to die. But its producers opted for a total reboot instead, introducing Daniel Craig as a younger Bond at the start of his career, which resulted in one of the best Bond movies ever made — Casino Royale — and made Craig a household name.
One last thing… I’m not going near Twilight. No way, no how. Frankly, I’m scared of those Team Edward people. And you should be, too. Besides, its end is already scheduled, anyway.
NEXT: Final Destination 5 – August 12, 2011
It was a one-note idea the first time around. But then, so was Jason, Freddy, Michael Myers, and most of the others. Is there any genre that Hollywood is willing to milk-to-death more than horror? No genre better demonstrates that it’s easier (and lazier) for Hollywood to crank out a sequel than cook up a whole new story.
NEXT: Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D – August 19, 2011
Robert Rodriguez, we all love your independent filmmaking, buck-the-system spirit. But man oh man, where do I begin? Aside from the fact that all four of these movies have been self-indulgent kiddie tripe, this new one is filled to the brim with stuff so goofy, you’re about to lose every ounce of that indie cred. You’ve got Danny Trejo appearing as a kid-friendly version of his goretastic antihero, Machete. You’ve got this inane “Aroma-Scope” thing, where viewers get a scratch-and-sniff card with their tickets, along with cues during the movie as to when to scratch and activate certain smells. Robert, buddy, I say this as someone who cares… You’re starting to make the Prequel Trilogy look good.
Alvin & the Chipmunks
NEXT: Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked – December 16, 2011
Seriously? Another one?
NEXT: American Reunion – April 6, 2012
Three big-screen movies. Three direct-to-DVD side stories. One done-to-death plot.
NEXT: Scary Movie 5 – April 20, 2012
Believe it or not, there was a time when director David Zucker owned the modern parody film. This is the guy that gave us the still-classic Airplane! and The Naked Gun. I don’t know exactly when his work went from charming/silly wit to brainless caricature, but the glory days are long over. These “Scary” movies are so unfunny, they’re offensive to the human intellect. Actually, they’re probably offensive to the intellect of a gnat.
Men in Black
NEXT: Men in Black III – May 25, 2012
MiB3 has a certain fascination factor, particularly with its cast, which includes Emma Thompson, SNL‘s Bill Hader, and Josh Brolin, who’s perfectly cast as a young Agent K. And the time travel elements of the plot sound okay. But rumors coming from the set suggest that star Will Smith and director Barry Sonnenfeld don’t get along (which would explain the ten-year gap between the second and third movies). And the ho-hum, by-the-numbers second film lacked any of the original’s quirky spark. If this is just going to be another forgettable sequel, wouldn’t it be better not to utterly obliterate whatever good will viewers have left for the first one?
NEXT: Madagascar 3 – June 8, 2012
The first one was kinda fun, but the second one lost sight of everything that made the first movie appealing, changing the characters in weird and unnecessary ways. Frankly, Nickelodeon’s Penguins of Madagascar is mining much funnier territory, and since the penguins were the best part of the movies anyway, making more movies is pointless.
NEXT: Ice Age: Continental Drift – July 13, 2012
Yet another animated film franchise where the supporting cast (namely, Scrat the squirrel) is funnier than the main characters. Every time a new one comes out, we’re all thinking the same thing: “Why do they keep making those?”
NEXT: G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes – August 10, 2012
The first movie played like a kid’s caffeine-and-sugar action fantasy — and not in a good way — despite its decent cast. The second one is ditching most of the original’s cast and characters, which screams “direct to video.” And it’s being directed by the guy that did the freaking Justin Bieber movie. Come on!
NEXT: Resident Evil: Retribution – September 14, 2012
These movies exist just to give Milla Jovovich a chance to go all femme fatale. Doesn’t she already do that in every other movie she’s in? And aside from the zombie thing, what do these movies have to do with the video game they’re (supposedly) based on?
NEXT: rumors persist that the golden trio — George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, & Harrison Ford — would like to do one more
Harrison Ford is pushing 70, but he’s still got it. I’d go see him in another GOOD Indiana Jones movie. But Kingdom of the Crystal Skull proved that George Lucas won’t let another really good Indy movie happen. He and Spielberg had an utterly brilliant script by Frank Darabont, but Lucas shot it down. Why? Because of the simple fact we all know — and it pains me as a fan to say it: Lucas simply doesn’t know what makes for a good story anymore.
NEXT: a screenwriter has been hired for a potential Jurassic Park 4
The third film was unwatchable. The second film had some moments of suspenseful fun (the cracking glass scene is classic Spielberg), yet it drained all of the awe and majesty out of seeing dinosaurs on the big screen. The first film’s magic has never been replicated, but even it wasn’t as good as the book. Please just let it go, Steven. Do it for us.
Pirates of the Caribbean
NEXT: The 4th movie has made more than $1 billion worldwide, meaning that #5 is an absolute certainty
The first movie showed us characters and imagery we’d never seen on film before, and it did it with panache and crackling dialogue. Disney has tried three times now to recapture the bristling originality and magic of that first movie, but they’ve failed every time. Enough already.