Sequels have been around, pretty much since the earliest days of cinema. "Dracula's Daughter" comes to mind, which is a sequel to the 1931 movie version of "Dracula" and of course the much better known
"Bride of Frankenstein", which is a sequel to the 1931 Karloff version of "Frankenstein". The first ever made movie sequels is even much older and comes from 1916; the now lost movie "The Fall of a Nation", which was the follow-up to D.W. Griffith's 1915 movie "The Birth of a Nation".

Back then, sequels didn't had a bad reputation yet and were more seen as a continuation of a popular movie and of its story and characters, not as much as a cheap and lazy money grab, that wants to cash in on the success or name and fame of its predecessor.

It really wasn't until that they started to add the number 2 or the Roman numeral II to movies, that sequels started to give people a bad taste in their mouth. The first ever movie to do this was the 1957 movie
"Quatermass 2", which in itself is not a bad movie at all by the way. It was mostly around the '70's that studios started to realize serious money was to be made with sequels and true creativity and originality
were thrown overboard, in favor of more safely done movies, that all were very much alike its original and first predecessor.

I do admit though that this sort of has changed for a lot of big sequels. I do believe that the big studios very well realized sequels were starting to get a bad name and pretty much was synonymous for a
inferior movie. The once more started to allow film-makers to put some more creative into them, to make them different and in some cases also better than its predecessor. Best examples are the recent superhero
movies. "X2"is better than "X-Men", "Spider-Man 2" is better than "Spider-Man" "The Dark Knight is better than "Batman Begins", etcetera. You could also argue this all are movies that did needed a sequel. There was more ground to explore with its characters and more to do with concept.

There however also is a very big category of movies that most definitely do not need a sequel. And I'm not even talking about movies such as "Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3: Viva La Fiesta!" or "The Smurfs 2"
but more about movies that wrapped up its story perfectly and there just is nothing more to do and say.

Hollywood disagrees with this though it seems, sine as of recently more and more WTF sequels got announced, or already are in production. Some of them are done and released under the wraps, hoping that they will make some money but will go by unnoticed to the big crowed and all of the reviewers out there. Did you for instance know a new Hellraiser and a new Children of the Corn sequel got released last year? Or that there is such as thing as "Wrong Turn 4"?

In that same vein, here are 3 examples of sequels that are just doomed to fail, are completely unnecessary and are sure to raise a couple of eyebrows, each for different reasons.

Home Alone 5: Alone in the Dark (2012)

In the category of enough is enough; Home Alone 5: Alone in the Dark (2012). Most people have seen
or are aware of the existence of "Home Alone". Most people also know about "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York", some know off "Home Alone 3", while just a few are aware of it that there is also such as thing as
"Home Alone 4, which got released in 2002.

So here we are 10 years later, releasing out of nowhere another Home Alone sequel, that shall skip cinemas and shall go straight to TV, December 2012. Not much is known about it, or no one cares enough about it to find out more but the story focuses on Finn, played by 12-year old Christian Martyn, who is home alone with his sister, played by Jodelle Ferland, after their parents get stranded across town. He actually believes the house is haunted and starts setting traps, while 3 thieves attempt to break in.

The movie further more stars Malcolm McDowell, which now days is always a very bad sign. But who knows, maybe in the best case this will turn out to be a fun movie for kids but then again, there are already 4 other Home Alone movies for kids to watch out there! Is there a need for a fifth one? Most certainly not, especially not since this movie sounds as if its going to be just like all of the other Home Alone movies.

The Bronx Bull (2013)

Here is one in the category; why? The Bronx Bull (2013)! So what is this a sequel to you might wonder. A sequel to Jackie Chan's "Rumble in the Bronx", or perhaps a belated sequel to "A Bronx Tale", or an American remake of "Bullhead". No, this movie is actually a sequel to Martin Scorsese's 1980 classic and masterpiece "Raging Bull".

I'm getting a very "Carlito's Way: Rise to Power" type of vibe from this, which was a prequel to another classic, "Carlito's Way". Both movies had a very distinctive style to them, which was also more or less consistent with the style of film-making of its time. How are you ever going to capture the same sort of style and feeling to it, without any of the original actors of film-makers involved.

This has failure written all over it already and is considered to be one of the most weird sequel projects in movie history. The studio and film-makers of the original "Raging Bull" already are busy trying to distance themselves from this project and already have achieved that the movie its original title, which was "Raging Bull II" got changed to "The Bronx Bull". The are very clear about it that this movie has nothing to do with Scorsese's "Raging Bull" and this movie shouldn't be considered as a sequel but as a standalone movie instead. But then again, why first name the movie "Raging Bull II" if the movie is not supposed to be a sequel? I'm not failing for it and I'm convinced that in the mind of the film-makers this is really supposed to be the original sequel to the multiple Oscar winning and nominated movie "Raging Bull".

After all, this movie supposedly mostly focuses on the older Jake LaMotta, played by William Forsythe and his stand-up comedy career. Mojean Aria plays the younger Jake LaMotta, no doubt in some flashback scenes.

Also Jake LaMotta himself, who by now is 91-years old, is involved with this project and fully cooperating.

The movie further more stars the likes of Paul Sorvino, Natasha Henstridge, Penelope Ann Miller, Ray Wise, Tom Sizemore, Robert Davi and Bruce Davison, who, with all respect, are B-list actors and perhaps a good indication of how this movie shall be like. Also director Martin Guigui has a far from great track-record so far and has directed a couple of bombs and mostly movies no one has ever heard of, with glorious titles such as "My X-Girlfriend's Wedding Reception", "Benny Bliss and the Disciples of Greatness" and "Cattle Call".

But aside from how the quality of this movie shall turn out to be; this is a sequel that really isn't necessary. "Raging Bull" wrapped up things perfectly and you feel that it covered everything about Jake LeMotta that was worth telling and you needed to know. 

A Christmas Story 2 (2012)

And lastly, in the category of too late! A Christmas Story 2 (2012), which is a sequel to the much loved "A Christmas Story", from 1983.

1983! Just like "The Bronx Bull", that means that this sequel comes about 30 years after the first and original movie. Seriously, is there anyone out there still waiting for a sequel to "A Christmas Story". Yes, maybe if this movie got announced and done 2-4 years after the original people would had be lining up for it but I don't see anyone, who is familiar with the first and original movie, running out to see this belated sequel.

I don't get what film-makers and studios are thinking sometimes. There should be an expiration date on sequels and it should be a rule that a sequel should always be done within 1-10 years after the original movie, when people shall still have an interest for it. Of course there are always exceptions but these exceptions normally only go for big blockbuster hits or franchises, such as Star Wars, Star Trek or the James Bond series. Or horror franchises such as Halloween and Friday the 13th, which all have a large and steady fanbase behind them as well.

There comes a time, for certain type of movies, when people just don't care anymore. See what happened to "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps". Most people absolutely loved the first and original movie "Wall Street" but when a sequel was announced 25-years later people were less then eager to watch it and simply hardly had any interest in it at all. "Top Gun 2" would had most likely suffered the same faith, though it's somewhat doubtful it shall still get made. knowing that director Tony Scott has passed away recently.

This sequel besides makes the mistake to be a direct sequel to the original, in which all of the original characters are still about the same age and the movie is being set in the same time period as the first movie was. In other words; this movie is very unlikely to do anything new and besides, the trailer for it also doesn't exactly look very promising.

Judge for yourself...

This all of course aren't the only sequels that are coming your way but I do believe these are the three that were the most likely ones to pass beneath your radar and besides also were the most obscure- and the ones with disaster written all over them, in my opinion.

Oh well, at least we also have plenty of potentially great sequels to look forward to such as "Thor: The Dark World". "Skyfall", "Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall" and plenty more of them! After all, we'll also keep getting horrible and just plain unnecessary sequels, just so someone could make a few more bucks, or sell a couple of more toys. But every now and then studios and film-makers do care about their material and also takes its audience more seriously. It gives people what they want, which something results in even bigger, more fun and better movies.

There is always hope!

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
Newer Post
Older Post

No comments:

Post a Comment