Sequels

Sequels are an inevitability for two reasons… greed and a dearth of creativity. If a movie makes money the studios will work like hell to get a sequel into production. It’s a challenge to find a necessary sequel amongst all the crap, or even one that carries the original story to new and exciting places. Intentional trilogies (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Matrix) or series (Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, James Bond) aside, how many truly interesting and worthwhile sequels can you name? Very few probably, and with that in mind let’s take a look at the absolutely mind-numbing and ass-curdling number of sequels heading to a Cineplex near you in the next couple years.

In the interest of brevity we’ll leave the obvious titles off the list… the series mentioned above, movies coming out before the end of the year, titles that have already been covered ad nauseum (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), and obvious direct-to-DVD releases. The remaining sequel ideas come in a few varieties… the good, the bad, and the fugly.

Let’s start with sequels actually worth getting excited over… not coincidentally, this group also happens to be the smallest.

The Bourne Somethingorother – The fourth Bourne adventure was first rumored earlier this year, but only recently has there been official word that both Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass will definitely be returning. IESB.net has an interview with producer Frank Marshall stating that Bourne’s next adventure will probably find him in South America. Expect Bourne to be thwacking organ-stealing doctors with rolled-up magazines from their own waiting rooms, and breaking the necks of thieving little street kids in Rio de Janeiro.

Sin City 2 – Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller are back with stories rumored to come from Miller’s “A Dame to Kill For”. By the time this one comes out people will be saying “Gosh it looks like a ripoff of The Spirit!”

Terminator Salvation – This one is a tough call for the ‘good’ category. The past three films have ranged from good to great, and Christian Bale has been cast as John Connor… but it’s directed by McG and it’s supposedly going to be PG-13. You see my dilemma.

Rambo 5 – Okay, you’re thinking I’ve mistakenly added this to the wrong list. Rest assured, I haven’t. Rambo, the recent fourth entry in the steroid-fueled series kicks ass. It had no right to be as entertaining as it was, but it was fun, bloody action for almost its entire ninety-minute runtime. Don’t look at me with those judging eyes…

And that’s it for the good. Sad isn’t it? This next group consists of films that may actually end up being entertaining, but it’s highly doubtful.

The Descent 2 – Imagine being trapped in a room filled with rabid and heaving Twilighters. Imagine they think the only copy of Breaking Dawn in existence is hidden deep inside your rectum. (Am I the only one who’s had this dream?) The Descent was actually scarier then the image I’ve just put in your head. Director Neil Marshall won’t be returning this time, although the original cast will.

Jack Ryan 5 – No word yet as to which book in Tom Clancy’s library will be used, or if the story will be an original one. The same lack of specifics applies to who will be cast as CIA analrapist Ryan, although we know it won’t be Baldwin, Ford, or Affleck. What has been rumored though is the involvement of director Sam Raimi, which would be interesting.

The Brazilian Job – Bound to be far less sexy and hairless than the title implies, this is the sequel to the feature-length Mini Cooper commercial The Italian Job. That film was a surprise hit so count on Mark Wahlberg and friends (sans Ed Norton and Donald Sutherland) returning for more heist hijinks.

Shrek Goes Forth – The first two in the series were great… the third not so much. If Mike Meyers and crew can find some fresh fairytale laughs along the lines of Pinocchio’s cross-dressing, Shrek 4 stands a chance of being funny again. Dreamworks is reportedly moving forward on Shrek 5, so it’s safe to say they’re already seeing green.

The Thomas Crown Affair 2 – The original was a surprisingly good and light-hearted thriller with a perfectly scored (via Nina Simone remix) and executed reverse heist at the end. By original I mean the Pierce Brosnan remake of course, not the original original with Steve McQueen. Brosnan is back to stealing things, this time it’s treasures in Istanbul. Paul Verhoeven is directing which guarantees all sense of subtlety and style will be missing along with John McTiernan.

The Host 2 – The Host is one of the best Korean films of the past few years.  The intertwined stories of an oddball family and a rampaging monster worked beautifully.  Variety reports the sequel will explore what happens when greed takes precedence over wisdom… I think we know the answer to this one.  They make unecessary sequels.

Final Destination 4 – Yes, these films continue to be carbon copies of themselves, but the creativity and suspense behind many of the demises continue to impress. The plate-glass window squash in FD2? Awesome.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine – Technically a prequel, Origins will show in longer form what we’ve already seen in flashback in the first X-MeSpidern film. To which I say… why? FSR’s own Robert Fure may agree with me, but most folks love the hairy, black-lunged, admantium-boned hero.

Bubba Nosferatu – The continued adventures of monster-fighting duo Elvis and JFK, by way of Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis (who I believe is dead, so perhaps not.) Don Coscarelli will return to direct provided he can pull himself away from planning Phantasm 8: Swiss Army Balls. (Look, another sequel!) This entry is included solely to appease Cole Abaius, as Bubba Ho-Tep was pretty goddamn awful.

Toy Story 3 – Once rumored to be a straight to DVD release, the word is Pixar now plans a new theatrical outing for Buzz and his Woody. Tim Allen and Tom Hanks will most assuredly return, but there’s no such guarantee for the magic!

Spider-Man 4 – I know, I know, the third entry sucked hard. But don’t forget how much you loved the first two…

Cloverfield 2 – Director Matt Reeves says the sequel is on hold because they have yet to think of a worthwhile storyline. That’s a refreshing change of pace for Hollywood, although a sequel to the overrated yet entertaining monster film is inevitable regardless.

Jeepers Creepers 3 – I enjoyed the first film, and the second was a harmless creature-feature, so I expect more of the same from the third. If I had my druthers though, the flying monster dude would finally have his wings clipped for good… and director/writer//convicted child molester Victor Salva would be thrown back in jail to face some decidedly more dangerous monsters.

The Holy Road – A sequel to Kevin Costner’s Dances With Wolves, it should fall into the fugly category since Costner himself is not involved. However, The Holy Road is based on Michael Blake’s novel, which is a legitimate sequel to his first novel, Dances With Wolves, so… who knows.

Punisher: War Zone – Third time’s the charm? Thomas Jane was a huge step up from Dolph Lundgren, so maybe War Zone will continue that trend? Yeah, I don’t think so either, but director Lexi Alexander has made some hefty promises about her upcoming revenge flick so we’ll just have to wait and see.

And now for the fugly. The following sequels are guaranteed to suck and/or have no reason for existing, and yet they’ll be shooting their geysers of poo onto movie screens soon.

300 2 – Now this is just stupid.  The original film was a beautiful, yet flawed creation following the last stand of 300 Spartans against thousands upon thousands of their enemies.  The key words there are “last stand.”  Collider reports that producer Gianni Nunnari is in talks with director Zack Snyder and writer Frank Miller to create a new story that would still be authentic.  300 worked mostly due to its original appearance and feel, a luxury the sequel won’t have.

Ghost Rider 2 – For all the hatred and vitriol against Uwe Boll and petitions to get him to quit directing… wouldn’t it be a better service to this great country of ours if we convinced Nicholas Cage to quit acting?

Wild Hogs 2 – Come on America… $168 million domestic box-office for the first one? People need to read more.

Untouchable: Capone Rising – Again, technically a prequel… but to Brian DePalma’s best film. DePalma himself will be directing which means absolutely nothing. He hasn’t made a quality film since the 1987 original Untouchables. Oh, and Nicholas Cage may star as Capone.

S. Darko – The sequel to Donnie Darko, this is probably the most unnecessary and unwanted sequel of all time. It’s already hated, derided, and despised. Donnie’s sister Samantha takes a drive with a friend and they run over a rabbit. Oh, and there’s time travel and shit.

Little Fockers – I know most people loved Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers, so I know I’m in the minority here. But c’mon… these movies aren’t the least bit frustrating or annoying to you?

National Treasure 3 – Nicholas frickin Cage.

Point Break: Indo – You’ve always wondered what’s been missing in your life… now you know. A sequel to the “classic” Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze cops n’ robbers n’ surfers movie. All new cast, characters, crew, and hopefully cheese. And yes, this one will most likely go straight to DVD, but damnit, I had to spread the word!

This list could continue, but frankly it’s starting to depress me. Cole Abaius recently posted an interesting piece on the possible demise of indie filmmaking, and it’s that much more discouraging when you see the studios blindly pumping $$ into the crap above. Some upcoming sequels I didn’t mention… Silent Hill 2, Alvin and the Chipmunks 2, Cars 2, Step Up 3D(?), Crank 2, Fast and Furious 4, Night at the Museum 2, Beverly Hills Cop 4, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans, The Pink Panther 2

As sad as all of this is, things could always be worse right? Sequels are marginally better than remakes, or “re-imaginings”… Like the upcoming Last Starfighter remake? Or Logan’s Run, Death Wish, Tron, Clash of the Titans, The Birds, Pirahna, The Warriors, Meatballs, Straw Dogs, Escape From New York, Nightmare on Elm Street, Conan the Barbarian, Battle Royale


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