It must be said, of course, that the mere idea of sequels isn’t inherently evil; there have been great cinematic series throughout film history, from the Thin Man movies to the Road pictures to the Rathbone-Bruce Sherlock Holmes films to (some of) the Pink Panther flicks. It would be hard to argue against the steadily increasing quality of the Harry Potter films, a series that many would argue actually got better with each entry. A similar argument could be mounted for the Bourne movies, as well as (amongst a small but vocal minority, of which your author is a member) for the Soderbergh Ocean’s series. And then, of course, there is the “holy trinity” of sequels that matched (or, in some cases, topped) their originals: The Godfather Part II, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Aliens — though most would agree that there was rather a precipitous drop in quality by the time each of those series reached part three.
But there’s no arguing that those pictures are the exceptions to the rule. Does anyone expect anything fresh or interesting from yet another Final Destination movie, other than a new batch of slapstick-y “kills”? Were there really that many unanswered questions from The Hangover, other than “how much more cash can we squeeze out of this?” Is anyone laboring under the delusion that a fourth Austin Powers picture is going to yield anything more than the same tired catchphrases? Yet, those are the movies that keep getting the green-lights — often with budgets bloated to accommodate their now in-demand stars. The next time you have the misfortune to sit through an uninspired, money-grubbing sequel, try not to think about how many potentially unique or original ideas didn’t get the go-ahead because of the money that the studios had committed to some half-assed sequel, because it’s rather depressing.
But that’s just our two cents. What do you think? Are you tired of the sequel parade? What film series do you wish would disappear — or which would you like to see more of?