My Thoughts On: Sequels (And Why They Usually Aren’t Necessary)

Point 1: Just Because A Film Is Good It Doesn’t Mean It Needs A Sequel

This is a key point. Don’t get me wrong, I love a follow-up to a good film, but not if it’s unnecessary. There are plenty of films that work well on their own and don’t leave any loose-ends or any hints at a sequel, yet still get one and it usually just doesn’t work. Because of this, the sequel’s plot is either very weak or a carbon copy of the original’s, which just leaves you underwhelmed and wishing you hadn’t wasted two hours of your life watching that rubbish. Just because a film performs well at the box office, it doesn’t mean it needs a sequel!

Point 2: Point 1 Doesn’t Apply To Trilogies

I’ve noticed this with a lot of trilogies (well, two) – the second film is the best, the first is second, and the final instalment is always full of mistakes and problems and doesn’t live up to its predecessors. This is notable in the ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy – the second instalment of the same name being one of the best superhero films of all time, ‘Batman Begins’ being good but not quite as much as it’s sequel and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ being quite good, but just not as good as the other films. You also see it in the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy, with ‘Empire Strikes Back’ being widely regarded as the best of the films, followed by ‘A New Hope’ and then ‘Return Of The Jedi’ just not living up to the other movies. While we’re on the topic of ‘Star Wars’…

Point 3: Sequels Shouldn’t Go On Forever…

The usual rule for movie franchises is to keep making sequels until people lose interest and then wait a few years, reboot the franchise and start it all over again. However, knowing that the fans would never lose interest in ‘Star Wars’, the people at Disney decided that, rather than rebooting the franchise, they’d simply pump out a sequel every year to keep the money flowing.

There are two reasons this is a bad decision: novelty and quality. First off, the novelty of seeing a new ‘Star Wars’ film will soon wear off when you’re seeing one every December. ‘The Force Awakens’ was the first ‘Star Wars’ film I’d ever seen in cinema and that feeling of both excitement and expectancy beforehand was one I’ve never really felt before with any other film, but after a few years I’m sure it’ll become a bit more of chore to see another story about an orphan on a desert planet fighting against the oppressive dark side.

Secondly, the quality of the films will drop. We’re already seeing with ‘The Force Awakens’ that the writers are going back to the previous films for… inspiration (my full review of ‘The Force Awakens’ can be read here) and if they’re having to churn out a new script every year they will eventually run out of ideas and we will be seeing the same thing over and over again. I’ve mentioned before how ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ isn’t the strongest film in ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy (my full review can be read here), however one thing I really liked about was how it was advertised – as the final instalment. Before you went into the cinema you knew this was the final ‘Dark Knight’ film and I like this, the feeling of finality and closure.

Point 4: …Unless It’s Comic-Book Movie Sequels

Now this is something I don’t mind, and it’s not just because I’m a superhero fanatic. If there’s enough source material for any franchise (and there are plenty of comics) then I’m happy with sequels as they’re less likely to repeat.

With the Marvel Cinematic Universe in full-swing and making billions from ever film, all Disney have to do if they run out of ideas for superhero movies is introduce a new protagonist and it’ll make money – even if no one’s ever heard of them! Of course, eventually comics and characters will run out, but since I won’t be alive to see that happen, I’m quite happy to let the production companies do their thing.

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