Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Don't Mess With Perfection: Unnecessary Sequels

Fans generally welcome sequels as an opportunity to add depth and breadth to a story which couldn't be covered in a two hour time period. However in some cases, we the viewers would have been better off if the rest of the story was left to our imagination. As an example I present the unnecessary Donnie Darko sequel, which may actually diminish the quality the original film. Just because a film is a commercial success, or becomes a "critics choice" doesn't mean that we need alternative stories from the film. The "V" List presents those films in a series that must be erased from memory in order to salvage the original.

5. The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones

Episode III was the only enjoyable prequel from the Star Wars series. If Lucas had enlisted the services of a creative writer, they could have penned Anakin's youth and upbringing in forty five minutes of script, rather than waste six hours of my life. While we're bashing Lucas and his poor decisions, I want to say yet again, why did I have to suffer through Jar Jar Binks? In all honesty, both films have only thirty minutes of salvageable material, which boils down to the creative lightsaber duels at each film's climax. I like to pretend that these films never happened, and begin my viewing of Star Wars with the raiding of the Tantive IV. Hardcore fans can tell you with certainty that Star Wars and the Prequels are two separate entities, of which the latter generally do not exist.

4. Psycho II

There was never a reason for a second Psycho movie ( or a third for that matter). The story of Norman Bates and his momma issues played to conclusion by the end of the first film. I didn't require any further information about Norman and the operation of his hotel, so let's just leave this one alone. How many people actually seek out the Psycho sequels in the video store? I'm sure there aren't many people jonesing to watch these film, which begs the question, why were they made in the first place?

3. American Pie II and III

While there were funny moments in both of these films, they seriously diminished the quality of the original. We didn't need to follow these characters all the way up to the ripe old age of college graduation, careers, and marriage. Hell, why stop there? Why don't we check in on Jim and the crew with the birth of their first child, or even joke about his overwhelming mortgage payments and conformity into domesticated society? There is a reason some comedies become cult classics and others do not. The classics know when to say when. Therefore, I'm hoping we never see a Superbad II, Knocked-Up II, or Half Baked II: Twice Baked.

2. The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions

The second and third Matrix films could be two of the most disappointing sequels of all time, especially since the original film was so revolutionary in its own right. Sure we get to see Neo fly around and fight agents, but was it all necessary? Think about the Matrix trilogy and ask yourself, "What was accomplished?" Absolutely nothing. In the outset of the Matrix films, the human race was enslaved by machines that created and faux universe to maintain order. Select individuals were "unplugged", and began their struggle to free the minds of those who were entrapped by the false reality. Now think about the series ended? Humanity was still being enslaved by the machines, sans Neo. The final two films only accomplished the death of Neo and his love interest Trinity. From humanity's perspective, now they're up Sh&^ creek without a paddle. This series would have been better off if they left Neo's story unfinished. People would still be talking positively about the Matrix films but instead, the trilogy is now labeled as one great film with two intolerable sequels.

1. The Godfather Part III

There's a third Godfather film? Really? I'll continue to act like an Ostrich with its head in the sand and pretend this piece of garbage was never created. I couldn't stomach the whole plot line involving the Pope and could care less about Michael and his children at this point.
 As if one couldn't predict that Michael's life of crime and excess would eventually consume him and those he loved. I thought the first two films did a fantastic job at establishing the sacrifices that were necessary to accumulate such power and wealth. I didn't require a pile of dung film (that didn't have all the major players) which was only created to milk the Hollywood cash cow. If you're like me, just pretend that none of these films were ever made, so that you might continue to live out the rest of the story in your mind. I guarantee that your imagination of how the rest of the story plays out is a million times better than the trash that Hollywood chose to create.

Any other sequels really bother you? List them in a comment.

1 comment:

Elgarf said...

I disagree about Norman Bates. Sure the third movie was awful, but 2 was good with Lila Loomis bitter about her sister's death and Psycho IV the Beginning was a cool look at Norman's past as described by him. I am the one who seeks these out at the video store and have the series on DVD.