Dear Hollywood, PLEASE stop making sequels. This goes from every unasked for 5th, 6th and 7th, movie, every “modern” remake, every terrible tv show adaptation and everything in between. We didn’t ask for them. You are butchering movies.
Now this doesn’t apply to franchises like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings where there are already books written out. And since I want to show that I’m not a complete cynic there are a few good sequels: "Toy Story 2," "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," "The Dark Knight Rises." However most sequels suck. Here's why:
1. They're made for the money.
Sequels are often the result of studios realizing they can make even more money on a second installment of a fan-favorite. Because of this, they often don’t bother to put as much effort into the sequels as they did the original. The first movie had to have heart and soul poured into it that way people would want to go and see it and subsequently fall in love with it. With a large enough audience already in love with the first movie it is expected that a good portion of those people would go see a second movie just out of their pure love for the first one. Knowing this, studios usually make the sequel half-halfheartedly.
2. Character development--or lack thereof.
In the first movie we are introduced to an array of diverse characters and often times their backstories and where they are going. In sequels these backstories and futures often become muggy and lost. We learn new information about characters that often contradict what we have already learned. Parts of the characters past are overlooked or completely forgotten about, leaving the audience with questions still unanswered after two movies.
Just like other characters, the antagonist role faces a lot of problems in sequels. They are often obsolete by the end of the original movie whether they were killed, run out of the country, locked up in jail or sent away by any number of ways. This means that in the second movie the writers need to think of a new antagonist to fight with the protagonist. This often leads to half-thought-out characters with little to no backstory that just don’t fit right in the flow of the story.
4. Plot holes.
Continuity errors begin to pop up and new obstacles and goals have to be created and are often a bit obscure. The first movie usually involves a main objective that is often final, such as graduating high school, saving someone’s life or sailing across the ocean to find a ship. The second movie is then faced with the problem of finding a second objective like first year in college, saving someone else’s life or sailing across another ocean to find a different ship. This often leaves audiences underwhelmed and maybe even a little confused.
5. Straying too far.
Depending on how long passes between the original and the prequel, it may be hard to use the same cast or make the sequel fit onto the end of the original without a large gap of time between the two. This often means that the sequel will stray too far from the original plot or characters’ story lines.
6. Stretching it out.
Making two movies is more than enough and there really is no need to make seven or eight movies for the same franchise (I’m looking at you Fast and Furious). After the first three, the audience is starting to lose interest and writers are starting to lose ideas. The characters become over-developed and start to feel too forced. There are too many love triangles and forgotten relationships that your head starts to hurt. The screenwriters lose momentum and the movie follows. This turns what was first a blockbuster franchise into that one straight-to-DVD movie that only had 10 people in the theater opening night.
7. Remakes...too many remakes.
What is Hollywood’s fascination with remaking perfectly fine movies? "Mean Girls" was one of the most well-written and well-produced teenage movies of all time and did NOT need to be remade into some over-the-top pink fest. "Heathers" was an inventive idea that had a great narrative about high school hierarchy and what is wrong with carbon-copies but it is now being made into a knockoff TV show that, from the promotions alone, looks like it has lost all of it substance. "Footloose" and "Dirty Dancing" are classics that should never be touched.
The original movies are blockbusters because they have creative ideas and a well put together cast. There is a reason no one has ever repainted the Mona Lisa so don’t remake any more movies before we are stuck with a theater full of poorly remade movies and no new ideas.
All in all, please don’t make any more sequels or remakes. Think of something creative. Create a new world, don’t just piggy back off of someone else's.