This year seems to be one big sequel (and I mean more than a sequel to 2010.) According to Box Office Mojo, 2011 is to see the largest number of sequels made of all time. New movies are out and sequels, prequels and remakes are all the rage.
Now it is easy to be hard on the sequel, and I blame Disney's Aladdin franchise for embittering me, but surely there has to be more to the sequel than the associated plastic crap that comes in Happy Meals?
The thing is is a sequel has nothing intrinsically against it as long as there is a story to tell, look at the success of the 23 James Bond films, but tell me what is the story of the first Transformers. Now try Transformers 2: Revenge of The Fallen?
Yeah, there were awesome explosions and some pretty girls.
That in itself doesn't mean a bad film, I refer you back to James Bond, there just has to be more than that.
I recently saw a great article named 'If This Summer's Movie Posters Told The Truth', which got me thinking, what would be the honest pitch for the remainder of this year's sequels?
"You know how the first Cars was basically an animated Doc Hollywood? Well we are now going to have Cars 2 as Lost in Translation meets Herbie. Owen Wilson is on board again, and yet again as he is just a voice there is no way the audience can get distracted by his nose. Also, kids love cars."
Johnny English Reborn
"Retro is in guys! The 1980s are so popular that we are going to be ahead of the pack here and try and bring back the 1990s, and everyone knows that the top three things there were parachute pants, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Mr Bean. Now, Will Smith is too famous for us to do anything, parachute pants have a nasty habit of giving the wearer a static electric shock, but Rowan Atkinson will pull funny faces for a truck load of money. It was all down hill intellectually from Blackadder so why bother any more?"
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part One)
Yet there is hope! Taking a look at the rest of this year's releases there are a lot of sequels that boast a lot of promise. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows - Part 2 seems to have retained its gritty edge and strong cast, while I'm not even going to lie about how excited I am for the first Muppets movie in 12 years.
So maybe I am being a bit hard on the sequel. Surely the sequel is just a method for the movie studio to give us, the audience, more of what we want? If we didn't want it then we wouldn't go to the cinema, buy the DVD and the plethora of merchandise available (my favourite range is Twilight.) If we don't want it, stop going. (I'm talking to you Pirates of the Caribbean die hards.)
And though I will be boycotting Transformers 3: Dark of The Moon, now I think about it I enjoyed Aladdin 23.