Sometimes I wonder what goes through the minds of those at the studios when certain sequels are announced. Green lighting sequels can sometimes be a great thing, diving back into worlds with characters we love once again can be a wonderful thing. Then sometimes its just not as fun as last time, nor as successful critically or commercially.
Below are 10 upcoming sequels that to me, are not be the best of ideas, for numerous reasons. It all boils down to certain aspects that make a sequel worthy, in these cases below, I'll be looking at overall interest, potential story options, the cast, box office and critical reception, audiences reception and of course, the big question that gets asked often: Do we really need a sequel? I don't think any of these do, some more than others.
Beyond Skyline - Does anyone even remember 2010 Sci-Fi Skyline? Whilst it was a box office success, grossing over $75,000,000 on a budget of less than $20,000,000, the critics bashed it down to its characters, narrative and acting. The effects were impressive for such a small budget, and whilst I found this film to be ok, it was rather forgettable.
I was very surprised when I saw a sequel in the works. The last film ended with a clear set-up ready to start a series, at least. This sequel has been pushed back a few times, and with a complete change of cast and a lack of word of mouth, general buzz and barely any interest, this is destined to be shelved again, and by its release it'll definitely flop. If I'm wrong, then I'd be surprised.
Ouija 2 - The first one sucked, it was not scary in the least, the story was cliched and dull, the acting was bland except for the performances of Olivia Cooke and Shelley Hennig. It made a lot of money on a tiny budget, therefore, a sequel is in the works. Did anyone ask for a sequel to this bad film? Nope, but the studio see money signs so get ready for another.
Beyond The Green Inferno - Here's a complete surprise. Eli Roth's cannibal horror was surprisingly enjoyable. It's first half is slow and doesn't do a good job at building characters, but once the blood starts flowing and the main cast succumb to danger, things get interesting. The ending had a cool twist, revealing there was a survivor after all the crazed events, but to have another film in the pipeline? What more can you really do? Go back to the tribe's camp, introduce new characters who get tortured? I don't see any room for interesting story avenues, and frankly, it wasn't a critical hit, possibly meaning who would want to revisit this story?
Bumblebee - I'm a big Transformers fan. Beyond all the bad reviews and general hate, I enjoy watching these loud and explosive action films. I have no problems with the several announced sequels on the horizon, but a spinoff movie for Bumblebee? Where will this fit into the Transformers canon? What can you do with a robot that have no voice? Is it an origin story? Whilst there are enough mildly interesting roads to go down to tell the story, I think until another Transformers film proves a critical success, a franchise addition that people and critics actually like, only then can we expect a decent spinoff that may actually get people excited.
Chronicle 2 - Please this alone. The original was a surprisingly smart, well shot superbly acted and thrilling spin on the superhero genre. The POV format worked well as it meant the look into the deterioration of what powers can do to a person was more personal and grounded. The key players died in the first film, and they were great characters to follow, I just feel this is a pointless cash grab, to capitalise on the success of the first. To me, it feels like one of those situations where all that counts is the money, and not the quality of the story and its events.
Avatar 3 and 4 - Anyone remember Sin City: A Dame To Kill For? A sequel I thoroughly enjoyed, but flopped at the box office. Why did it flop? Well, the 9 year wait didn't help. Almost a decade went by since the original and by the time the sequel opened, it sank upon release. A real shame, even with returning cast members and director, this visual wonder failed. This is what I fear may happen to Avatar. James Cameron and other big names may be attached to it but we've all waited so long for this sequel and now, I'm losing interest, and seemingly many others have too. However, it could be just as successful, but maybe not reaching the number 1 highest grossing film of all time.
Fant4stic 2 - The reboot of the Fantastic Four was a colossal mess. Studio interference, reshoots, you name it, all negativity clouded over this film and the final product showed just what happens when a superhero film can go wrong. I won't go into the details, check my review on this one. A sequel though? The first was a box office disappointment, audiences and critics alike scathed it and frankly, the director even hated it too. Why would we want to see more of this rebooted world and vision of the Fantastic Four?
Die Hard: Year One - For the record, I enjoyed the chaotic action beats of Die Hard 5, and I liked the soundtrack and the scene in the taxi. Everything else was a mess, and Bruce Willis phoned it in like never before. He was once a great actor, nowadays he is really at rock bottom with some bad film choices and wooden performances. This franchise has ran out of gas, and to do another film with a younger actor playing the younger John McClane? This will take some solid, quality writing and thought to pull this one off.
Rush Hour 4 - Rush Hour 1 and 2 were two of the first DVD's I ever bought as a kid. I love those films and love them today, they are hysterical, well made and an absolute blast, in my top 50 films ever. The third film was cool, not as good as its predecessors but watchable and good fun. There's been a rebooted TV show that doesn't feature the brilliant presence of both Chan and Tucker, which to me is just silly. A fourth film on the cards? I really, really hope it works, the duo of Chan and Tucker are perfection and make for some big laughs and some exciting action sequences. It just has to be done right, we need a fresh fourth entry, not a tired rehash of the formula that worked years back.
DREDD 2 - The 2012 reboot is in my top 5 favourite films ever. Check my review, that tells you just how much I love the film. Sadly, it was a bomb at the box office, despite it recouping a healthy amount on home media. A sequel has been pushed and pushed by fans and I'd be happy to see that. But what made the original so special to me was the Slow-Mo, Lena Headey's Ma-Ma, the location and its claustrophobic, tightly packed action and the incredible dynamic between Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby. How on earth do you top such greatness? A sequel would be awesome but the risk for the studio spending money on something that may bomb again is quite high, and whilst it's not unnecessary, would enough people want to watch Dredd light up the screen again?